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No beating the Heat
June 12, 2012 - Neil Rudel
Much as I wouldn't have minded seeing the Celtics beat the Heat in the NBA's Eastern Conference championship series, I believe Oklahoma City-Miami will be a better final.
The Heat are clearly younger and more energetic than Boston, which showed its age in squandering a 3-2 lead and home-court advantage gained after winning Game 5 in Miami.
I'm going with the Heat for this reason: Most of the national experts are picking OKC, and it's hard to believe LeBron James is now an underdog. James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh have not handled being the favorite that well since James made "The Decision," and the sudden shift in expectations should help relax them.
Plus Miami was in last year's finals, losing to Dallas.
Scott Brooks has done an excellent job coaching OKC, but he shouldn't have the advantage over Erik Spoelstra that Doc Rivers did.
Heat in 7 in what should be a great final.
Sportsmanship, at least after a Game 7 or a series ends, defines class. That's why Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo leaving the court in the waning moments of Game 7, rather than congratulate the Heat, was bush league.