We are only five days in, and already I am just about done with the NBA Playoffs. I’ll admit that I have never been the biggest NBA fan. But after such a wild year of sports characterized by so much unpredictability, professional basketball is a dull affair to me.
It may sound stupid, but here’s the reason why: The Miami Heat will win it all. I would be willing to stake my meager life savings on it. And if I can predict the winner of the NBA Title with ease, without having watched a single game from start to finish this season, I doubt the NBA is going to reach too many new fans.
Now I could be totally wrong and my prediction of the Heat winning it all could blow up in my face and make my argument totally moot, but I doubt Miami loses. Coming off a championship from last season, this is a team that won 27 consecutive games and put up the 10th-best regular season record of all time (66-16). They’re good. Not to mention they have by far the best player in the league (I dare you to tell me Kobe is better). The advantage they have over other teams with the trio of James, Wade and Bosh is almost unfair, and as a result, the Heat will not even be challenged until they face off with the Western Conference champion in the finals.
So why wouldn’t I want to watch the Heat demolish teams like the Milwaukee Bucks? What could be better than a 48-minute LeBron James highlight reel? The answer is exactly what we won’t be seeing: An exciting finish to the NBA playoffs. Don’t get me totally wrong. The Western Conference will be, and already has been, fun to watch. As a bandwagon Warriors fan, I’m breaking out my “We Believe” shirt in hopes of another first round upset. But when it’s all said and done, the playoffs will end with a disappointing NBA Finals and a second ring on LeBron’s finger.
Last year, I could not pull myself away from the TV as Miami and Boston faced off in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It was anybody’s guess as to which team would come away with the win in that series, and it made for some great basketball. Now, I’d be surprised to see any team take the Heat beyond five games.
We’ve been conditioned to root for parity in sports. That’s why everyone hates the Yankees and rooted for Wichita State in the Final Four. And that’s why when Miami makes quick work of the Thunder, Spurs, Clippers or any other team unfortunate enough to face them in the finals, I won’t be watching.