This is a great time of year for hockey and basketball fans. The Stanley Cup championship between the Rangers and Kings starts Wednesday. The NBA championship between the Heat-Spurs, part two, starts Thursday.
The Rangers have been a team of destiny, beating Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston and Montreal to make the finals for the first time in 20 years. I am happy to see former Tampa Bay star Martin St. Louis playing so well in the playoffs. New York has an outstanding goalie in Henrik Lundqvist.
The Big Apple is buzzing with excitement over the Rangers. I understand that the Kings are favored, but I am going with the New Yorkers in six.
Miami is in its fourth straight NBA finals, rare air in league circles, with the likes of the Lakers and Celtics. Erik Spolestra has done a marvelous job with a very talented team, getting them to mesh and play as a unit. They have tightened up on defense at important times, like the final game of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers. San Antonio is led by the best coach in the NBA, Gregg Popovich. The future Hall of Famer knows how to get the most out of his players, understands the strengths and weaknesses of his deep bench. He has pushed all the right buttons, as the Spurs got past Oklahoma City in six games.
The Heat is gunning for a three-peat. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have other ideas.Then again, last year, the Spurs were on the verge of cutting down the nets when Ray Allen hit a stunning shot in game six, extending the game and series. Now the Spurs would like revenge.
Miami is a team of destiny, thanks to the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Wade has been healthy in the playoffs and that has made a difference.This Heat team is a lot more than just the talented trio. There is Allen, capable of making big trifectas. Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Rashard Lewis, Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, these guys have all contributed this season. San Antonio had Boris Diaw, Kawhi Leonard and company to provide depth.
I expect an exciting series. I think King James and company will celebrate again, this time winning in seven games. It should be a super series, baby!