COMMENTARY | What team will win the 2014 NBA Finals? One only has to defer to retired NBA player, Steve Kerr, whose crystal ball suggests the Miami Heat will be upset by Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Imagine that?
The prediction heard - and frowned upon - around the world
Sports prognosticators, analysts and Las Vegas sports books overwhelmingly agree on one thing for the 2013-2014 NBA season: LeBron James and the Heat will win another championship.
It's been three months since the Big Three hoisted the Larry O'Brien NBA championship trophy overhead and the league's best player claimed his second Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Moreover, Pat Riley largely kept the core team intact with very little changes to the Heat's roster.
Lo and behold, Kerr doesn't see the writing on the wall and is not at all convinced that the team to beat next season is the one in South Beach.
"There's a reason these teams don't do it. Emotionally, it's just exhausting to keep doing it year after year, particularly when you have to deal with everything Miami has to deal with on a daily basis, just the constant critiquing and scrutiny on the team, and then you factor in the injuries with Wade and Bosh and their health. I don't think Miami will get out of the East this year," said TNT analyst, Kerr, who stepped down as Phoenix Suns GM in 2010.
Arguably, short of a catastrophe of epic proportions, the Bulls have no chance in derailing the Heat's quest to three-peat . There, I said it, and it's not just a term Pat Riley made popular -- by way of Byron Scott.
I'll dismiss Kerr's Finals forecast in the spirit of a glass half-full-half-empty. Moreover, it's not outrageous to think Steve honestly believes the Bulls will be benefactors of his prediction.
After all, he played alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on the three-peat Chicago team (1996-1998). Ironically, he dismisses the Heat's possibility by pointing to recent history.
That leaves me scratching my noggin and quietly asking myself this question: What makes him think the Heat cannot enter the history books just as his elite Bulls team did over a decade ago and the Los Angeles Lakers did a short time after their run?
The Heat are poised for another title and NBA phrase
Let's be fair here. If he wants to represent his analyst role with TNT in the proper light, he has to look at momentum and a number of other factors that were also in place when the Lakers attempted the rare feat.
Similar to the Heat, Los Angeles kept their core roster and head coach in place during their spectacular run. Then, egos got in the way.
Granted, this same curse can take the magic away from the Heat, but LeBron James and Dwyane Wade appear to be bosom buddies and Chris Bosh is just happy to be in the center of things.
Kerr points to the Rocky Balboa-like return to greatness of Derrick Rose when he suits up for the first time since his devastating ACL injury on April 28, 2012.
I'd be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the good fight the Bulls gave the Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season. Sure, Chicago lost 1-4, but getting to Game-5 against Miami without their marquee player is no small feat.
Without question, Rose is a beast on the court and if he is one-third of what he was prior to the injury, he'll be a great contribution on offense for the Bulls.
My guess is that unless he regains his mental toughness - which he alluded to last season - his presence on the basketball court will only detract from the Bulls chances.
About that new phrase: If LeBron James remains healthy, I'm thinking, well…four or five-peat. What say you Steve?
Bradley is a professional writer and journalist, sportswriter, and avid follower of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, PGA and all things tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat developments.
- Sports & Recreation
- Miami Heat
- Derrick Rose
- Chicago Bulls
- Steve Kerr
- LeBron James