The Philadelphia 76ers didn't stop a predictable coronation in Boston to end the second round. Sixers fans like myself mourned that Philadelphia couldn't beat the Boston Celtics on the road when the series was theirs for the taking. However, the Celtics couldn't hold that home court advantage when they had the chance to eliminate the Miami Heat, although it looked inevitable that they would finish them off.
Now in the NBA Finals, it looks inevitable that the Heat will finish off the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 at Miami on June 21. But if the Celtics could get steamrolled by the Heat in Boston during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on June 7, could the Thunder give the Heat a taste of their own medicine in Miami?
Going into Game 6 of the conference finals, Miami had lost three straight games and its stars appeared to be falling apart. LeBron James was acting like a choker again while Dwayne Wade wasn't bailing him out and Chris Bosh had just come back from injury. Meanwhile, the Celtics had all the momentum and appeared to have destiny on their side - along with an intimidating home court advantage.
After the way the Heat had played in the previous three games, few expected them to rise back up in Boston. However, all it would take is one momentum-sapping win for the Heat to tie things up, erase their painful defeats and get home court advantage for a do-or-die finale. 45 points from James later, the Heat destroyed the Celtics and put them back behind the eight ball - for good as it turned out.
Against all odds, the Heat came through huge on the road, snapped their unlikely losing streak and then took care of business at home. This would make it bitterly ironic if the Thunder knocked them off at Miami in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, then got a chance to take care of business in their home.
Miami destroyed Boston's coronation when James finally answered the bell and took his game to a new level. For Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden can certainly do the same and erase their past mistakes - if they still have the capacity to.
If they prove it now, they can go from being on the brink of death to having a real shot in these NBA Finals again - if only because the rest of the series would be in Oklahoma City. After these last three defeats, it doesn't seem possible for the Thunder to do this. But it didn't look possible for the Heat just two weeks ago, and now they are a win away from the title.
If Oklahoma City is to finally get two wins away from the title, it needs good luck in a hurry. Yet if the floodgates finally open and the bounces fall the Thunder's way, it may start a chain reaction that throws the finals into doubt again.
After all, if the Heat can rise from the dead, they can certainly let the Thunder come back to life - although Miami only needed two wins over Boston to revive itself instead of three.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident and 76ers fan - who has become quite familiar with the Celtics in that time.
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