In the NBA there is a changing of the guard taking place. Younger, up and coming teams with new stars are on the threshold. The Heat and the Thunder are poised to become the new elite teams in NBA. The old regime of the Celtics and the Lakers is in serious decline. It's the new order NBA.
Experienced teams that were slow to get up to speed have been written off early. The shortened season has lead to all kinds of knee jerk analysis. There is going to be a new #1 in the NBA hierarchy. Just who that team will be, of course, is anyone's guess.
And I think the whippersnappers are in for a surprise.
An older underdog is going to play a big part in this upcoming NBA Finals series. Writing off such teams as the Celtics, Lakers or Spurs is a mistake. The short season was a mixed blessing. Players played a tougher schedule, but a lot less games. I think the edge goes to the older, veteran teams.
The older more experienced players will benefit from surviving the short season injury free. Many veteran players will be entering the playoffs in mid season form. A few teams have a great chance at peaking at the right time.
The favorites are top heavy with potential and short on experience. It's the kind of situation where no team can be counted out before things get started.
Take home court and throw it out the window. The standings this season are irrelevant. Seeding will mean nothing. The playoffs will begin with no real favorite.
And with that said I'm going to make a few predictions about what we can expect to see happen before it's all said and done.
In no particular order:
* A minor injury could have a major impact at the worst possible time.
* There will be a major upset.
* The "best player" will not be on the winning team.
* There will be a series where experience will trump ability.
* There will be the series where the "better" team will lose.
* Two of the top 4 will be eliminated before the second round.
* There will be an underdog in the Finals.
* Murphy's Law will be a big factor, as will Karma, fate, destiny and just plain luck.
* There will be a big sixth man/bench effort.
* There will be unsung hero and grizzled play.
* The team that comes together at the right time, hits a hot streak and gets a few breaks can play the role of Cinderella.
In other words... anything can happen.
But if there is a sports god he will see to it that one of the teams in the Finals will be either the Lakers or the Celtics.
The Old vs the New will meet in a series that will be hyped as the passing of the torch. It will be a series full of effort, luck and irony where the kids will learn the hard way. Sure the "superstars"can come together and form a stacked team.
But they'll need to do a lot more than just show up.
If they want the title they are going to have to earn it!
And remember, as always... Just because I know what I'm saying, that doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about!