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June 16, 2012

Not surprisingly the NBA Finals are even at one game apiece. After the Oklahoma City Thunder won by 11 as about 5 point favorites in Game 1 every so called expert I heard picked the Thunder to win game two.This includes the great Rick Barry, who was far ahead of the curve as a critical analyst. The Thunder were 5 and a half point favorites, they were(9-0) at home in these playoffs but the Miami Heat prevailed and with the next three games in Miami, the series is now considered a toss up.

I wrote that I hoped for a short series but expected a long one. No surprise it is (1-1) and I would be shocked if the series does not go back to Oklahoma City. My pick is 6 games and I will settle for that. Cynicism aside and even allowing my strong distaste for the ABC/Disney announcing team, why can’t I just sit back and enjoy some great talent on both teams colliding on the basketball floor?

The Thunder were one win shy of the most consecutive home wins in one playoff year. That mark, unscathed for another year, is shared by three teams who went (10-0) at home in winning the title.Those teams are the 1986 Boston Celtics, 1987 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1996 Chicago Bulls. I believe those three teams are the only teams to go unbeaten at home throughout a playoff year in the 29 seasons, starting in 1984 when it became mandatory to win 4 series to become NBA champions.That goes for any NBA team advancing past the first round.

Finally, this is the 28th year of the current 2-3-2 format in the NBA Finals where the team without home advantage plays the middle three games at home. Thus far, only two home teams, the 2004 Detroit Pistons and 2006 Miami Heat have ever swept those three games. Surprisingly, perhaps, since the road team in those three games is usually considered better, three teams (the 1990 Pistons, 1991Bulls and 2001 Lakers) have won all three “middle” games on the road. Again cynicism aside, these are two strong, not great teams, who are pretty equally matched. Thus I would be very surprised if the series does not go back to Oklahoma City.

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