Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My highly unlikely but definitely plausible theory for how the Heat could still lose the NBA Finals

I knew it was crazy for me to hold out hope that Lebron James could somehow go his entire career without ever winning a title.  But it's eating me up inside that my undermanned and over the hill Celtics actually had this Heat team on the ropes two weeks ago, and now they are about to win the NBA Championship.  Nobody has ever come back from being down 3-1 in the Finals before; in fact no team has even been able to force a Game 7 after facing that deficit.  But it's going to happen someday, and here's why it might as well be this year's OKC Thunder:

Recent history dictates that it's actually fairly likely.  The Heat have been in the Finals twice before; in '06 they trailed Dallas 2-0 before winning four in a row to take the series, and last year they led Dallas 2-1 before dropping three straight to lose the series.  Just last round OKC trailed the Spurs 2-0 before taking the final four games, so a three game winning streak by the Thunder over the Heat to finish this series is definitely a distinct possibility.  Rationalizing how it could go down isn't even that hard.

For Game 5 in Miami, all the pressure and expectations will be on Lebron and the Heat to close out the Thunder, and get the "King" his first ring in front of their home crowd.  Considering what's happened in the past, there is a chance that this could be more than they can handle.  If the series shifts back to Oklahoma City, the Thunder would clearly be favored in Game 6 with their raucous blue and white clad fans behind them.  If they pull that off they would have all the momentum, and be even bigger favorites heading in to Game 7.  So there you have it.

The logical (or lucid) part of my brain is also forcing me to look at this from a mathematical standpoint.  Hypothetically, let's say the Thunder have a 40% chance to win Game 5, then a 55% chance in Game 6, and finally a 60% chance in Game 7.  Those numbers indicate the Heat still have roughly a 1 in 8 (or 13%) opportunity to lose this series.  Not great, but I'll take it.


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