Detroit Versus Miami PreviewEastern Conference Finals
#1 Detroit (64-18) vs. #2 Miami (52-30)
Miami can win if…Shaquille O'Neal looks more like the Shaq of old instead of old Shaq, Dwyane Wade dominates in the fourth quarter and Antoine Walker provides a legitimate third scoring option.
Detroit will win because because…the Pistons are on a mission. Almost losing to Cleveland will sharpen this team's focus and prevent the Pistons from having the letdowns that they sometimes have during a playoff series.
Other things to consider: Ben Wallace and company played well enough against O'Neal to defeat his teams in the 2004 NBA Finals and the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals. O'Neal is no longer able to dominate for a whole series and the supporting cast around him is no better than it was on those occasions. Cleveland took Detroit to seven games largely because LeBron James' stellar play and tremendous confidence provided a huge lift to his teammates. Wade is not quite at James' level, so look for Detroit to win this series in six games.
posted by David Friedman @ 8:55 PM