The Heat is the people’s champion as the NBA postseason reaches its Final Four. Miami is a clear favorite to three-peat by the measure of general public consensus, even as many media experts lean to West powers San Antonio or Oklahoma City.
A new ESPN poll — of fans, not media — has 43 percent saying the Heat will be champion, 31 percent for the Spurs, 20 percent for the Thunder and only 6 percent for the Indiana Pacers.
Betting odds reflect public opinion, so it isn’t surprising that entering the conference finals, Miami is also the wagering favorite now at even 1-1 odds for the title (according to Bovada in Las Vegas), while the Spurs are 11-5, the Thunder 7-2, and the Pacers a long-shot 10-1.
The bottom line is that the 2014 NBA Finals will either be a rematch of 2012 against the Thunder or of ’13 against the Spurs. Hopeless Pacers fans, go drown your sorrows in a shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo’s.
Of course one of the persons never on board with the people’s champion is the determinedly anti-Heat TV naysayer, Charles Barkley. Barkley has been in the news lately for saying that women from San Antonio are, um, a bit heavy. This alone indicates a lack of self-awareness. Perhaps Barkley has neither a scale nor mirrors in his house.
Anyway, whereas Barkley thinks San Antonio women are too fat, he thinks the Heat are too thin. He says Miami is “not the favorite” because LeBron James has to do too much, doesn’t have enough help. He keeps remarking on the air about all the “dead weight” James must carry.
Speaking of weight, Barkley says he will not apologize to the women of San Antonio.
Aside to Barkley. Here’s a line for you to use on the air, a little gift from me to you:
“I will not apologize to the women of San Antonio for what I said. However, here to apologize on my behalf, is Donald Sterling … .”Magic Johnson