Monday, June 11, 2012

Boomer's Slam Dunk: NBA Conference Finals Recap

As we inch closer to tomorrow nights Game 1 of the NBA Finals (9 PM ABC), lets take a final look back at the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Come back tomorrow to get my preview for the NBA Finals as the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Miami Heat.

Eastern Conference Finals Recap: Miami won 4-3.

When I look back at the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals down the road, I will remember it as a classic series, that went the distance. After taking a 2-0 lead in the series, the Heat looked like they had their best chance to sweep a series since the Big 3 came together to form the most HATED team in the NBA. However, the ageless Celtics took Game 3 in blowout fashion, then held on to win a nail-bitter in Game 4. Then, came the "swing game" down in Miami for Game 5. After a good start by the Heat, the Celtics hung around and in the end came away with a 94-90 victory to win their third straight game in the series. The days after where all about how the C's would win Game 6 in Boston and eliminate the heavily-favored Heat. It was not meant to be, unfortunately, for the Celtics and their fans at the TD Boston Garden. The guy that couldn't do it by himself two years again in Boston in a Game 6, LeBron James on Thursday night, put on one of the greatest single-game performances in NBA playoff history (45 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists) to lead the Heat to a 98-79 victory, forcing a Game 7 Saturday night back down in Miami. I was very disappointed to see the C's not able to close out the Heat in Game 6 at home, and knew it would be hard for them to win back-to-back games down in South Beach. The Celtics were up for the challenge of winning a Game 7 on the road, as they look at 7-point lead into halftime. However, the game tied heading into the final quarter, the Heat were able to pull away down the stretch, winning Game 7 101-88, clinching their second trip in as many years to the NBA Finals were they will take on the up and coming Thunder squad of Oklahoma City. 

Western Conference Finals Recap: Thunder won 4-2.

A team on the rise, is what I will take from this series when I look back at it. Quite like the Eastern Conference Finals, the first two games of the series went to the favorite, with the Spurs extended their winning streak to 20-games (including regular season games). However, the young/athletic Thunder squad got a much needed boost with Games 3 & 4 played in OKC. The Thunder won Game 3 by 20, snapping the Spurs 20-game win streak and making it a series. Then evened it at 2-2, with a 6-point victory in Game 4. The question then was "Can the Thunder win in San Antonio?". That question was answered with a five point win by the Thunder in Game 5, in which they were in control of all night and got a big three pointer from their 6th Man of the Year, James Harden in the final seconds of the game. The series went back to OKC for Game 6, and after falling behind by 15 points at halftime, the Thunder blew out the aging Spurs squad in the second half (59 to 36), winning Game 6, 107 to 99 and clinching their ticket to the NBA Finals were they will face the Miami Heat. The Thunder won four straight games to win the series after falling behind 2-0 in the series, and the Spurs after winning 20-straight games, lost four straight games and became just the fourth team in the current playoff format (since 1983-84 season) to not make it to the NBA Finals after receiving back-to-back #1 seeds.