Re: Official ISH Pre-season Finals Predictions Thread
For some reason I see this potentially happening (barring major injury): Miami beats the Rocket 4-1.
It may be too early for Houston, but if you think about the fundamentals...
- they've got the best two-way center in the league, a top 5 talent who already managed to lead a team to the Finals, has got something to prove, and may be about to enter his true prime
- they've got a top 3 shooting guard and arguable top 10-15 player in the league
- they're likely to improve their team during the season, since they have one of the most highly valued assets in the league in Asik, an asset who happens to be somewhat redundant for them. It could be the always rumoured Asik for Ryan Anderson trade, or something else, but there are real opportunities for Houston to exploit.
- they've got an ideal complementary player in Parsons
- they've got enough depth for a solid guard rotation overall.
Their main weakness is the power forward position and the bench... and Asik can easily be leveraged to fix these weaknesses. Meanwhile, OKC seems to be regressing rather than progressing (Durant is cementing his status as an all-time great kind of player, but the rest of the roster... although a healthy Westbrook might be all it takes, we'll see) and the Spurs are unlikely to repeat last season's feat (they're a 'mission' kind of team like the 2011 Mavs, not a 'dynasty' kind of team like this Heat... they got so close to fulfilling that mission too, but I'm afraid that was their last shot). The Grizzlies still lack offense (recent additions help but not enough), the Lakers and Mavs are no longer real threats, and the Warriors strike me more as an exciting team with 'potential' that will remain just that.
Another intriguing possibility is the Clippers, due to having a true star, good depth, and finally an actual coach.