It’s now best-of-three. When the San Antonio Spurs clobbered the Oklahoma City Thunder, 2-0, in their first home-court games, and when the Miami Heat were too hot for the Boston Celtics and also won their two games in Florida, everybody proclaimed the same NBA Finale: Miami-San Antonio.
Oops. Not too fast. Kevin and Kevin have other plans. That’s Kevin Durant, the 6-foot-9 forward of OKC, and Kevin Garnett of Boston, who stands 6’11”. These two led their squads to winning their past two games apiece—and shifting the Final Four’s momentum.
My prediction? Simple. The winners today and tomorrow will meet in the Finals. Today, it’s SA vs OKC. Tomorrow, it’s MH vs. BC.
“The pressure is on San Antonio and Miami,” said the winningest basketball coach in all of Cebu, Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba. “Oklahoma and Boston won the last two games, so the momentum shifts to them. On the other hand, it’s back home for the Spurs and the Heat. So this is evenly balanced.”
Yayoy’s prediction? Same. The Game 5 winners will advance. If we study the past eight playoff games, each game was won by the team at home. That’s 8-0.
While I thought that Cebu City Councilor Alcoseba will attribute a huge percentage of victories to “home-court advantage,” he said otherwise. “Sure, it’s a plus,” he said. “The crowd is loud. You’re home. You’re comfortable. But these teams have been traveling back and forth. It’s no guarantee of winning. You still have to play hard to win. I say it’s only a five percent advantage factor.”
Yayoy’s team-to-win surprised me. Because while all point to a San Antonio-Miami ending, he chooses Oklahoma. “I’m rooting for these guys because they’re young. I like the trio of Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Look what happened in the last game. Westbrook made only seven points but he made all the difference. He didn’t force his shots. He was able to pass to his teammates who, in turn, scored,” he said.
“The Spurs have to win today. If they lose, Oklahoma will finish it in Game 6. Same with Miami tomorrow. The pressure is intense.”