April 27, 2011

Why The Miami Heat Should Remind You Of The Green Bay Packers (Yes, The 2010 Version)

     The general consensus is that the Miami Heat are a very good team.  Not good enough to win the NBA Finals or even get there, but a team that will be in the playoffs for a while.  The general consensus in my mind, however, is that the Heat are the favorites to win the title.  Don't believe they have a chance?  Maybe these eerie similarities to the latest Super Bowl champions will convince you:

-Both teams were among the favorites before the season started.
-The Heat started out 9-8.  The Packers started out 3-3.
-The Heat were 2-8 in games decided by 3 points or less.  The Packers were 1-5 in games decided by 3 points or less.
-The Heat were 1st in the NBA in net points, but 3rd in the overall standings.  The Packers were 2nd in net points, but tied for 8th in the overall standings.

The last one is the most important in my opinion.  Net points are a great indicator of how good a team is.  Points directly affect whether or not a team wins a game, but the points themselves occur pretty randomly and that can alter a team's record over the course of a season.  However, if you're getting more points and/or giving up fewer points than your opponents, you are more likely to win no matter what the records say.

For example, in two games my team scores 220 points and allows 170.  I could win one 130-75 and lose the other 95-90.  I could win each one 110-85.  The records would be different but the team was just as good in each series.

I'm not saying the Heat are guaranteed to win the Finals.  I'm not saying the Packers were the best team in 2010.  Winning in the playoffs takes a lot of luck.  What I am saying is that the Heat have a better chance than anyone else to win the championship.  Miami has underperformed so far this year, but there's no reason to think they can't finally live up to hype when it matters most.

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