WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Greg Anthony of NBA TV joined Holden and Danny Thursday to discuss the NBA Finals and the Wizards’ recent trade.
The Miami Heat lead the NBA Finals series 3-1 going into tonight’s game in Miami at 9:00 p.m.
Holden asked Anthony if he thought the Oklahoma City Thunder still have a chance to win the series, or is everything already over for the Thunder.
“Anything’s possible, but I would say that the series for all intensive purposes is over,” Anthony said.
Anthony said there were several games in this series where OKC had the opportunity to win, but with the Thunder losing three games straight, he can’t see a scenario where they will win three straight against Miami.
“They did win four straight against San Antonio, but San Antonio’s not the team defensively that I think Miami is,” Anthony said. “Kevin Durant was the best player on the floor in that San Antonio series, but that’s not the case in this series.”
Danny asked if the Thunder’s inexperience may be the cause of the team “not being ready for primetime to get over the hump”.
“I don’t know if that’s the case as much as I just think Miami is a better team,” Anthony said.
He also said in the past three games, Miami has out-rebounded OKC, and winning so far has come down to the amount of a team’s possessions. Miami is also getting to the free throw line more, and unlike OKC, Miami’s best players aren’t jump shooters, according to Anthony.
“You can put some of it on inexperience if you want but I don’t think that’s the case, OKC has been in the postseason the last three years … in this case they can’t overcome the fact that Miami is a better team,” Anthony said.
Holden asked if James’ cramps were an acceptable reason to miss the ending of game 4.
“He had cramps – I don’t know if you’ve ever had cramps – I don’t care who you are, cramps will put any man down,” Anthony said. “The reality is the guy is a warrior, he doesn’t miss games … He’s on the verge of doing some things that we haven’t really seen individually in a player in quite some time, so I have no issue with the fact he couldn’t go and I don’t think neither does his team.”
Danny argued the turning point for James’ career occurred during game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers in which Miami won 101-93. James had 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.
“I would have to tend to agree with you there; not so much in what he did statistically, he’s had games like that before, people tend to forget,” Anthony said. “I think it was the first time the rest of the world acknowledged that LeBron James is clearly the best player in the world and this is his team even with a great player like Dwyane Wade.”
Anthony said James is a “brilliant talent” and the game lead claim that the Heat is James’ team.
Holden said the actual turning point will be if James and the Heat win the title.
“That’s where the turning point is for you, and for people who are cynical and critical of him,” Anthony said. “For the people that hate him, they’re gonna find other areas to go.”
Danny ended the show asking about the Washington Wizards-New Orleans Hornets trade on Wednesday, which puzzled Danny as the Wizards are trying to rebuild.
The Hornets traded forward Trevor Ariza and center Emeka Okafor to the Wizards for forward Rashard Lewis and a second-round draft pick.
Anthony said for the most part, the trade was good in the sense that the Wizards gained veteran players in Ariza and Okafor, who will try to help the team and try to create a culture to mesh with point guard John Wall.
“I actually think it’s a pretty good deal … both [Ariza and Okafor] are defensive oriented, which is another area that the Wizards have been horrible the last couple years,” Anthony said. “You still have flexibility moving forward, it’s not as if those guys are locked up for long term deals,” Anthony said.