I Loathe to Love the 2010-11 NBA Finals

I hate to say it, but the Miami Heat look like NBA champions.

While they still need to win three out of their next six games against a very good Dallas Mavericks team in order to be crowned as such, it’s hard to see this team losing when everything is clicking for them.

It’s funny, because other than an Atlanta-Memphis NBA Finals, the pairing of Dallas and Miami was probably the most unfavorable matchup conceivable. Not because it would be a boring or lackluster finals, but out of the 16 playoff teams, I can’t think of two teams that are more disliked by the majority of the NBA’s fan base than Miami or Dallas.

But for the NBA who struck out on a Kobe and LeBron finals matchup for a third consecutive season, a best-of-seven battle between Dallas and Miami doesn’t get much better.

The series has bad blood, rooting back to the only NBA Finals since 1998 that didn’t feature the Lakers or Spurs, when Dallas and Miami faced off against each other in 2006 and the Mavs collapsed at the hands of a dominating Dwyane Wade.

More than that, the series contains something (err, someone) that even a non-basketball fan will care about: LeBron James. Whether you watch basketball or hate it, if you’ve lived anywhere but under a rock for the past 12 months, the name LeBron James is probably familiar to you, to some extent anyways. Since the infamous “Decision,” LeBron James has become bigger than just a basketball player; he’s steadily become an integral part of pop culture. He may not be flagged in tabloids doing lines of coke at New York nightclubs with Lindsay Lohan or seen at every major red carpet event, but one doesn’t have to travel too far out of their house to hear people talking about LeBron James.

And for the true basketball fan, the hoops craving lunatic, the series is going to be an enjoyable one to watch. Even if Miami does take the crown in a quick five game set, the NBA’s newest villains will make sure they put on a show while doing it. Visible in the last two minutes of Miami’s game one victory tonight, with LeBron and Wade putting on a “the-fat-lady-is-now-singing” display to close out the Mavs, it’s apparent that Hollywood has relocated to South Beach in the form of the Super-Friends (but only for this series).

Next: A Remarkable Transformation

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