Everyone expected the Miami Heat's big three to make it deep into SB Nation's NBA 3 on 3 Tournament. But no one expected their Eastern Conference Finals opponent to be a bunch of castoffs.
The Heat have avoided all the upsets with their made-for-this-tournament lineup of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. James is the league's reigning MVP and capable of playing any position from the 1 to the 4, while Wade and Bosh are two of the most versatile and talented players at their positions. This team has talent and versatility galore, and it's no surprise that they are waltzing through this thing. It's actually too bad that they haven't faced stiffer competition in the East; Chicago's trio might have pushed them, it would have been interesting to see Boston's Big Three against them, and Philadelphia would have presented some difficulties with Bynum. Instead the Heat have breezed past Washington, New York and Detroit to get to this point.
The East Leftover squad was created to fill out a 16 team Eastern Conference bracket. The team was built from the best of the leftover players not selected for their own teams. That ended up being Brandon Jennings from the Bucks, Gerald Wallace from the Nets and Roy Hibbert from the Pacers. Hibbert is the only other player in the East after Bynum capable of presenting a true matchup challenge to the Heat, and if he can dominate Bosh inside the Eastovers might make this interesting. But even if Hibbert is great it would seem that the Heat have too much. The Leftovers defeated the Sixers, and then upset the Bulls and the Celtics to get to this point, so it's not as if they came in the back door.
Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.
- Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Miami wins 15 of 20
- Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- Miami wins 14 of 20
- Frank Madden, Brew Hoop -- Miami wins 13 of 20
- CA Clark, Silver Screen and Roll -- Miami wins 18 of 20
- Adam Francis, Raptors HQ -- Miami wins 15 of 20
- Probability to win any given game -- Miami 75 percent; Leftovers 25 percent
- Probability to win series - Miami 84.38 percent; Leftovers 15.62 percent
Hibbert is the first player so far to present Miami's Three Amigos with any challenge, but LeBron and company are still way too good. -- Perrin
The Cinderella story must end! I cannot have Brandon Jennings and Roy Hibbert winning this thing. That's way too indie. -- Ziller
I'm not sure how the Leftovers got this far, but even in a halfcourt game the Heat's Big Three have too much firepower for the scrappy 'overs. -- Madden
It's time for the charade to end. Miami is the perfect 3 on 3 team and the leftovers are not a threat. -- Clark
Hibbert should give the Heat a few problems, but in this 3-on-3 setting, I just don't see the East Leftover collective winning the lion's share of these matches. Miami marches on. -- Francis
The Bottom Line
For a team that has been given no worse than an 87 percent to win any given game in this tournament so far (against the Knicks in the second round), 75 percent is positively uncomfortable for the Heat. We've seen big rolls come up on several occasions eliminating favorites along the way. The panelists seem to think the Hibbert factor warrants a handful of games for the Leftovers here and there, and that might be enough to produce the upset.
The Heat need rolls of 75 or lower to win while the Leftovers will be looking for 76 or higher.
What do you think?
The results will be posted at 5 p.m. ET.
For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.