Video: Skip Bayless picks the Miami Heat to win the NBA Finals over the Memphis Grizzlies

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FS1 commentator Skip Bayless is picking the Miami Heat to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2022 NBA Finals, largely due to their experience and the presence of team president Pat Riley.

Bayless appeared on his weekday FS1 program “Undisputed” where he picked the Heat and Grizzlies to win their respective conferences before then offering a promising vision for the Grizzlies’ future.

“Give me Memphis in the West. Give me the Heat in the East,” Bayless said. “I’ll say just on sheer experience, just on the Pat Riley factor, I will take Heat over Grizz in the finals. The Grizz are gonna get back to several finals and they will win ’em. They might win two or three finals before Ja [Morant] is finished with this group, but right now, I’ll go Heat because I think they are perfectly positioned, laying in the weeds atop the East to win it all.”

The Heat are the top seed in the Eastern Conference for this year’s playoffs. They finished with a record of 53-29 and will find out on Friday night whether their first opponent will be the Cleveland Cavaliers or Atlanta Hawks.

In the competitive Western Conference, the Grizzlies ended the regular season with a mark of 56-26 and enter the postseason as the second seed in the conference. They’re set to start what they hope will be a deep playoff run on Saturday afternoon against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 22-year-old Morant is only in his third NBA season. However, he’s living up to the promise envisioned when he was taken by the Grizzlies with the second overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.

This season, Morant has elevated his game, averaging 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.

Riley helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA titles during the 1980s and has been connected to all three of the Heat’s championships during his long run as both head coach and team president.

Of course, no path to the finals is ever guaranteed and Bayless’ opinion has little bearing on what transpires over the next few months. Still, it seems clear that others outside of Miami are taking this year’s version of the Heat seriously.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.