He's friendly with Udonis Haslem. He lives in Florida. He knows the Heat well. So, say what you want about bias.
But Five Star's David Thorpe also knows a hell of a lot about basketball, and he tells me that of the teams left in these playoffs, he's convinced Miami has the inside track on the title. Listen to Thorpe's explanation (MP3) for yourself. These, he says, are some of the Heat's strengths:
They can blow you out.
They can win a close game.
Then have an inside/outside game.
They have role players.
They have a bench.
They have Pat Riley.
They are rested.
And most importantly, says Thorpe, if they make it to Finals, they will have a very motivated Shaquille O'Neal. He was great in that Finals loss to the Pistons. O'Neal has a history of giving everything he has in the Finals.
For what it's worth, the Pistons and Mavericks are still the favorites.
Thorpe also lent some credence to the rumor (MP3) I have been spreading that the Celtics and Danny Ainge may be in a rough patch.