Heat vs. Thunder Preview

On June 12th, 2012 the NBA Finals commence and the match up is one that many are looking forward to.  This Finals series could be the most anticipated match up in several years.  Pro-basketball is being blessed with a fight that will hopefully exceed all expectations.  The ratings will certainly show the impact the games will have on the biggest stage and what players will be highlighted in the future.

Countless fans will salivate at the match up between MVP Lebron James and MVP candidate (2nd in voting) Kevin Durant.  That is the sexiest match up in the eyes of the fans since Kobe/Lebron.

Two teams that have relatively younger top players, athleticism, scrappy defense, solid coaching and multiple stars will surely provide vast entertainment.  On paper many will pick OKC because of the other pieces around the stars.  Others will pick the Heat because of the proven ability of the team’s top guys already.

The results of the NBA Finals mean more than just a new champion being crowned.  The implications spread wider and further then any NBA final round in history possibly.   There are many storylines at play here and will be decided in this one, grand playoff series.

The biggest story can be summed up in one question “Can the King get a ring?”  That will be on everyone’s mind come Tuesday and the result might cement the future, good or bad, for Lebron James.

Another is a question as well “Can Kevin Durant, at 23 years-old, pass Lebron James?”  Many say he already has and many say he isn’t close to what Lebron is.  With the match up already in place, with both being at the SF or 3 positions, it is easy to say that this question will be answered.  I don’t think it will be because of the fact that the two play differently and mean something different to their respective teams.  Either way people will be thinking that question through the entire series.

A third story will be who is the better “Big 3” to begin with?  This all depends on match ups and who will step up under pressure.  A Bosh/Ibaka match up could hurt Chris as well as a Wade/Westbrook match up could hurt Westbrook.  Who guards who could really impact the series in a bigger way then people might think.  I know it sounds arbitrary but just like in the Spurs/Thunder series; matchups on the court will play a big role in deciding the winner.

Role players such as Thabo Sefolosha, Shane Battier, James Jones, Mike Miller and Nick Collison will have to do their part in possibly guarding the opposing team’s stars for extended periods of time due to foul trouble or any other variables.

The people that make these matchups are the coaching staff.  Deciding minutes and any other defensive and offensive adjustments is key in a matchup like this one.  These decisions have to be made on the fly and in a hurry if things go south.

In the regular season the two teams did battle twice splitting the season series at one apiece.  In the Thunder win they only gave up 87 points and scored 103.  This was during a Miami Heat slump of course and when things got back on track the Heat defeated OKC 98-93 at home.  The Thunder was their way to a three game slide as well.

Many different things go into this matchup in the NBA Finals 2012 and everyone is anticipating each moment.  What do you think about what will happen?

Regular season match up: Heat 1, Thunder 1

Durant:              .537fg%        6.5rpg       5.5apg      29.0ppg

Westbrook:        .310fg%        3.5rpg       4.0apg      20.5ppg

Harden:             .611fg%        4.0rpg       5.5apg      15.5ppg

James:               .474fg%        5.0rpg        8.5apg      25.5ppg

Wade:               .464fg%        3.5rpg        3.0apg      20.5ppg

Bosh:                .400fg%        5.5rpg        1.0apg      15.0ppg

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