And then there were two… The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to be battling it out on the NBA Finals odds starting on Tuesday night. These are two of the most talented teams that we have seen in the league this year, and in this marathon of a season comes to a close, it is clear that one of these clubs is going to be well deserving champions.
#2 Miami Heat vs. #1 Oklahoma City Thunder Series Preview & Pick
We hate to think of this game as the “old guard” against the “new guard,” but that’s almost what this looks like. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James were here with the Heat last year, and these stars are in the middling stages of their careers. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and James Harden have all been growing up together over the course of the last few years, and the team is now just four wins short of the ultimate reward, winning the NBA Championship. Remember that this team was atrocious just four years ago. Then came the first round of the playoffs. Then came the Western Conference Finals. And now, the Thunder are here in the NBA Finals for the first time since moving to Oklahoma City and the second time in the history of the franchise.
The Heat are clearly one of the best teams in the league and have been the favorites to win the NBA Finals for really the last two years. Of course, getting the Super Friends together was supposed to be the key to winning title after title in South Beach, but in the end, if this is the second straight year that Miami gets into the NBA Finals, only to lose, there would be a lot of explaining to do.
LeBron is coming off of a big time end of this series against the Boston Celtics. He scored 45 points against the C’s in Game 6 on the road, and then he came home and scored 31 points and had 12 boards in the series-clinching victory. D-Wade had a much better go of it in Game 7 than he did in Game 6, scoring 23 points, and Bosh had 19 points and eight boards off of the bench. That being said, the rest of the role players for this team just haven’t been all that remarkable, and that was what really killed the Heat last year. Will Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, James Jones, and the likes be able to step up their game and help this team out? That might be the big question right now in this series.
Meanwhile for Oklahoma City, the key is going to be the help around Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. These three are the key cogs for this roster, and they do the majority of the scoring for the club, but what we have seen here in the playoffs is all sorts of other players stepping up to the task. Thabo Sefolosha, Serge Ibaka, and Kendrick Perkins did tremendously against the Spurs, and it can’t be underestimated just how important Derek Fisher has been to the club as well.
This really should be a fantastic series. Both of these teams have the ability to get the job done, but in the end, we think that home court advantage is going to work to the edge of Oklahoma City. Take the Thunder in a relatively long series.
Oklahoma City Thunder in 6 (-165)