Well it’s come down to two teams. Two of the best? It depends on who you are talking to, but ultimately, two teams, who have gone through their own adversity, struggled through their own injuries, in a shorten season, only to come out as the top dog to represent each coast. From the West, the fan favorite Oklahoma City Thunder come in rolling after beating the top tier Spurs in six games, rolling off with four straight wins. From the East, the non-fan favorite (unless you’re a Heat fan) are the “Showtime” Miami Heat. After the old Boston Celtics took them to seven games, the Heat came out on top (I don’t know if LeBron quieted his critics so to speak) but they are headed for their second straight finals appearance. Last year, everyone wanted them to lose (again, unless you’re a Heat fan) and gloated when the Dallas Mavericks won.
This year? Well, their chances have improved dramatically. From last game only, their bench has finally showed up and LBJ and Wade have contributed nicely to the wins. Add a more healthy Chris Bosh and all of a sudden, this Heat team looks almost unbeatable.
The Thunder are just as exciting, even if their core “Big 3″ weren’t as famous when they first got together. Their model is simple. Tank really bad. Get lucky and get some decent draft pick in returns.
Durant went number 2, only after the Portland Trailblazers thought that he would be too skinny to be decent in the NBA and that Greg Oden was the man. Well five years later, Durant is a two time scoring champ and is by far the star of the Thunder. Oden? He’s only played 82 games in five years (games equaling one full season) and is an unrestricted free agent. Oden has mentioned going to the Heat, but that is next year.
In Russell Westbrook, they got a good compensation as the number 4 pick in the 2008 draft. As under the radar Westbrook has been, he is emerging as a go-to 1b prolific scorer for the Thunder. Although he’s still young and still makes young mistakes, there is no mistake that he is a force if kept un-checked. In a match-up against Mario Chalmers, I take Westbrook, everyday, any day. If Westbrook is matched up against Wade, don’t forget that Wade has been injured as well he disappears a lot in the first half. Unlike against the Celtics, the Heat can’t afford a Houdini acts from Wade. Otherwise, they’ll be looking at the Thunder from behind.
Finally, the bench is the key for this NBA finals. While the Thunder can count on a James Harden for some points and even Seflaosha for some defensive purposes, the bench for Miami is hot and cold. The only guy that that is somewhat consistent is….hmm, I can’t really think of one. Shane Battier and Mike Miller will have to come to play, but will they be quick enough to stay with Harden?
This finals looks to go the distance. My only request is not to see Miami on top of NBA world. Go Thunder!