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Both teams will provide fans with an excited brand of basketball as they feature a pair of their own”Big 3″ combination of star players.
The young and exciting OKC Thunder are led by league leading scorer, Kevin Durant, along with guard Russell Westbrook, and 6th Man of the Year winner James Harden.
Their opposition, the Miami Heat will counter with the much heralded league MVP Lebron James, and running mates Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
South Beach’s star cast is making their second consecutive appearance in the Finals, after falling to the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
Oklahoma City is making its first trip to the league’s championship series since relocating from Seattle. The team formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics lost in their last finals appearance to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1996.
Some things to watch for in this series:
Will Lebron James continue to show why he won the season’s Most Valuable Player award — although I thought Kevin Durant should have — which dispelling the notion that he tends to struggle in big games? Can he break through and win his first championship?
Will the young Thunder be able to impose their physical will — they are clearly the better team in this regard — against the smaller and softer Heat?
Who will be the X Factor for either team?
Whose “Big 3” will shine the most, Miami’s trio of James, Wade, and Bosh? Or OKC’s Durant, Westbrook, and Harden?
Speaking of Westbrook, will he force HIS will against a Heat team that is devoid of an all-star point guard to counter? Or will he resort to taking bad shots at in opportune times, which he’s prone to do?
Prediction? If I were a betting man, and I’m not, I’d go with the Thunder to win in seven. I think that their inside physical presence, along with their athleticism on both ends will be too much for the smaller and less athletic — I’m not talking about James and Wade — Heat can deal with. Besides, OKC has better defensive bigs and point guard play, their only question would be experience. OKC it is!
It’s a battle of a small market team with BIG stars against the glamor of South Beach and it begins Tuesday at 9PM EST on ABC.
For us fans whose teams didn’t quite make it to the finals, or in my case the playoffs, let’s enjoy this!
Written by Rashid Umar