We are finally here, the 2012 NBA Finals! The two teams that many predicted would be here before the start of the season have made it through. This season’s Finals is David Stern’s fantasy, the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Miami Heat. Who will be crowned the 2011-2012 NBA Champions? Here is my prediction.
Down 0-2 and seemingly out of it, the Oklahoma City ran off four straight wins over the San Antonio Spurs to advance to their first NBA Finals. Leading the way for the Thunder is three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant. If he wasn’t there before, Durant has catapulted is way into the discussion of the best player basketball player in the world. He has turned in clutch performance after clutch performance all postseason. He will have to continue to play at this level if the Thunder hope to win the title. The X-Factors for the Thunder are going to be Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Heat have nobody who can stick either one so they should be able to impose their will. The Thunder interior defense will have to come up large again. James and Wade are going to attack the basket so Serge Ibaka(who should have won defensive player of the year) and Kendrick Perkins must be solid down low.
Down 2-3 and heading back to Boston for what was supposed to be a close out game, LeBron James and the Miami Heat took the next two game from the Boston Celtics to make a return trip to the NBA Finals. Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals may turn out to be defining moments in the career of LeBron James and the legacies of the Miami big 3. That is if they can beat the Thunder in the finals. LeBron James wi have to continue to carry the Heat against a young and athletic team like the Thunder. I would say there is no doubt that James is going to get his numbers, but we all saw what happened in last year’s NBA Finals. Until he proves otherwise, we cannot erase that from our memory banks. That’s why it is crucial for others to step up. Dwyane Wade is going to have his best series to date and put up huge numbers. Chris Bosh, who was the key in the game 7 victory over the Celtics is going to have to come up even bigger in the finals. Defensively Miami has to use LeBron to try and slow down Durant somewhat. If they can do so a lot of pressure falls on the shoulders of Westbrook and Harden. If they can force Westbrook to play like Wild Wild Westbrook as I like to call him then they have a shot.
So who is going to win the 2012 NBA Championship? LeBron James seems more focused than ever but I don’t think Miami is playing their best basketball, while OKC is absolutely rolling. Miami prides themselves in getting out in transition on offense while locking down on defense. The problem is, OKC can do both just as effectively if not better. I think the Thunder are too talented and too deep. They might be young but they’re ready! Thunder up, as the Oklahoma City Thunder will win their first NBA Championship 4-2!