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I must say I’m pumped for the NBA Finals tonight. Lebron vs Durant is going to be epic. The two best players in the NBA face off in the Finals. Miami should be tired after a tough 7 game series against Boston. I speak for the whole world right now when I say that Lebron is playing like this years MVP he has matured so much as a player. I really don’t know what team to pick in tonights game…
Thunder have been amazing so far this year, dropping former champs Dallas,Lakers and Spurs. Also their home record has been outstanding. Durant,Westbrook and Harden have really stepped up in crucial games and is the reason their in the finals. Thunder is fast pace team scoring plenty of points and have a strong bench to back them up Ibaka and Perkins have been serious so far on a defensive end and will give Miami trouble.
Miami to me are a team that seems to grind it out. They sometimes dont play the most exciting basketball but they always hang in there. I think Lebron is going to play well this series. He knows Durant well and trains with him in the off season, I can’t see Lebron letting the younger player (Durant) steal the show.
Mancini is the man in the NBA betting right now. I’m excited to see what he picks.
Here’s some more about the matchup…
In LeBron James’ 689 regular season games, his per-game averagesare 27.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and48.3% field-goal shooting. In 10 career Finals games, his per-game averages are 19.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 41.7% field-goal shooting. That one of the best players of all time has failed to score more than 30 points in a Finals game is somewhat stunning, but likely not something that will be able to be said in a week’s time. James is playing fantastic basketball: “He’s playing at a historic level during the playoffs,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He is pushing himself beyond his limits.” Since Game 4 against Indiana, James is averaging 33.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 53.4% shooting. He has been indescribably good, even as his teammates have struggled. However, he has played at least 43 minutes in nine of the last10 games. If it is possible for James to be burned out, it should show in this series.
The Thunder have not been the one-man show that the Heat have been this post-season. Durant has been typically brilliant, though, averaging 29.5 points and 7.5 rebounds on 53.2% shooting against the Spurs. But the Thunder beat the Spurs in four very different ways: Game 3 relied on the out-of-character 19 points from defensive ace Thabo Sefolosha; Game 4 showcased the Thunder’s starting big men, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, who combined for 41 points on 18-for-20 shooting; Game 5 was about Durant, Westbrook and James Harden, the Thunder’s three scoring stars, who combined for 70 points; and Game 6 was a Durant special, a 34-point, 14-rebound performance in which he would just not let the series go back to Texas. Although Oklahoma City’s success usually starts with Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder have more weapons than the Heat.
Here is where it gets really interesting. Sefolosha is Oklahoma City’s best defender, but gives up both weight and height to James. Durant, at 6-foot-9, with impossibly long arms, can at least get a hand in James’ face. But does Scotty Brooks want his star chasing James around? Luckily, the Thunder are flexible. Their best crunch-time lineup is probably Westbrook, Harden, Sefolosha, Durant and Ibaka. The first three players are capable of guarding Wade for spurts, while Sefolosha and Durant can guard James. That means no Thunder player should be overly taxed on the defensive end except for Sefolosha, who does not need to score.
As established, one of Oklahoma City’s favoured lineups features Durant at power forward; and sometimes, Derek Fisher and Westbrook share the court. Miami also enjoys going with only one true big man — probably Bosh, who is returning to form after an abdominal injury. The Heat’s April 4 win against Oklahoma City featured 17 minutes with James at power forward. The Big Three plus Mario Chalmers are Miami’s four best players, with Mike Miller or Shane Battier sliding into the fifth slot. It will be interesting to see if either coach decides to force the issue and get out of such rhythms.
Wade, a Hall of Famer already and a Finals MVP, has already said this is James’ team. Westbrook’s decisions vary between breathtakingly aggressive and aggressively defiant, but he yields to Durant in crunch time on most evenings. Wade, to put it kindly, struggled against the Celtics, shooting 40.8% from the field in the final five games against Boston. Westbrook shot 37.8% from the field against the Spurs. Outside of James, Westbrook is perhaps the most scrutinized player in the NBA; his shot selection is combed over relentlessly. It is easy to wonder how the sport’s brightest spotlight will affect him.
Bosh and Harden would be the best players on many teams; they are third wheels, albeit important ones, on their current teams. Bosh’s importance to the Heat was underscored in Game 7, when he had 19 points in 31 minutes, drilling jumpers while the Celtics guarded James. Harden is fearless, hitting huge three-pointers in Games 5 and 6 against the Spurs, and capable of involving his teammates. Both players could be the most important figures in any given game.