2012 NBA Finals Pick and Prediction: Miami Heat OKC Thunder
2012 NBA Finals Pick and Prediction: Miami Heat Vs Oklahoma City Thunder – Can Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook Outscore Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and a Hobbled Chris Bosh?
It was the easiest NBA money I’ve ever made – hedging the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder to both make the 2012 NBA Finals and win. I’m already up more money than I plan to gamble on this series, regardless of who wins. With that said, the +140 Miami Heat series line looks too good to be true at first glance.
Last year, Lebron James made it to the finals in search of his first of not one, not two, not three, but many championships in a Miami Heat uniform, only to be silenced by the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki. This year, James took over the Celtics series to get his team to the finals again in impressive and almost “cavalier” fashion. Dwyane Wade has had a miserably streaky playoffs this year and Chris Bosh has been hurt for most of the playoff run. This is the Lebron James show, except the supporting cast is far more capable than it ever was in Cleveland – just under-performing and hurt.
If Chris Bosh is healthy, or gets fully healthy during this series, the Miami Heat will win the 2012 NBA Finals. Bosh’s presence dictates matchups with the Thunder that give the Miami Heat’s dynamic scorers freedom and skill advantages inside and out. I expect Bosh to be a non-factor because of the impressive defensive skills of Serge Ibaka, but who will stop Lebron and Wade? If Ibaka can wander freely through the paint and slow James and Wade from getting inside, the Thunder have a huge advantage defensively. Let’s not underrate the defensive skill and leadership of Kevin Durant, but his lankiness will be overpowered by James’ strength and speed.
Kevin Durant is a monster offensively and will be impossible to stop. He might be contained, but Durant will score. That said, so will Lebron James. It will be an exciting matchup of the biggest young stars in the game. Let’s consider Durant and James a wash for now.
Dwyane Wade cannot afford to have scoreless halves in the Finals. Unless, of course, Russell Westbrook continues to be just as inconsistent. I give the advantage, though they aren’t matched up against one another, to the Miami Heat in terms of the next best superstar. Wade and James will combine to dice up the Thunder in a way that Westbrook and Durant aren’t quite capable of. James Harden is a good support player, but so is Mario Chalmers.
For me, this series comes down to Dwyane Wade being the better “support” player, even if Chris Bosh is neutralized by Ibaka.
This is also about the childish dream of superstar, hero-players winning championships through force of will alone. This series is about my belief that Lebron James is capable of magical, wonderful, unstoppable, video-game scoring. This is Michael Jordan making a three in Elo’s face, Larry Bird stealing and dishing in the final seconds, Willis Reed limping through a championship, Paul Pierce faking an injury and rolling around in a wheelchair for fun, and Lebron James’ signature…?
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