NBA Finals Predictions
Published: Monday, June 11, 2012
Updated: Monday, June 11, 2012 14:06
The Miami Heat are back in the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year. Their opponent? The young and explosive Oklahoma City Thunder. Should be great to see LeBron James and Kevin Durant, two of the best in the league, go at it on the big stage. Here are some predictions from our sportswriters.
Ryan Tartaglia: Thunder over Heat in 7 -- The NBA opened its season on Christmas Day and after 168 days, 1980 regular season games and 79 playoff games the gift everyone wished for on Christmas Day has finally arrived. Every narrative you would see in a basketball movie (Organic vs. Manufactured, Small Town vs. Big City, Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong) are all in play. Among Oklahoma City and Miami, there were a combined nine accolades received but all of them are meaningless now. Both teams got to this point as a collective team. LeBron is playing on a ridiculous level but unfortunately his team has yet to play on par with him. Durant has played like the best player in the world, but even when he's been down the role players, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka have picked up the slack. The Thunder are simply too deep for the Heat. Kevin Durant and company will benefit from that college-like atmosphere, storm their way to Oklahoma City's first NBA title, leaving LeBron thinking, 'What if".
Eric Russo: Thunder over Heat in 7 -- Well, the NBA got what they wanted. It's LeBron vs. Durant, maybe the two best talents in the NBA on display. It should be a fantastic and exciting series, but in the end it's the Thunder's time to raise a banner.
Brandon Crosby: Thunder over Heat in 6 -- On paper, Oklahoma City has the better team. Ibaka is a presence inside, Durant is playing exceptional basketball, Russell Westbrook is just a great athlete and Harden has proven he can make big shots. Miami doesn’t have the depth the Thunder do, however, they do have Lebron James. This series will come down to if LeBron is able to will his team to a victory, and I don't think he will be able to get it done by himself.
Andy Deossa: Heat over Thunder in 7 -- Are people just bitter about the Celtics losing or do they really think OKC is a better team? Probably both. The Thunder have gone through the toughest opponents in the West – sweeping the defending champs and eliminating the Lakers and Spurs, two of the most elite teams in the NBA. The Thunder seem unstoppable but I just can’t count Miami out that easily. Dwyane Wade needs to – and will – show up in this series for Miami to even have a chance. LeBron is going to consistently do his thing, but the return of Chris Bosh is going to be the X-factor. Honestly, this is a toss up and could go either way. At the end, when it’s all said and done, both LeBron and Durant deserve a ring but only one will get it this year. May the best team win!
Ethan Hartley: Thunder over Heat in 5 -- The Thunder are legitimately better than Miami in every way, and have plenty of firepower to outmatch LeBron and his paltry cast of understudies. The reign of the Durantula is neigh.