Well, I honestly can’t say that I am very surprised by the teams that have made it the NBA Finals this year. I predicted that it would be Miami vs. OKC back before the season began. Here is what I wrote on this blog back on 12-23-2011:
Eastern Conference Champion: The Miami Heat. Chicago and New York will push the Heat to the brink, but the Heat still maintain a slight edge with Wade, James and Bosh.
Western Conference Champion: The Oklahoma City Thunder. I probably would have picked the Dallas Mav’s if they had retained the services of center Tyson Chandler, but he was a big loss, especially on the defensive end of the court. Picking up Lamar Odom certainly helps the Mav’s, but not enough to surpass the young and talented Thunder squad in my view.
Champion: The Miami Heat. I hate making this pick, but I have to if I’m going to be honest. I don’t think this will be the beginning of a dynasty, but this “Dream Team” should be good for at least one ring. If they fail to win a championship this season then they should trade at least one member of their vaunted big three.
Back when I made my preseason predictions I thought the Heat would amass the best record in the league and therefore have home court advantage. Of course, it did not quite work out that way. The Thunder ended up winning more games during the regular than the Heat and now have the home court advantage. Most professional basketball analysts now favor the OKC Thunder and the Vegas sports books have installed the Thunder as favorites.
I am going to go against the conventional wisdom (and Vegas) and stick with my pick of Miami to win it all. I understand the arguments for the OKC Thunder. Clearly, the Thunder are an excellent team and they definitely appear to be the team of the future given the fact that their core stars are so young. The OKC “Big Three” are all 23 or younger. Kevin Durant is 23, Russell Westbrook is 23 and James Harden is 22. Durant and Westbrook are already All-Stars and Harden, the winner of this year’s NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, will probably become an All-Star himself within the next couple of years. OKC also has a strong supporting cast and one of the better coaches in the league in Scott Brooks.
So, why do I think the Heat will defeat the very formidable Thunder? Well, I think it comes down to fact that I think Miami’s “Big Three”, comprised of Wade (All-Star), Bosh (All-Star) and James (All-Star AND current NBA MVP), have too much firepower for OKC.
I am well aware that the supporting casts for each will play an important role for each team and I would concede that OKC’s supporting cast might be stronger than Miami’s, but will they give OKC a decisive advantage? No, I don’t think they will.
I’m think we going to a long series between two teams that are close in terms of overall talent. I will be surprised if this series goes less than 6 games. I think the Miami Heat win in 6 or 7 games and LeBron James long quest for a ring will finally end.