The NBA Finals tip-off tonight and this, along with the both Celtics-Lakers series, is probably the most excited a lot of people have been since Jordan retired. The MVP and the MVP runner up, who play the same position, squaring off. I’m not sure I even know how to begin picking this series. My initial thought is pick the Heat because the Thunder haven’t seen a defense as fast as their’s this postseason. Then I think these teams are pretty equal and the team with home court gets the nod in those situations. Then I remember that’s what I thought with Spurs vs. Thunder and look how that turned out. Instead of making a prediction, let’s just look at a couple things to keep an eye on:
-How often do will we see Kevin Durant guard LeBron James and vice versa? If they’re guarding each other, who’s guarding Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade? Does Shane Battier come off the bench to chase James Harden around?
-How effective is Chris Bosh going to be pulling Serge Ibaka away from the basket? The Thunder’s perimeter defense isn’t stout. If Bosh can do a good job pulling Ibaka away from the basket, James, Wade and even Chalmers could have a field day getting to the rim.
-How often will Erik Spoelstra go small and how will it affect their defense? The Spurs had all sorts of problem with the Thunder once they went small. The Heat are a much better defensive team than the Thunder, but don’t exactly have a slew of paint protectors. If Spo doesn’t use his bigs properly this could get real ugly, real fast for the Heat.
-They didn’t seem to shy away or get nervous about being in the Western Conference Finals, they’d been there before. But what happens in the Finals, especially if they go back to Miami with series tied or even down 0-2 (pretty sure Miami will not go up 2-0)? This Thunder team seems to have ice water in the veins, but they’ll blink eventually, right? Right?! Anyone?
Like I said, no prediction here, just excitement. I don’t care who wins, I just want something exciting and something that’s going to provide with several rematches from here on out.