It’s the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Miami Heat for all the marbles. A world championship is on the line. The NBA couldn’t have dreamt up a more sexy match-up for the finals.
LeBron James is 27 years old. He a three time NBA regular season MVP. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant is 23 years old. He is a three time scoring champion.
Two of the NBA’s bright young stars are on the big stage and have a chance to win their first rings to help cement their legacies in NBA history.
For the Miami Heat, it is their second trip to the Finals in as many seasons after the Big Three came to South Beach and promised not one, two, but as many as eight championships. (I don’t think LeBron was thinking of Eastern Conference championships, either. He has two with the Heat, and one with the Cavs.)
Miami got up 2 to 0 on Boston, then fell behind 3 to 2 before winning the next two games to advance to the NBA Finals. Not to mention, it was all behind the King or Chosen One, LeBron James. James played with that look in his eyes. That look of a champion.
If you like James or am a hater, either way, you had to be impressed by his historic game 6 performance where he had 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. His game 7 wasn’t too shabby either. He has silenced his critics for now. However, were are on the big stage now, the NBA Finals. Last year, LeBron couldn’t finish, he would play well for three quarters and disappear. It was like a magician’s act. Is this his time?
You can’t give James all the credit either. Before Game 6, people were questioning James, Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat. Is James capable of bringing the Heat back? What if they lose to the Celtics, is Spoelstra done? What’s wrong with Wade? Will Chris Bosh play again?
All of those questions got answered. James had two big games to finish the aging Celtics. I have to think his three pointer in Game 7, which felt like it was from half court, was the momentum killer. Don’t forget Bosh’s huge defense and three pointers in Game 7 either or Shane Battier’s performance.
So, can the Heat win a ring now?
Out in the wild west, as Garth Brooks once sang, the Oklahoma City Thunder are rolling. They are formerly the Seattle SuperSonics, and are led by Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. In fact, Westbrook and Harden are 23 and 22 years old. So, could this be the start of a dynasty in Oklahoma City? Don’t forget role players like Serge Ibaka (I-block-a), Kendrick Perkins, Derek Fisher (he wants to one up Kobe Bryant and get his sixth ring).
For the Thunder, I am most intrigued by is the job that head coach Scott Brooks is doing. His team was down 2 to 0 to the San Antonio Spurs. They had won twenty games in a row. They’ve won championships. Yet, defying odds, the Thunder hand the Spurs four consecutive losses. The Thunder got nasty on the Spurs. Now, can they get nasty again on the Miami Heat?
All I can say is that this NBA Finals is going to be a heck of a series. Television ratings will skyrocket. Having two of the game’s best young stars in the Finals will make people excited about the NBA again. I know I will be in front the television screen every time these teams square off for the NBA finals!