The key points to the NBA Finals
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The NBA Finals are here and it’s time to break down the key factors that will crown a winner.
The Match Ups: The pundits have all laid out the immaculate plans for how the match-ups will play out in this series.
To be honest, we will see a lot of Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James early on but as things progress both of these lineups will shake things up to create new matchups.
That will be were things truly get interesting.
If anything, the most interesting matchups to watch for will be the battle of the sharpshooters. Can a guy like the Heat’s Shane Battier outgun the Thunder’s James Harden from three-point land?
James vs. Durant: You know how we said that the match-ups will be skewed on the court? Well they won’t be by the media and the court of public opinion.
No matter how this plays out, this season will be a step forward for the Thunder and Kevin Durant. Last season they lost to the eventual champs in the Western Conference finals.
This year they take another step forward into the NBA finals. Regardless of how this goes down, Durant is a winner.
As bad as he wants to be decorated as a champion, in the back of his mind, Durant knows that he does not have to process one-third of the stress that James does.
Thus, he can afford to relax and just play basketball minus the marquee pressure that would have been on him if he was taking on the Celtics.
To the other side, James knows that he must deliver. Regardless of how well he plays, he has to uplift those around them as he cannot pull a Game 6 on this Thunder team and single-handily leap tall buildings in a single-bound.
If it’s reading, meditation and envisioning a day where he can get analyst Skip Bayless alone in a locked room with a sack full of rocks for five minutes, James has to break out his bag of tricks.
His circumstances are not fair per se, but they are what they are.
Wade and Westbrook: Neither Dwyane Wade or Russell Westbrook were dominant in their conference finals performances.
They both started to turn it on a bit more during the last two games of their respective runs, but this thing could come down to which number-two-in-command leaves more of themselves on the court.
They are both moody and streaky as basketball players but Wade is obviously more mature in this moment.
Overall Line-Up: The Heat’s starting five falls off after you get past the big three. I like what they all bring to the table but they are going to have to play beyond themselves to win this series.
Mario Chalmers has to step up and claim his spot on the team. Center Joel Anthony has punched his ticket out of the playoffs it seems and I would not be surprised if he is gone after this season.
Anthony’s situation points to the fact that the Heat has a gaping hole inside that they need to correct. Chris Bosh is a big man but the Heat lack a center that is going to knock heads.
Udonis Haslem has the attitude to play that enforcer role but he’s not Kendrick Perkins and that is where things can get salty for the Heat.
Perkins is a monster that can and will destroy the opposition with brute force. We don’t talk enough about he sets his team up to win by doing the dirty work.
The Thunder has not a single dent in their armor. Their lineup is strong in every way. You can’t point to their roster and say ‘well they don’t have this.’
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