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LeBron, Durant to Face off in NBA Finals

Thunder take on Heat in Finals

FINALLY, we have the match-up we’ve all been craving from the moment the 2012 NBA season began.

LeBron James and the explosive Miami Heat will square off against Kevin Durant and the exciting Oklahoma City Thunder in what could be one of the most breathtaking NBA Finals series we have seen since “his airness” Michael Jordan was still shooting hoops in Chicago. Could one of these two teams create a dynasty like Michael did with the Bulls in the 90’s? Will one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history be created when the series is done? Only time will tell but the stage is set for one of the greatest sporting battles in recent history.

James is a 3-time MVP while Durant is a 3-time Scoring Champion, and by the end of this series, one of them will walk away with their first NBA ring and most likely the tag of best player in the game, but both insist that while all the media will be focused on them, it is all about their respective teams.

“Everybody is going to make the most out of the matchup of me versus LeBron, but it’s the Thunder versus the Heat,” Durant said Monday. “One guy versus another guy, it’s not going to be a 1-on-1 matchup to win the series, it’s going to be all about the team.”

And Durant’s statement couldn’t be more fitting, because the way these two powerhouses played throughout this season has been unbelievable. Sure, you have James and Durant’s amazing individual efforts, but to get to the Finals it takes teamwork. James and Durant both have talent around them, with the Thunder perhaps having greater depth on the bench in comparison to the Heat thanks to the likes of sixth-man of the year James Harden, but the Heat have the other two-thirds of the big three in Chris Bosh and 2006 Finals MVP Dwayne Wade. The Thunder have star point guard Russel Westbrook and blocks leader Serge Ibaka while Heat have defensive veteran Shane Battier coming off the bench. The list of players goes on for both teams and in reality the performance of both team’s role  players is what will prove vital in the outcome of this series. Focus all you want on the stars of both teams, but it will come down to how many hustle plays Udonis Haslem can make or how many clutch 3’s Derek Fisher can put up. It’s these guys who can win you a game. The stars are expected to perform but when you get a boost from role players, it’s incredible how much a team can improve in an instant. Durant, James, Westbrook and Wade have all been superstars of the league for years now and we all know they can single-handedly win a game by themselves so with these guys performing it is up to both teams bench’s and role players and whoever happens to win that battle will be crowned World Champions.

Both teams have had great post-seasons to date and hopefully they can keep up the momentum, not only for this series but for years to come, in what has the potential to become a great rivalry between two of the league’s superstars and their  supporting casts (also full of stars).  Both teams know how to win and it’s sure to be a great display of talent from the Heat and Thunder, and despite all this talk of the role players, the spotlight will undeniably be on the match-up between Durant and James.

“I think it’s going to bring the best out of both of them, and it’s going to be the best for the game,” Dwayne Wade said, “and it’s going to be a great show.”

My Pick: Heat 4-3 Finals MVP: Dwayne Wade

Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals tips off June 13, 11:00 AM AEST

 

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