NBA Finals Prediction

Posted: 06/10/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

The Heat picked up the win at home in game 7 against the Celtics, setting up the series everybody wanted: Oklahoma City Thunder against Miami Heat. These teams are both exciting to watch when they are on, and both can also put up stinkers. These teams have a lot of similarities. One is that both have exciting big 3’s. Now it’s time to look at each team.

Miami Heat:

Regular Season: 46-20
Playoffs: 12-6
Coach: Erik Spoelstra. Career regular season record: 194-118 (.622)
The Starting Lineup:
PG: Mario Chalmers:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpyi7EtFuFs.
Regular Season: 9.8 PPG/ 2.7 RPG/ 3.5 APG/ 1.5 SPG.        Playoffs: 12.4 PPG/ 3.4 RPG/ 4.4 APG/ 1.9 SPG
Chalmers is a good defender, and a good three point shooter. He isn’t the best passing PG and he doesn’t drive and dish as much as he should. He is a solid role player.

SG: Dwyane Wade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImlKHUnQuN4
Regular Season: 22.1 PPG/ 4.8 RPG/ 4.6 APG/ 1.3 BPG/ 1.7 SPG. Playoffs: 22.9 PPG/ 5.6 RPG/ 5.3 APG/ 1.3 BPG/ 1.8 SPG
Dwyane Wade had his worst season in a long time, but he was still very good. He had some injury troubles, but now looks to be back at full strength. Wade has more blocked shots than any other guard.

SF: LeBron James: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnURmgs0seg   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-9gyZj-STs
Regular Season: 27.1 PPG/ 7.9 RPG/ 6.2 APG/ 1.9 SPG. Playoffs: 30.8 PPG/ 9.6 RPG/ 5.1 APG/ 1.9 SPG
LeBron James won his 3rd MVP, and now looks for his first NBA Championship. He has been excellent this postseason, including back to back great games against the Celtics in games 6 and 7.

PF: Udonis Haslem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOpddW4ml1U&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL5B33546D91F7C39F
Regular Season: 6 PPG/ 7.3 RPG. Playoffs: 5.5 PPG/ 7 RPG
Udonis Haslem gives the Heat some needed rebounding. He doesn’t score much, but that’s ok for the Heat.

C: Chris Bosh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KrSftYEgwY
Regular Season: 18 PPG/ 7.9 RPG/ 1.8 APG. Playoffs: 13.7 PPG/ 6.9 RPG
Bosh has been fighting off an injury, and has struggled in the playoffs. However, in game 7 he showed signs of shaking the rust off. Bosh, the third part of the big 3 (Wade-James-Bosh), is the worst player in the big 3, but he is still very good

Bench: Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony, Norris Cole, Juwuan Howard, James Jones, Ronny Turiaf, Dexter Pittman

Injury concerns: Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Regular Season: 47-19
Playoffs: 12-3
Coach: Rick Carlisle. Career regular season record: 479-325 (.596)
The lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fly8Q3r8F60
Regular Season: 23.6 PPG/ 4.6 RPG/ 5.5 APG/ 1.7 SPG. Playoffs: 21.7 PPG/ 5.1 RPG/ 5.6 APG/ 1.7 SPG
Russell Westbrook is loved by some fans and media and hated by others. He is loved because he has one of the best pull up jump shots in the NBA. He is hated because he is some times a ballhog. When he distributes the ball well and runs the offense, OKC usually wins. When he doesn’t, they still usually win, but not as often.

SG: Thabo Sefolosha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPcgPmRtfVY
Regular Season: 4.8 PPG, 3 RPG, 1.1 APG. Playoffs: 5.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.5 SPG
Sefolosha is a role player. He is a good defensive player, so he starts. The Thunder also like to keep James Harden on the bench so they can have someone who scores off the bench. Sefolosha enables them to do that.

SF: Kevin Durant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d6kHxRmCFE
Regular Season: 28 PPG/ 8 RPG/ 3.5 APG/ 1.2 BPG/ 1.3 SPG. Playoffs: 27.8 PPG/ 7.9 RPG/ 4.2 APG/ 1.3 BPG/ 1.5 SPG
Kevin Durant is arguably the best scorer in the NBA. He has also proved in the playoffs that he is the best clutch player in the NBA (yes, in my opinion he has past Kobe). In the Youtube video  I attached, Stephen A Smith talks about Durant, and I agree with what he said. KD could end up as the best scorer EVER (he is only 23).

PF: Serge Ibaka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-qXU-Vteb4
Regular Season: 9.1 PPG/ 7.5 RPG/ 3.7 BPG. Playoffs: 10.7 PPG/ 5.9 RPG/ 3.2 BPG
Serge Iblocka is a monster. While he doesn’t score as much as many players, he is extremely underrated. I bolded the “3.7” blocks per game because of how amazing that is. He led the league by a pretty wide margin. This guy is extremely important to the Thunder, and is the fourth player in their “Core 4” (Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka).

C: Kendrick Perkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_1bY-aUHt4
Regular Season: 5.1 PPG/ 6.6 RPG/ 1.2 APG/ 1.1 BPG. Playoffs: 4.7 PPG/ 6 RPG/ .9 APG/ 1.5 BPG
Kendrick Perkins is a tough-as-nails center. He is one of the toughest players in the NBA, and he is very important to the Thunder. Perkins is known as the guy who shuts down Dwight Howard. This tells us that he is a great defender, and is good at getting into opponents heads. He doesn’t score much, but he is good at rebounding and blocking shots.

Bench: James Harden, Nick Collison, Nazr Mohammed, Derek Fisher, Royal Ivey, Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward

Injury Concerns: No major injuries

My Prediction:

Thunder in 6 games. Going into game 3 against the Spurs, San Antonio had a 20 game win streak. The Thunder promptly won 4 straight, and look for their momentum to carry into the finals. On the other hand, the Heat were up and down in their series against the Celtics, but overall they weren’t actually all that impressive. After winning games 1-2, they lost 3-5 before winning the final two, including one in Boston.

Matchup That Everyone wants to see:

Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James. Who is the best player in the NBA? We could find out here.

X-Factor for the Heat:

Chris Bosh’s health. If he is healthy, the Heat will have a force down low, and they are very hard to beat when they are healthy.

X-Factor for the Thunder:

Ball handling and ball movement. In the regular season, the Thunder had the most turnovers. They have cut down in the playoffs, but it is still a problem. In the regular season, the Thunder had trouble moving the ball effectively, ranking near the bottom in assists. They have gotten better in the playoffs, but that is also still a problem.

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Comments
  1. philabundant says:

    I think Perkins’ ability to keep Bosh from gearing up is the key to this series. Without a real contribution from Bosh, Miami is unlikely to win this series.

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