The two favourites at the start of the 2012 NBA Playoffs have made it to the 2012 NBA Finals. Not everyone is happy with the two teams in the finals, but it should prove to be the best two contenders and the basketball should be great to watch. The world’s best basketball players are on these two teams including Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant.
Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Odds
- Oklahoma City Thunder -174 (1.56)
- Miami Heat +157 (2.57)
2012 NBA Finals MVP Odds
- Kevin Durant -125 (1.80)
- Lebron James +181 (2.81)
- Russell Westbrook +1113 (12.13)
- Dwayne Wade +1445 (15.45)
- James Harden +2216 (23.16)
- Chris Bosh +3319 (34.19)
- Field +8834 (89.34)
Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Preview
Many would assume that the Miami Heat would be favourites in the 2012 NBA Finals, but Oklahoma City are the favourites and the odds have been rising slowly since being released. This series should be extremely close and several key players will need to have big impacts on the series to help their team hoist the 2012 NBA Championship trophy.
Oklahoma City has had the best run during the 2012 NBA Playoffs when you look at the two teams. The Thunder swept Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, beat the Lakers in only 5 games and then eliminated the Spurs in only 6 games. Beating SA in just 6 games was even more special because San Antonio actually took a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Miami had an easier road in the Eastern Conference and they still took 3 more games to advance to the finals than OKC. Miami took 5 games to beat the Knicks in the 1st round, 6 games to beat the Pacers in the 2nd round and 7 games to beat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. It isn’t hard to determine that OKC has had the tougher match-ups and performed better.
What happened in previous series doesn’t matter too much though and that’s why the players will begin the 7-game series to determine who wins the 2012 NBA Championship tomorrow night. Looking at the regular season series between these teams doesn’t tell us very much, as the series was tied 1-1 with both teams picking up a win on their home court.
Oklahoma City won the 1st game at home by a score of 103-87 as a small -2 point favourite while the Heat tied up the series on their home court with a 98-93 victory as a -3 point favourite. Home court may be huge in this series and Oklahoma City will have home court although it’s a bit different for the 2012 NBA Finals than in the rest of the NBA Playoffs series.
During the NBA Finals OKC will play the 1st two games at home while the Heat will get to play the next 3 games at home. The last two games of the series will be played on OKC’s home court. If Miami can steal a quick game on the road in this series they’ll be able to try and wrap up the 2012 NBA Finals on their home court in games 2 through 5.
We know that the two superstars on each team need to perform well during this series. Lebron James is leading the Heat with an average of 30.8 PPG while Dwayne Wade is averaging 22.9 PPG during the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Kevin Durant leads OKC with an average of 27.8 PPG and Russell Westbrook isn’t far behind with his 21.7 PPG.
Two of the most important players in this series will be James Harden (17.6 PPG) and Chris Bosh (13.7 PPG). Bosh missed most of the playoffs up to this point, but he has been averaging 13.7 PPG during the playoffs for the Heat. Bosh is now back and he was a key contributor in G7 against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Both players have a great trio that they can rely on, but after that OKC has more depth and that’s the reason why I think we’ll see the Thunder win this series. James was able to grab a hold of the Celtics series in the last two games, but against a younger team like Oklahoma City I don’t think he’ll be able to dominate like he did against the tired veterans on Boston.
The players on the Heat that will need to step up consistently during this series include Chalmers, Battier, Haslem and Miller, but only one of those players is averaging over 10 PPG (Chalmers 11.6 PPG). The rest of the players are averaging about 5 PPG each and have shown times where they’ve been able to contribute, but not consistently enough.
2012 NBA Finals Picks
I’m betting on the Thunder to win the 2012 NBA Championship and cause heartache for Heat fans. The city of Miami expects this team to win the championship, but the Thunder youth will prevail. The most important games of this series I think will be the 1st two games. Oklahoma City needs to win both of these games to build their confidence before heading to Miami for 3 games.
The Thunder have a great home crowd and they should win both games. They’ve had lots of time to prepare for the winner of the Heat/Celtics series and Miami should still be tired from their 7-game series. James had to do a ton of work in the final two games and he isn’t going to get any rest before this series. I think Durant should win the MVP as well if OKC wins the series, but I wouldn’t bet on him at the current odds.
OKC has been playing better on offence and defence when compared to Miami during the playoffs. OKC has been able to average 102.9 PPG with an eFG% of 51.5% while the Heat have averaged only 98 PPG with an eFG% of 50.4%. OKC plays at a higher pace on should put tons of pressure on Miami who hasn’t been able to rest. On defence the Thunder give up a bit more, but hold their opponents to an eFG% of 46.8% compared to Miami’s 47.5%.
- My Pick – Oklahoma City to Win Series 4-2