NBA finals a matchup for the ages
The NBA finals match-up between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat promises to be one of the greatest we have ever seen.
I must confess that I did not not expect the Thunder to make it. Only six per-cent of teams two nil down in their position have progressed to the finals. To win four games in a row against a rampant Spurs including one on the road and one coming from 18 points down was a Herculean effort.
Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden are all superstars. However, it was the contributions from players like Collison, Ibaka, Cook and Sefolosha that made the difference in the series against the Spurs. Another factor that can not be underestimated was the late season acquisition of Derek Fisher.
He is a born winner and his locker room presence has been invaluable for this young team . Scott Brooks is a fantastic coach and his ability to make adjustments later in the series to stop the penetration of Spurs was brilliant. I believe that we are watching a good team develop into a championship dynasty before our very eyes.
The Miami Heat have already silenced some doubters. With their backs to the Wall against the Boston Celtics, Lebron James in games six and seven simply would not let them lose. He put the team on his back when it mattered. Chris Bosh was also an x-factor in game seven. His return from injury is key for the finals match-up.
Dwayne Wade, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier all had solid series and the criticism the team continually cops seems to be bringing them together. Coach Spoelstra has also conducted himself very well in the face of adversity.
How much has he learnt from last years finals? Time will tell. The Boston Celtics exceeded expectations making the conference finals and the fact that it took the Heat seven games to despatch them may be a query on their form.
I think this promises to be one of the great finals series of all time. I am tipping the Thunder in 7 games because of home court advantage, greater depth and more scoring power across the board. Whoever wins the championship, the real winners will be us fans getting to watch two great teams go at it from Wednesday.