Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Lebron-james-part-time

The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder are set to square off in what is one of the most anticipated NBA Finals in quite some time. Some of the biggest stars in the game will face off with the potential matchup of Kevin Durant and LeBron James taking center stage.

The Heat looked dead in the water in the Boston series, but played their way out of a 3-2 hole and earned some confidence in the process. With Chris Bosh back, and seemingly healthy it gives the Heat a big body in the middle to compete with Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. James has been phenomenal in the postseason so far making up for last years’ Finals debacle and picking up the slack for his struggling teammate Dwayne Wade.

Even though James has shown what he’s capable of the Heat will be better off if he doesn’t need to score 40. Wade and Bosh are pivotal in this series because the Thunder

Wade will need to play better in this series if he wants to win his second championship.

are athletic and versatile, which allows them to score with anyone. Defensively the Heat will need to be better than they were last series as well. Oklahoma City has much younger and dynamic scorers than the Celtics do, and Miami struggled against them.

The Heat may be considered the favorites by some, but I really believe a lot needs to go right for them to beat this Thunder team.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Thunder beat the Spurs. I mean no disrespect to the Spurs, but they aren’t the most entertaining team in the league. Kevin Durant and company really showed a lot of maturity to battle back in the series. Beating an experienced, talented team like the Spurs verified my belief that this group plays at a more mature level than their age suggests.

Everyone hates the Heat because they are a “super team”, but the Thunder has just as many stars, and just as much talent as they do. James Harden has been coming off the bench almost all year and has consistently been putting up big numbers. It appears his game has taken another step forward and is quickly becoming the Thunder’s third star. If he can continue the form he’s been in recently it will be too much for the Heat to handle.

The x-factor in this series is Russell Westbrook. He can be the unselfish player I’ve seen him become lately, or the guy who competes with his own players for glory. If Westbrook continues to play like he has this postseason it could be an easy series for the Thunder, but something tells me his ego might be a little more alive against the Heat.

Ibaka and Perkins should dominate inside. Not that they’ll ever see the ball unless they get an offensive rebound, but Bosh is coming back from an injury and isn’t much of a physical threat anyway. If the Thunder are smart they will use that matchup mismatch to their advantage.

Miami is arguably the most hated team in sports and everyone is rooting for them to lose. If Durant and Westbrook play together and include their big men it could be a short series with Wade and Bosh out of form, but Westbrook is an enigma so anything can happen.

Thunder in 6.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.