Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 6/12/12

The NBA Finals tips of Tuesday night as the Miami Heat travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder.

The series features plenty of young star power on two teams that beat older, more experienced teams in the Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James bring mega-star power to the NBA FInals. (Image via ThatsEnuff.com)

How They Got Here

Even thought the Heat and Thunder are the two seeds in their respective conferences, they are arguably the top two teams in the league. The Bulls could stake that claim if Rose was healthy, but with him out the Heat are clearly the East’s top team.

The Heat were up 2-0 in their series against the Celtics, but after losing three in a row were down 3-2 with Game 6 in Boston. They countered that with two easy wins over Boston to win the East for the second year in a row.

The Spurs finished the year with the top seed in the West, but the Thunder proved they were the better team in their series against them. After going down 2-0 in the series, the Thunder ended the Spurs’ 20-game win streak by winning four games in a row of their own to take the series. This included a win on San Antonio’s home floor, which was the Spurs’ only home loss of the postseason.

Biggest Storyline

The main story of this series, and of the entire postseason, is LeBron’s quest for his first title. He has been the best player of the entire postseason thus far, and should be as he was the MVP of the regular season. He has averaged 30.8 points a game, which tops Kevin Durant’s 27.8.

Being a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers, I personally do not enjoy the idea of LeBron James winning a title. However, I do respect the fact that he is arguably the best basketball player on the planet. Disregarding his individual accomplishments and skill is unfair to him, and everyone around the country, even those who hate the Heat, must respect his abilities.

Key Players and Matchups

LeBron will lead the Heat along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but others will need to step up for Miami. It is the same old story, but if one or more of the members of the Big Three has a subpar night, other Heat players must have solid games.

Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier are two that must score in double digits, along with Udonis Haslem. Haslem and Chalmers have been reliable, but Battier has not been consistent enough this postseason.

LeBron will be matched up with Durant while Wade will be against Thabo Sefolosha. Both Thunder players are great defenders, which makes the rest of the Heat roster more responsible to put up decent point totals.

The Thunder have the advantage in this series for the same reason why the Mavericks had the advantage a year ago; they are an actual team. With someone like James Harden coming off of the bench, the Thunder have a deep team compared to the Heat. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins provide threats in the post, compared to only Chris Bosh for the Heat. Bosh will likely be guarded by Ibaka, due to his athleticism, which makes his job that much harder.

Heat-Thunder Prediction

I have a tough time picking against the Thunder.

Nothing against the Celtics, but if the Heat struggled with them then they will have a much tougher time against the Thunder, who won four straight against the Spurs. Durant, Westbrook, and Harden combine to make a more effective Big Three than that of James, Wade, and Bosh.

The Heat need to make some changes for next year, as I do not see them defeating the Thunder in this series. I see the Thunder winning in six games.

*****

Now it’s your turn:

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

**********

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Spurs sign David West

Report: Marc Gasol signs five-year deal with Grizzlies

Manu Ginobili announces he will return next season

Robinson Cano dealing with stomach ailment all season

Tony Romo on Dez Bryant's contract: 'I think it will work out'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Giants pull $60 million offer to Jason Pierre-Paul

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Report: DeAndre Jordan was tired of Chris Paul's antics

Marcus Smart eager to show full skill set with injury behind him

Geno Smith: Brandon Marshall is 'a quarterback's best friend'

Report: NFL executive questions hype around Sam Bradford

Bryce Harper skipping HR Derby because of dad's injury

Braves the most interesting team to watch at the deadline?

Video shows FSU QB De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Dwyane Wade: I'll retire 'when I can no longer play'

How Matt Ryan became “Matty Ice”

The long road of an NBA second-round pick

Jameis Winston visits Miami teen in hospital with condition

2015 MLB first-half all-surprise team

World Cup Final smashes ratings records

Tsunami survivor fulfills dream by signing with Sporting Lisbon

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

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.