Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 6/12/12


Though each new season begins with even higher hopes of contention, the Knicks have been ousted in the first round of the playoffs the past two seasons.

Forced to watch at home, most Knicks players will probably hold back from rooting for anyone in this season's NBA Finals, which begin tonight. But the same can't be said for all of their fans.

After watching New York lose to both the Celtics and Heat over the last two seasons, it was unlikely that Knicks fans would be cheering on the winner of the Boston-Miami Eastern Conference Finals matchup.

With even more bitterness and disdain for LeBron James following "The Decision," just about every Knicks fan will be jumping on the Oklahoma City Thunder bandwagon during The Finals. In what's sure to be a classic superstar matchup, James and Kevin Durant will lead the way for their respective teams as each player seeks out his first NBA title.

After performing at quite the historical level during the Conference Finals, it's obvious James is in the zone. After failing to lead the Cavaliers to a title on his own in 2007, the current NBA M.V.P. received even more criticism when he and his star-studded teammates couldn't work together to bring home the bacon to Miami last season either.

But now the 27 year old James appears more focused and determined than ever. In an even stronger attempt to prove the doubters wrong, he's carried the Heat on his back. James is clearly out to silence the critics with the ultimate goal not only simply in mind, but more in reach than ever before.

The only problem is that a player as fierce as Durant stands in his' way. In fact, with a supporting cast that includes Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher, the Thunder may in fact represent an even tougher matchup for the Heat than teams like the Spurs, Lakers, or Mavericks would have.

James will certainly have his hands full trying to contain Durant, whom he actually worked out with in Akron during the NBA lockout. The same can be said for Dwyane Wade, who will likely be asked to guard Westbrook throughout the series. What's more, James and Wade will be forced to get creative offensively, as both players enjoy penetrating to the basket. If either player wants to duplicate some of the success they've experienced in the postseason thus far, they will have to evade the Thunder's intimidating defensive frontline of Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.

Both still 23 years old, it's not common for a dynamic duo as young as Durant and Westbrook to be leading their squad to the NBA Finals. Though they've taken the league by storm, emerging as two of the best players in the league, first time may not be the charm for this young squad. On the flip side, the Heat has obviously endured the bumps and bruises most developing teams experience. Perhaps this year is finally their year to rise above, whereas for the Thunder, it's simply the first taste of what will be a longer journey to ultimately taking home the title.

Whether or not the Thunder are truly ready to emerge as NBA Champions on their first attempt remains to be seen. Nevertheless, Knicks fans all around will be rooting for the young guns to deliver an upset, prolonging the suffering James and his teammates have endured over the last two seasons.

Though most Knicks fans may not want to hear it, there may be one small reason to hope for a Heat title victory: to be able to witness what's sure to be an electrifying and exuberant Ronny Turiaf celebration.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Philip Rivers cleared to play Sunday against Bills

Simone Biles blasts Gabby Douglas over response to sexual abuse post

D'Angelo Russell underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Friday

Derrick Rose to miss at least two weeks with ankle injury

Jameis Winston: Uber driver’s ‘accusation is false’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerry Jones apologizes after video of racially charged comment emerges

Russell Wilson couldn't talk, was on liquid diet for days due to nearly broken jaw

Report: Tennessee has 'considerable reservations' about hiring Jon Gruden

NFL owner reached out to Adam Silver about commissioner job?

‘Still OKC’ Kevin Durant: ‘Ain’t no such thing’ as loyalty

Report: Leonard Fournette’s ankle is ‘still not right’

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

NFL Week 11 predictions

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Vikings' unnecessary quarterback conundrum is Mike Zimmer's doing

Time to admit the Blues are good, but can they be great?

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

NFL Week 11 predictions

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker