Thunder too talented
Thunder in six. If Chris Bosh were fully healthy, there might be an issue of overall talent. The Thunder simply come from too many directions with too many weapons.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will have to be at the absolute top of their games. The Thunder are young, athletic, long and talented. And that would seem to be too much to overcome.
The Thunder are coming off a confidence-inspiring showing in the Western Conference finals against the Spurs, while the Heat are coming off a matter of survival against the Celtics. You have to wonder how much is left in the tank with Erik Spoelstra playing such a tight rotation.
Los Angeles Times
A tantalizing Finals showdown of Big Threes, one organic, one manufactured; three-timers, a scoring champ and an MVP; and collars, blue and popped.
The Thunder have a better bench (James Harden, largely), better coach (Scott Brooks reversed the Spurs' 2-0 series lead), better legs (their top four scorers are under 24) and a better defense (Thabo Sefolosha outside, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins inside).
They also has (a crazy loud) home-court advantage. OKC just plowed through 10 of the last 13 NBA champs (the Lakers, Mavericks and Spurs). LeBron James is playing on a stratospheric level but his third chance at a ring will be a repeat of the last two. Thunder in six.
Heat won't be denied
They won't be a popular champion, but it's as if they've been playing against the world from the start anyway. The Heat will not be denied this time.
They're beyond hungry after losing in the NBA Finals to the Mavericks last season. The Heat are so desperate to remove this boom-or-bust burden that they'll play with an edge the young Thunder can't comprehend yet.
The deeper Thunder have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but they haven't played in a Finals yet. Dwyane Wade has a ring, and LeBron James twice lost chances to be sized for one.
The Heat have the experience, and Chris Bosh is back. Their title blueprint is on the line, as is LeBron's reputation. Heat in six.
Thunder will rumble
Size wins in the playoffs. Home-court advantage doesn't hurt either. And a solid point guard? Check, please.
As much as this felt like the Heat's year, the Thunder will win in six or seven games.
LeBron James is on a mission, as his sterling performances in Game 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference finals proved. And he will be dominant in this series. But the Heat's biggest weaknesses are point guard and frontcourt size.
Russell Westbrook will dazzle. And Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison will do the dirty work up front. Throw in the wild card that is James Harden and the long-armed defense of Thabo Sefolosha and the Thunder will be celebrating on their home floor.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun