It took just three years as the Thunder, only three years removed from a 3-29 start that had them on pace for the worst record in the Western Conference, to turn things around and capture the Western Conference Championship, winning 4-2 over the San Antonio Spurs in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
For the Miami Heat, a lot of heat was given as the “Big 3”, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade talked about how many championships that they would win in Miami, only to get their last year and have their dream taken away by Dirk Nowitzki , Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler and the Dallas Mavericks. However, despite all of that they found a way to capture the Eastern Conference Championship , going seven games against the older “Big 3” in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics.
OKC, as it’s called is led by a group of young guns in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka, and oldtimer Derek Fisher, who came over from the Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder weren’t worried about the fact that the Spurs had won 20 in a row. They now look to take advantage of having home-court advantage in the finals.
The first two games of the NBA Finals will take place on Tuesday and Thursday in OKC, then the series will shift to Miami for three straight games. The series will end in OKC if needed for games six and seven.
Kevin Durant is a leader, and he never wants to take those exciting moments for granted. As the seconds ticked away towards the end of the Spurs season, Durant ran down the court to hug his mother and brothers and celebrate with them.
The leadership of the old man, in Derek Fisher, a player who has won five NBA Championships already and the clutch man- James Harden will be key facets in this championship series.
NBA Most Valuable Player, LeBron James was unstoppable in the last two games of the Eastern Conference Championship, and he will have to bring the same intensity to shut down the youthfulness of OKC!
James became the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in the 2000 finals to have six 30-plus games in the playoffs. His series averages against the Boston Celtics was 33.6 points and 11 rebounds on 53 percent shooting.
“LeBron was absolutely brilliant in the series against the Boston Celtics, and we all know it,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He was driving us with his will. He pushed himself beyond his limits and he was simply amazing!”
Joining James, will be Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Shane Battier, and Mario Chalmers. Back in April, Wade’s girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union, was banned from sitting courtside. Union loves to heckle , not only the players but also the referees. So Wade, not the police asked Union to move to some other seats in the arena.
James and the Heat lost to Dallas in last season’s Finals. Durant and the Thunder lost to Dallas in last season’s Western Conference finals. This probably couldn’t have been scripted any better, the two best players in the world, scarred by similar disappointment, trying to make each other better.
The Heat and the Thunder split two games during the regular season, both winning at home. Durant scored the most points in the NBA this season at 1,850, James was second with 1,683. James won the MVP award; Durant finished second in that balloting. And in these Finals, one will finish first again, the other second again.
“It’s not about Kevin and LeBron,” Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. “It’s not about any other thing than playing good basketball against a very good team.”