NBA Finals scouting report: Thunder-Heat 

June, 10, 2012
By Anthony Macri

The Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off one of the most impressive feats in NBA history, winning four times in a row against a team that had previously won 20 straight. With a young, talented triumvirate in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, the Thunder possess a burst quality that makes them explosive offensively despite the tendency to revert to isolations and poor decisions. Their lack of true depth is something to consider, though it may be a mirage given the quality of their core group of players.

LeBron James’ play in the Eastern Conference finals was fantastic. He harnessed the Miami Heat to his back and carried them against the Boston Celtics despite the absence of Chris Bosh for most of the series and the inconsistency of Dwyane Wade in the last three games A man possessed for the entirety of Game 6 and in spurts of Game 7, James seems prepared to battle the demons of last year with a strong NBA Finals performance this season. However, he cannot do it alone. Wade must have a resurgence of mind and body, especially on the defensive end, and Bosh has to be ready for a much bigger share of the minutes. Heat coach Eric Spoelstra also has as much to prove as anyone going into this series, and must demonstrate the ability to manage emotions as this series promises to be full of runs for both sides.