- David Thorpe, ESPN Staff Writer
Anyone who has watched the Miami Heat play this season has seen it.
The Heat's chemistry was there last season, too, and it's a big reason why the Heat have a championship ring. It was a contributing factor in the Heat's ability to put together the second-longest winning streak in NBA history after less than three full seasons of playing together. We're not only talking about talent, but about words like love, togetherness, unselfishness and a genuine and consistent desire to play for one another.
Indeed, Miami has all the pieces to win a second consecutive title. However, one other team is its equal in overall talent: the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On the surface, the Thunder conjure images similar to the Heat, with their beaming smiles and high fives. They also possess many of those same team-first attributes the Heat display.
Hidden behind their sparkling record and all the incessant chatter about the James Harden trade exists a fault line caused mostly by immaturity. And that, more than any personnel issue, is the biggest difference between the Heat and Thunder. It's as if there are two faces to the Oklahoma City Thunder: the talented near-champions and the selfish and immature kids.
The question is: Can the Thunder grow up in time to beat the Heat this June?
7dEthan Sherwood Strauss