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Friday, February 24, 2012

Miami and OKC show why they are the favorites to meet in the NBA Finals:



The Miami Heat had heard it all about Linsanity and the new look New York Knicks. Dwayne Wade for one said he was ready to guard the sensational point guard as soon as the Knicks plane landed. You could tell that both Wade and Lebron James would ratchet up the heat (Pun intended) for this game due to the nature of hype and anticipation. The result was a resounding 102-88 victory that saw them dismantle what is the hottest story in sports. Lin was assaulted all night as they forced him into 8 turnovers and just 8 points on 1 for 11 shooting. Miami clearly game planned for Lin as they hounded him relentlessly up and down the court I can't remember another game where it was hard to just take dribbles,'' said Lin and it showed.



Don’t think for one second the Heat didn’t see how Lin dropped 38 on Kobe and the Lakers and another 28 and 14 assists on Dirk and the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. They knew this kid could play but they wanted to see him up close and personal. Carmelo and Amare could only sit back and stare as the new found savior point of guard struggled most of the night. Melo is still trying to find his groove and finished 7 if 20 as he was caught in the line of fire that was the suffocating Miami defense. The Heat just wore them down with there intense defense some of the best rotations you will see just as they just smothered the Knicks high octane offense. Lebron would finish with 20 points 9 rebounds and 8 assists. His sidekick Wade added 22 points and 5 rebounds and third wheel Chris Bosh had 25 points and 8 rebounds for good measure. The Heat had heard about the story and couldn’t wait to tear it all to pieces which they did last night.



No one has a better fast break transition offense then the Heat. The only team that is even in the conversation is the Oklahoma City Thunder and they used their young legs to outrun and gun the Los Angles Lakers100-85. Kevin Durant is getting to the point in his career where you just can’t guard him. He dropped 33 on the Lakers and didn’t even seem to break a sweat. His trusty second hand man Russell Westbrook chipped in with 19 and they just overwhelmed Los Angeles. This is a young team that has had the chance to gel together and its starting to pay big dividends. What gets lost in all of the Durant and Westbrook talk is that quietly Serge “I’ll block ya” Ibaka is leading the league in blocked shots. He also is the perfect glue guy big man that cleans up on misses and does a lot of the dirty work for his superstar teammates. Another guy you can’t forget with the Thunder is the bearded Mohawk one himself James Harden. His versatility and wiliness to come off the bench creates a major problem for most teams they face. Harden had 16 points on an efficient 6 of 10 shooting and traded jabs with Kobe Bryant for most of the night. His competitiveness seemed to be contagious as his teammates all jumped in and they just took it the Lakers, making them look slow and old for the most part. Kobe was never able to get on track as OKC held him to 7 of 24 from the field.



So in summarizing, clearly the Miami and OKC are the best teams in the NBA at the mid-point of the season. They are tied for the best record in the league at 26-7 and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. They both have transcendent talents on the wings and are the best fast break teams in the NBA. Both are not without their flaws as well as neither has a go to low post threat which could pose a problem in the playoffs when games tend to slow down. OKC is a jump shooting team that if the shots aren’t falling that night then they are vulnerable. Miami always is at the will of Lebron in the final minutes possibly choking and bad clock management which plagued them at the worst possible times last year. But even with that being said about both teams, it’s hard to pick against an OKC vs. Miami Finals match up. They have the superstars in Durant, James, Westbrook, Wade and Bosh. They have the high paced offenses with devastating fast breaks that would keep everyone glued to the seats. The question now is if they can both make it out of their respective conference and give the fans the collision course they are expecting in the Finals. Stay tuned as the both teams try to make it to the promise land and it appears all but inevitable.

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