For all intents and purposes the NBA Finals ended last night when the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder. Unlike the San Antonio series where the Thunder stormed back to win the Western Conference finals by using their youthful legs that is not going to happen to the Heat. Oklahoma City is a good young team that with some improvement and some tweaking of the roster they will be a championship contender for years to come. What has killed the Thunder in this series is crucial plays at crucial times. Miami has shown their experience in these situations by making the crucial play whether hitting a key shot or grabbing a rebound to stall a Thunder comeback.
In last night’s game Miami came together as a team. LeBron James was just lights out. Last night was his best and most complete playoff game of his career. Whether it was passing, shooting, or rebounding he did it all. In this series he has elevated his game to another level to match Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Mario Chalmers scored 25 points and was consistent from outside the entire game. Dwyane Wade also scored 25. Chris Bosh has outplayed the Thunder big men and looks to have shed the “soft” label as he has not backed down from physical play and has held his own against Oklahoma City. Rookie Norris Cole hit some big three point shots in the first half to help erase a big Thunder lead. In this series the Heat bench has played excellent basketball and has shown the basketball world that they can contribute in a big way. Bet on NBA basketball odds now.
Russell Westbrook had one of the greatest performances in finals history. It reminded me of the game Isaiah Thomas had against Lakers in game six of the 1988 finals. He just took over the Thunder offense and showed what an offensive force he can be. Westbrook has been criticized for shooting too much in the playoffs but last night he had to. James Harden has played poorly in the finals and the constant pounding of Kevin Durant by the Heat defense is taking a toll on him. Durant has become timid when he cuts to the basket. Westbrook could not trust any of his teammates last night on the offensive side of the court so he did what a great point does take over when he has to.
Game five will tell a lot about both teams. It will be interesting to see if the Heat can close out the Thunder on their home court. For the Thunder can they show some toughness and not roll over and let the Heat win easily. In the NBA it’s a game about steps and lessons. Miami learned their lesson last year in the finals versus Dallas this year it’s Oklahoma City’s turn to learn. Check out the odds on the NBA Playoffs games.