NBA Handicapping Predictions – Heat vs Thunder
Game One of the NBA Finals tips off Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. The matchup so many people wanted has come true.
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NBA Basketball Matchup: Miami Heat (0-0) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (0-0)
NBA Finals: Game One
Date/Time: June 12, 9:00 PM EST on ABC
NBA Gambling Odds from Bovada
NBA Betting Favorite: Thunder -5
It will be LeBron James and the Miami Heat against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The oddsmakers have installed Oklahoma City as a -150 favorite to win the NBA Finals, but Miami is certainly an extremely dangerous team more than capable of winning it all.
LeBron James went off for 45 points in Game Six, and the Heat came back from a 3-2 deficit to beat the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Chris Bosh’s return helped the team in a big way. Bosh was instrumental in the 101-88 Game Seven win.
He finished 8 for 10 from the floor, and he knocked down an amazing three shots from beyond the arc. Miami might not be in the position it is now if it weren’t for Bosh getting back in the lineup. Miami may be best known for their offensive prowess, but it is the team’s defense that holds the key to the series. Can they slow down Oklahoma City’s high-octane offense?
Oklahoma City dug a 2-0 hole against San Antonio before rattling off four straight wins against the Spurs. Gregg Popovich said after the series that Oklahoma City has the most difficult offense to stop that the Spurs have played in many years. It all starts with Kevin Durant, who has been nearly impossible to guard this postseason. In each of the team’s four wins against the Spurs, Durant was awesome in the fourth quarter.
James Harden won the NBA’s sixth man award this year, and he has established himself as a star this season. Harden can shoot it from the outside or get to the rim. Russell Westbrook should have the advantage of Miami’s point guards in this series as well. Serge Ibaka averages 3 blocks per game, and his offensive game is much improved.
The Thunder lead the league in free throw percentage shooting.
Which team will find a way to slow down the super stars from the opposing team? I give Oklahoma City the edge in Game One, but five points is a lot to lay against this Miami Heat team.
Free NBA Pick: Heat +5