Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's Poppin: Game 5 of NBA Finals

King James or Durantula?

The Finals that we all hoped for featuring some of the best young talent in the NBA squaring off against each other, the MVP up against the scoring champion, the Miami Heat versus the Oklahoma City Thunder...could game 5 be the end? Regardless what happens to finish the series currently led by Miami 3-1, either King James will finally get his ring or we will witness one of the greatest comebacks in sports history that will be put in the same category as the Red Sox coming back from down 3-1 to the Yankees in 2004.

As great as a comeback might sound to many of you LeBron haters out there, tonight the King will sit on top of his throne in Miami as a champion and here is why...

Lets first compare the two teams so called "Big 3"...even though the Thunder is more of an "Offensive 2" in my opinion. We have Lebron-Durant, Wade-Westbrook, & Bosh-Harden.

I don't care if you like Lebron James or not, he will go down as one of the best players in NBA history. And unlike Durant, Lebron has the entire package, which is why he was the MVP. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Kevin Durant and he can basically score at will with his length...but thats all he can do!! Lets take a look at the numbers:

LeBron James

Playoff AveragesMIA222242.70.5010.2680.7332.

Kevin Durant

Playoff AveragesOKC191941.80.5150.3650.8610.

Statistically they seem pretty equal, but there is one major stat that stands out for me...assists. LeBron has the vision and ability to get others involved whereas Durant just looks to score. Being a pure scorer isn't necessarily a bad thing, but what happens when Battier comes off Sefolosha and doubles Durant in crunch time of the 4th quarter? Since Sefolosha rarely touches the ball and hasn't already been involved, he won't have any confidence built up to make that big shot. LeBron on the other hand knows how to find people and that is why Chalmers and Battier have been deadly in this series. They would be capable of making that clutch shot if LeBron got doubled late in the game. If Durant isn't scoring, he is basically invisible on the court...if LeBron isn't scoring, he is racking up assists and playing good defense. KD has NO defense except maybe a blocked shot from time to time due to his length. The main question in regards to tonights game, however, is how will the injury effect LeBron? We shall see, but I think he is good to go.

I'm not going to go as much into statistics with this comparison because Russell Westbrook is still taking shots as we speak and I already lost count. As much as I'm pulling for the Heat, I think Westbrook, aka Ninja Turtle Thug, has the edge over Wade in this series. Westbrook has absolutely come to play and was penetrating whenever he wanted to score in game four. However, like Durant, all Westbrook focuses on is putting up numbers while Wade tends to get others involved. But this has been an up and down post season for the guy we call Flash.  Injuries have slowed him up and no one knows if the back injury he sustained in game four will effect his performance in game five. For the Thunder to win the game tonight, Westbrook needs to put up 25+ points and 8+ assists while playing like a true scoring point guard and not another Kobe Bryant putting up 30 shots a game. He also has to get to the free throw line more...he only shot 3 in last game. Another thing Westbrook has to do is play SMART, something he is almost incapable of doing. He has all the tools to be a great NBA point guard for years to come, but taking bad shots and not knowing what to do in certain situations kills a team. To me, this is way too many "ifs" but I still give him an edge over Dwayne Wade.      

This is a hard comparison to make considering the difference in position and roles they play for their teams, not to mention that Chris Bosh is a key starter for the Heat while James Harden is the sixth man for the Thunder. Bosh had been hurt early on during the post season but the Heat prevailed and were able to stay alive without him. He's not much of a physical force down low, but is very versitile being able to pop a 3 when given the look. Because the Heat lack size in the paint, his rebounding ability is a key attribute. For Harden, he is another pure offensive player for the Thunder who has improved tremendously on defense. But as seen in game four, if he loses confidence in his jumper, his game is garbage. He is a great shooter who can create separation but allows a few mistakes to get to his head. If he had the confidence of Russell Westbrook, he could become deadly from the perimeter. Due to playing time and inconsistency, Bosh gets the edge as the most important 3rd wheel.         
            ADVANTAGE: BOSH

No, this is not about Will Ferrell & Mark Wahlberg trying to be world class cops, this is about Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Thabo Sefolosha, & Serge I-Block-Ya. These four role players have come up huge in the series, most recently being Super Mario. The thing that sets the Heat role players apart from the Thunder is the shooting ability and how well it compliments the team as a whole. Having guys that can penetrate and draw in the help defense like LeBron and Wade allows for open looks for the likes of 3-pt shooters Chalmers, Battier, and Mike Miller. The role players for OKC are more defensive specialist than anything. Sefolosha has played outstanding on ball defense on both stars for the Heat during this series, and don't expect any changes in game five. Ibaka has emerged into the best shot blocker in the game and also has added a nice mid range jumper to his game.
I honestly believe the Thunder have the most talented role players between the two teams, but the Heat allow their role guys to become more involved in the game. For the Thunder, its mainly the Westbrook-Durant show. You just don't see that with LeBron and Wade, they take over when needed. I guarantee you that if Battier or Chalmers were on the Thunder, they wouldn't have put up double figures more than once in the series, but yet they have done it time and time again with the Heat. Miami just has better chemistry on the floor.

If the Heat are to win this series, tonight is the time to do it, while on their homecourt. If they allow this game to go back to OKC then they could be in trouble with that kind of atmosphere. I'm looking for a great game and look forward to the King finally getting his ring tonight in game five. If the Heat fall short tonight, we could witness one of the greatest comebacks in NBA Finals history. Either way its going to be a great story


  1. Thank ya sir...its gets me through a boring day of work lol

  2. Keep it up, I would like to see 3 or more articles on the page a day so were gonna need ur help

  3. Well I'll get to it when I can....just depends on what is going on. Especially with the wedding and honeymoon going on in a couple weeks

  4. Yep two weeks from Saturday right?

  5. yessir...July 7th, its creeping up on us fast lol but im ready for it