It’s one of the best NBA Finals match-ups in years.Not only is the series filled with stars â€” those stars happen to play the same positions, and will be squaring off one-on-one over the next two weeks.
We picked out the eight most important match-ups of the series.
When it’s all over in two weeks, which team won the majority of these match-ups will likely be holding the world championship trophy.
EDGE: LeBron by a lot
Durant is long and quick for his size, but LeBron is too fast and powerful for Durant to contain him.
LeBron will be able to get post position relatively easily. Even though Durant will make things difficult for LBJ to dominate out of the post the way he did in Game 5 against the Celtics, LeBron is still just too good.
This is the juicy one.
LeBron is the best defender in the league. Durant is the best pure scorer in the league.
Durant's success will probably come down to whether or not OKC can get him free off of off-ball screens. But at some point these two are going to go one on one, and it's going to be awesome.
EDGE: Westbrook by a little
Wade still has the edge when Westbrook is guarding him because Russell is far from a polished defender.
But Westbrook is too fast and athletic for Wade on the offensive end of the floor. It's going to be massively important that Miami figure out how they are going to defend Westbrook as a team early in the series. Because if Wade is stuck on him over seven games, it's going to get ugly.
EDGE: Bosh by a hair
In a weird way, these playoffs made everyone realise how good Chris Bosh is.
Even though Ibaka is a great shot blocker, he struggles a bit when you pull him away from the basket. Last year, Dirk Nowitzki eviscerated him with his mid-range game.
Bosh isn't Dirk, but he has a similar finesse game that could neutralize Ibaka's shot-blocking prowess.
EDGE: The World
The problem is that 'the world' means 'Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.'
Sefolosha is a great defender, but his job this series will be to give him teammates a rest by checking LeBron and Wade on some possessions.
If he can find any success, it'll be a bonus for the Thunder.
EDGE: Up in the air
Spoelstra has taken heavy criticism for his rotations and lack of creatively during these playoffs.
Brooks felt the same heat last year.
In this series, Spoelstra has the harder job because he has to figure out how to stop Westbrook. But Brooks has his hands full with LeBron, Wade, and Bosh as well.
EDGE: Up in the air
LeBron has admitted that he didn't play that well last year in the finals, and vowed to play better.
But the longer this series goes on, the larger the ghosts of last year's complete collapse will loom.
In Game 5 against the Celtics, LeBron took on the pressure and played the best game of his career.
Will it be the same against OKC?
EDGE: Anthony by a hair
This one is for the connoisseurs.
It's not a question of how they play against each other. It's a question of which one of them is able to hold his own when the other team goes small.
Perkins struggled mightily to rotate and protect the rim when the Spurs used their four-guard lineup in the Western Conference Finals.
Anthony, for his part, will face an onslaught from Harden, Durant, Westbrook, and Sefolosha when OKC goes to their small look.
If either one of these guys can dominate the boards when the other team is playing small ball, it'll be a big edge.
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