The NBA is about halfway through the season and it's starting to look like this year’s NBA Finals will feature a rematch of last year’s — with the Oklahoma City Thunder facing off against the defending champion Miami Heat.
Both of these teams look incredibly strong this season, especially at the most important part of the season when teams need to play the best possible quality of basketball in order to be successful.
The Oklahoma City Thunder (38-12) has bounced back from a disappointing exit in last year’s NBA Finals in a big way. The team is first in the NBA in scoring (106.6 points per game) and has developed incredible chemistry with a few new faces.
Before the beginning of the season, the Thunder traded key player James Harden to the Houston Rockets, which many viewed as a terrible move for this young squad. However, Kevin Martin, one of the players they received in the trade, has flourished in his new role.
Sure, Harden has played lights-out ever since he left Oklahoma City for Houston, but the Thunder are benefiting more from an unfamiliar face than the inconsistent Houston Rockets.
Martin, while not putting up incredible scoring numbers, has accepted his role alongside star Russell Westbrook of distributing the ball to other shooters. The two young, talented guards have made the Thunder into a force in the NBA.
The defending champions Miami Heat haven’t shown any post-championship let-downs and are still the team to beat both in the Eastern Conference and in the entire league as well.
With the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Heat have taken their up-tempo, high-flying offense to a whole new level.
When James, Wade and Bosh first collaborated in Miami in 2011, the team had plenty of chemistry issues and problems incorporating each of their unique styles of play on the hardwood. The Heat finished the 2011 season losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
However, last season, the team went on a mission to prove the world wrong. The team finished its incredible season by defeating the Thunder in the NBA Finals, and solidifying the legacies of the Big Three in South Beach.
These two teams are two of the biggest shows in the league. They also are not particularly fond of one another dating back to last year’s NBA Finals. In a matchup this season between the two teams, the game ended with four different technical fouls called.
The two best teams in the league are clearly the Thunder and the Heat. With the Thunder hungrier and more humble than ever after last years’ experience and the Heat wanting to show that they can win year after year, this matchup makes the most sense.
As we get closer and closer to playoff time, we should see these two teams play at their best during the most important part of the NBA season. Fasten your seat belts everyone because it’s sure to be a great show.