NBA FINALS: My Top 5 intangibles to consider before betting OKC to win it all

Posted: June 10, 2012 in NBA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

While the Oklahoma City Thunder have opened up as series favorites over the two-time Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, I implore all of you Kevin Durant lovers/LeBron James haters to remember my Top 5 points before making your future bets on the NBA Finals.

1. The Miami Heat, under the guidance of Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade, albeit with Shaquille O’Neal in the middle, have already won an NBA title once, and know what it takes at this point.

2. These particular Miami Heat were already undone once, last season, by another team out to win their first NBA title, like the Oklahoma City Thunder, that being the Dallas Mavericks, who won in six games, 4 games to 2.

3. Those Dallas Mavericks knew what it was like to lose in the NBA Finals, as they fell in the 2006 Finals to the Miami Heat, the ones led by Riley, Wade and O’Neal. The Mavs were spearheaded by veterans like Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler – not a group of youngsters like the Thunder.

4. This will be LeBron James’ third trip to the NBA Finals, and though I hate to use cliches, “the third time is a charm” might be in order at this point in his career. The three-time league MVP averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists for the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the 2007 NBA Finals, won by the San Antonio Spurs. Last year he averaged 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists in the Finals, but the Mavs took home the trophy. This year, so far in the postseason, he is averaging 30.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and  5.1 assists. He could very well be on a mission boys.

5. And again, there’s the youth factor. As much as I admire the Thunder, and how they did knock off the last three NBA champions – the Mavericks (2011), Lakers (2009-10) and Spurs (2007) – make note of the personnel on those teams. The Mavericks were a shell of last year’s surprising championship team, especially without Chandler. The Lakers were a mess all season, even the oft-injured and aging Kobe Bryant. And the Spurs, well, they were the No. 1 seed over teams like the Mavs, Lakers and even the Thunder. But in the end, they just couldn’t hang with OKC. Now the Thunder gets a team with plenty of talent, and one that will have been rested by the time Game 1 comes around.

As of 10 a.m. (pst) Sunday, Sportsbook.ag had the Thunder as -160 favorites. Ask me, and the value right now could very well be on the underdog Heat, at +140.

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