—Matchups favor OKC—James Harden could be the wild card for Thunder. If we call LeBron–Kd and Westbrook –Wade a push, OKC has the muscle to deal with Bosh—Perkins, Collison. But who will deal with James Harden in crunch time? Probably Shane Battier but Harden is younger, quicker, and a superior talent at this point in their careers.
—Much better shooting team down the stretch. There is no one in the NBA who is a better pure shooter in crunch time then Kevin Durant. That includes Kobe, Ray Allen, Wade, LeBron, etc. Miami has had difficulty setting up their offense for a final second shot. OKC has none. If KD is overplayed then Westbrook drives and shoots or dishes to the beard.
—If there is a 7th game and there very likely will be, the clear edge goes to OKC and its tremendous crowd.
—I believe that the Heat now realizes that the ball belongs in the King’s hands when the basket is vital. LeBron went to the foul line 17 times in the 7th game. LeBron is a force driving to the bucket and with the NBA’s lack of ever calling traveling, he is nearly impossible to stop.
—Bosh is back. Yes the quiet totally unselfish player of the big 3 was instrumental in game 7. Anytime he shoots a strong percentage like he did in Game 7 (8-10) it is doubtful the Heat will lose.
—Westbrook sometimes plays out of control, shooting way too much. On the other hand he can easily score in the 30s if not closely watched. Riley and company are plotting now how to get Russell out of his game.
SUMMARY–Coaching edge to Scott Brooks and I am still troubled by Wade’s behavior towards his Coach. OKC in 6