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Monday, June 11th, 2012 at 1:30 pm  |  68 responses

Vegas Favoring OKC Thunder Over Miami Heat in NBA Finals


The oddsmakers in Las Vegas seem to think the OKC Thunder have the edge over the Miami Heat, in the highly anticipated NBA Finals matchup. Per USA Today: “Here are the latest odds courtesy of PinnacleSports.com (via covers.com) – Game 1: Thunder a 4.5 point favorite and -165 (win $100 on a $165 bet) straight up. The Heat are +149. Heat sweep: +1838 (on $100 bet) – Heat in 5: +591 – Heat in 6: +808 – Heat in 7: +689 – Thunder sweep: +1247 – Thunder in 5: +1007 – Thunder in 6: +345 – Thunder in 7: +245″

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  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    makes sense.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    That’s weird to be a 3 time MVP and not have a favored team in the Finals.

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    underdog position might be a good thing for the heat.

  • Tammie V

    This is driving the sports analyst nuts today at ESPN.

  • Layzie

    I think Miami plays better as the underdogs too.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Since when did Basketball become an individual sport Lakeshow? And since when was it normal to favor a road team because they have the best player? Oh wait, nevermind. Forgot who I was responding to for a second.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    rik smith, sure, miami is like: wow vegas has thunder as the favourite, lets show them

  • TV63

    This is making the sports analyst crazy today.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    lol. The hate runs deep with this one.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    That’s because the stupidity runs deeper.

  • MagicFan

    Make it happen Stern.

  • Jono

    OKC def has a small edge, with their interior defense and home court advantage. What’s weird is people being surprised by this.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    It’s like your already upset LeBron is going to lose… again.
    Common have a lil faith in yo man.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I have the Thunder winning the series stupid

  • jose

    Co-sign Jono. . . but i mean it is surprising i think, seeing as Vegas had Miami as the favorite to win it this year when the season started i believe right?

  • http://www.slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    I think the best rivalry this playoffs was nbk-lakeshow.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Doesn’t mean that doesn’t upset you… stupid.
    Albert, choose your side!

  • ratguts

    This is making the sports analysts kind of nuts today. What I heard, anyway.

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    @spit
    lol. I dont think they use the vegas odds as fuel. But being the underdog takes a lot of the pressure of the heat. This might be the least amounts of pressure they had in recent years and this might be a good thing. Iam not dumb and also see the thunder as the favorites. But i really want to see lebron overcome this and become a champion.
    Its his time….

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    what? why would i be upset that he might lose? your little grudge with him that is irrational, and me disagreeing with it the majority of the time has nothing to do with personal feelings. It has to do with what makes sense. Ahh, i can’t believe i’m tryna explain making sense to you again. my bad

  • bike

    Heat in seven. Second straight finals appearance and third finals for James is the slight edge. Thunder will be shaky at the start but turn it on by third game. At least two overtime games and James will have one game that will make history.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Because you are a very, very, big fan of LeBron’s… So you would like him to win. Not lose. Therefore you will be upset when he loses again. Even if your predicting it, that doesn’t change that you don’t like the fact of the outcome.
    Ahhhwww fuggit.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    i am? because you said so right? just like Kobe was still the best player in the league as recently as last season, because you said so? right.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I don’t expect the Thunder to be shaky at all. But I am still pulling for the Heat so LeBron can finally move past this issue.
    But, the Thunder should be favorites. They have the better overall talent from top to bottom. Heat has a slight edge in top end talent. The matchups tend to favor the Thunder overall, but the Heat have some things they should be happy about too.
    1. The Thunder’s best players have to guard a superstar and hold them in check. That hasn’t been something they’ve proven they can do consistently yet. And it opens up the potential for foul trouble on a superstar.
    2. When the two teams go small, the Thunder’s big man will have to stay attached to Chris Bosh, which reduces congestion at the rim. And OKC is not a great defensive team without their rim protectors.
    3. Spoelstra is slightly better at making adjustments.
    On the other hand, the Thunder have this going for them
    1. Durant can do a reasonable job guarding LeBron unless LeBron bullies him on the block. And even then, he may be able to hold his own.
    2. Somehow, the Heat have to guard Westbrook and Harden. And that’s a big, big problem.
    3. Serge Ibaka is an outstanding rim protector and will force more jumpshots for Miami.
    4. The Thunder have played more consistently all playoffs.
    5. The Thunder have very little pressure on their shoulders.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The main issue’s for the teams (imo) are
    .
    - OKC
    .1 – Serge Ibaka can’t hang out around the rim like OKC is comfortable with
    .2 – Durant guarding LeBron
    .3 – Perkins dealing with the speed of every Heat big for long stretches
    .4 – 3 Games in a row in Miami
    .
    - MIA
    .1 – Russell Westbrook v Mario Chalmers
    .2 – Dwyane Wade has to play defense at all times
    .3 – Kevin Durant putting LeBron in foul trouble
    .4 – Keeping OKC off of the offensive glass
    .5 – Chris Bosh’s health
    .6 – They have nobody to guard Harden. Not with Durant on the court.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah and Wade is the undisputed top 2 guard in the L… lol

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    troll-so-hard. when stupid can’t seem smart, revert to trollin, duh bruh.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    SLAM: Where showing someones pure idiocy is perceived as trolling.
    Go slap on your red and black silks lil buddy.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK
    Do you think that Spoelstra sticks Battier on the Durant and then put’s Bron on Harden?
    I’m guessing they switch up depending on who is hot. It will be interesting to see how the Heat play the pick and roll as well. And whether Wade can exploit Thabo. I wonder if the Heat will make those same little floaters and stuff they made against Hibbert because Ibaka and Hibbert are two different animals when it comes to rim protection.
    It will come down to execution and focus. It always does.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I’m sure they try it. But that’s can’t be the long term solution. For one, that would put Miami either in the position to have Wade or LeBron playing a lot of PG, or having to put Wade on a PF…it would also mean LeBron will be hit with a ton of picks, way more than he would on Durant.

  • Jono

    I really wonder how Perkins is gonna fair in this series. Can’t help but feel that will be very decisive. Also, if OKC do something stupid like put a 4 or 5 (like how the Cs put Bass on LeBron in Gm 7′s 4Q) then it’s game over.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow, you just called the majority of people here pure idiots when it comes to Wade. Which means you still think your opinion is superior to the majority of people to the extreme that anyone that disagrees is an idiot. As my homeboy John Wooden once said “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The better move for OKC to combat Bosh and slow-down Wade/Bron is to have Perk/Collison on him and keep Ibaka on Haslem/Joel and closer to the rim.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You can’t put Perkins on Bosh. No way man. They would just high pick and roll him to death. He wouldn’t make it to game 6 without an oxygen tank.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So what do you propose OKC does to make sure that Ibaka is as close to the paint/rim as possibe to slow down Wade/LeBron from assaulting the basket unmoslested?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    That’s a hell of a question. Aside from playing him with Collison as much as possible….it’s hard to say. They might just have to roll the dice on Perkins protecting the rim. If Wade is still hobbled Seflosha may do a great job of neutralizing him. Then they can just trap LeBron inside 18 feet, make it so if he does drive he has to start his movement from outside the 3pt line, theoretically giving the Thunder enough time to rotate around Ibaka.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    But other than that, i’m not really sure. i don’t know enough about OKC’s defensive system to say what adjustment i would make outside of what i said above. what would you do? would you gamble with Perkins on Bosh?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Exactly.
    That’s the same problem I was discussing the other night for OKC. Do you trust Perkins stopping the BRon and Wade show at the rim, or do you trust him stopping Bosh? My homie said they will likely trust him more on Bosh, which is a wise choice. If you have to sacrifice something, i would sacrifice containing Bosh to keep Ibaka at the rim waiting on Bron and Wade.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Against the Spurs they started with a soft show on the pick and roll, and they later went to harder more active hedge.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    My issue with putting Ibaka at the rim as the primary “rim protector” is he is liable to get into quick foul trouble. Then they are really in trouble, cuz without Ibaka that means you are trying to stop Miami w/ Chris Bosh by having Collison guard the pick (he’s a good defender but he’s slow) with Perkins (even slower) manning the rim.
    .
    Also, I could be a little off base with this, but I think Ibaka is better as a weak-side/recovery based rim protector, rather then a stand and wait for a guy to run right at him type of shot blocker. Anybody have a similar concern? Or is that not a realistic issue?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen, you think they would dare soft show against Miami though? Especially with Bosh as the screener? He doesn’t need time to set his feet like Duncan. And he’s much more athletic then Matt Bonner, a recovering big-man (even Ibaka) is liable to get beat to the hoop by Bosh if they are running one direction while Bosh is standing still waiting to make a decision. imo, the Thunder have to totally hedge the pick and rely on rotation to force Miami into a bad shot. Rather than stay truly man up on every pick.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    someone tell me how the heat are going to defend harden competently… I’m VERY worried worried about this. I’m thinking wade, lebron, miller, battier and even cole see time on him. but outside of LBJ and Wade I’m not sure they can hold for for too long. He’ll kill you w/ passing if you double team him but he’ll go off on single coverage. SMH. also the heat better double westbrook.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Which also plays into my idea that they should leave Ibaka on Bosh and rotate around him. I could be totally wrong with this though. I might be missing something in OKC’s schemes that make that a suicidal idea

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    You’re on point. Ibaka is 10x the shotblocker coming off the weakside than he is at the point of attack.
    When Harden is in the game with KD/Russ, either Wade or LeBron have to be on him then have Battier on KD.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Wade on Harden is a terrifying idea too me. Wade doesn’t play hard very often with that messed up knee. I don’t think he can guard Harden right now, or any of OKC’s big 3 for that matter..

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Another thing, one time I was in Vegas with some hookers, and they said that they favored OKC over the Heat.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Well, ya’ll are forgetting about something. Little ole defense called ‘the zone’. Hate all you want, but the right zone defense coupled with the length, speed, and size of Russ, Thabo, KD, Ibaka, Perk would/should/could work marvelous in stretches.
    Ibaka should also always be rotating back into the paint with someone helping off their man onto Bosh.
    Also, Collison should get more PT than Perk this series if he can stay out of foul trouble. Ehh, sheet… He always gets in foul trouble.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    At least be funny if your trolling, trollz. Talk about my ma’s vag or something ferny like that.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You can’t really zone successfully against Miami. They have too many shooters. Plus they only have one guy who can’t hit an open shot that gets decent PT (Joel Anthony). So it’s not like they would be able to pack the paint like a playing a zone implies. Plus, there is not a zone in the world that is meant to stop penetration and contest the 3pt line. Which is exactly what Miami does.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I realize they are competent, but they aren’t stunners from deep. Battier is very solid. Pen him in for a couple made 3′s on averge, but I don’t trust Miller no more.(Never thought that would ever be the case a few years back. Dude was LETHAL from deep) JJ just straight up will not be given PT unless someone puts a gun to Spo’s head. Bron is actually better at “hard” 3′s. He’s better with a dude in his face or a couple feet out than he is as a open spot up shooter. Wade’s deep jumper is looking… well lets say shaky these days. Chalmers is either on or off. Cole is just off.
    I’m not saying this is the key and the end all be all of defenses for stopping Miami, but over small stretches Brooks really should think hard about coming up with some solid Zone defenses to run.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Over small stretches, definitely. I’d give Miami as many different looks as possible. I misunderstood what you meant, i thought you were saying the zone can be the key to them winning games & the series. didn’t pay enough attention to you saying “in stretches”

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    It’s all about having 100 schemes, trying them all, and using the one that is most effective at that current time, and not banking on it working the next possession and so on. I’m also a fan of the “man to man zone”. Stay on your dude till he enters into the next players coverage area. Hard double for a second if it is Bron or Wade or even Bosh sometimes. Always have someone coming to help and have Serge always roaming back into the paint area with help on his man if he goes to deep for comfort.
    Basically if they play perfect defense than that ‘might’ work… Sh*t.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    This is the first dominant defense the Thunder have faced. They have been beating great offensive teams, this is a whole new look

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Bottom line is we all can think of different schemes they’ll throw at each other but I think realistically no one can guess what’s going to happen. Tons of fire power on each side so I think I’ll hold off on adjustments and scheme talks until Wednesday.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Wise.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Stop posting as me Fatass

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I’m only .2lbs overweight according to the oh so accurate BMI. But you’re right, I should diet

  • Feez_22

    1. When thabo is in the game, put wade on westbrook and have thabo’s defender (Chalmers) shade for a quasi-double team look. Mario doesn’t have to double the whole way when westbrook gets a pick to drive because westbrook more times than not these Playoffs has settled for a midrange jumper this year v. going 2 the rim. However, if you shade well enough, it can slow westbrook down and make the shot contest either at the midrange or 3pt line easier. When harden is in the game with westbrook, take chalmers out, put battier on harden, put lebron on KD and put wade on westbrook. this is the best way for them to guard that lineup. Battier will get torched by KD as he was semi-torched by melo. This way, the thunder have a tougher time going at three average-above avg defenders (wade/lebron/battier). OKC has a lot of sets they can run but they are like miami in that the penetration sets up their plays.

    2. I truly think that the heat are counting on westbrook to be over-aggresive. Westbrook is a gr8 player but going against this perimeter D might limit him. Miami can handle scoring guards… They CANNOT handle the ones that run a good halfcourt offense & dictate tempo. go down the list… chris paul, rajon rondo, jason kidd, tony parker, steve nash… these guys gave theh heat fits this yr. However, PG’s such as D-Rose & westbrook, PG’s that score first have had PEDESTRIAN games the past 2 yrs against the heat. They may have led their teams to victories but shot horribly in the process… come finals time that will be expounded unless brooks sees it quick and switches to harden playmaking for a bit so westbrook can collect himself. Look… i’m not hating on westbrook but he gets out of control a lot. he passes into passing lanes way 2 often for my taste and a top 10 perimeter defense in the spurs led him to turn the ball over 3, 6 and 5 times in their last 3 games. Now he’s going to go against a top 3 perimeter defense…

    3. In terms of the big men… The heat have the MOST trouble with scoring 4s and high rebounding, long, defensive 5s. I think thats why some people had the knicks giving the heat some trouble in the 1st round. problem is amare was injured/past his prime & chandler was sick for a game or 2. The pacers were the best example but were missing the defensive 5 (hibbert is long but he sucks @ D). Plus, the pacers were missing an offensive setter that could control tempo which is also something the heat can’t match up with. The thunder have no scoring big man threat which will drastically help the heat’s chances. The heat have already driven against tyson chandler to success whom imo is a better initial rim contest guy than ibaka. Ibaka gets most of his off help & if he has 2 guard bosh… perk will be all alone down there. I would NOT put perkins on bosh… because when bosh goes off in games he usually doesn’t cool off and all it will take is a good game from either lebron or wade to be very tough. Perk is injured right now as well… bosh will just shoot over him or drive right past. Bosh aint gonna be in the post often so that makes perk… well … i’ll let yall decide.

    # Sorry for all this writing. this is just what i have 2 say about this matchup. Everyone is picking the thunder so i just want to share some points that the heat may employ. This NBA Finals is going 2 be awesome.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Stupid ass. Stop posting as me! Ass

  • Feez_22

    & to expound on rim contest, the spurs and lakers had an easy time getting to the rim imo. Kobe had like 5 dunks in game 5. That guy usually never drives. Parker, ginobili and duncan got to the rim almost any time they wanted and converted buckets pretty well down there. Its not like OKC is a shutdown team in the paint… they are a great post defense and help defense team but the heat have 2 elite rim finishers so i expect the heat to do pretty well in that dept.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Yes. Yes you should

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lol ^ only one of the last three posts are from me. Which is weird, either i got 2 trolls or one is arguing with himself. lmao, y’all suck at this.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    ^what a fairy

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    @nbk leave us alone

  • http://slam FLIGHT 9

    OKC in 6 games

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Since when did nbk and Lakeshow officially hate each other? It’s time to apologize… and just hug it out, b!tch.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    LeBron is the only guy the Thunder don’t have an answer for. Sefolosha can easily stay in front of Wade and Wade needs (unlike Kobe who has a good midrange game) to get to the rim to be effective.

    Ibaka and Perkins can handle Bosh and the other Heat are not really a consistent threat to cause any problems. So it’s on James, as it has been for most of the playoffs. If he doesn’t have a monster series, the Heat can’t win.

    The Thunder are just too good and too deep to lose to the Heat unless James has a monster series. He’s gonna have good games but in the words of Jason Terry last year in the Finals: “Can he do it for seven games?” We’ll have to wait and see.

  • eZ

    I think it’s miami’s finals to win, and the thunders to lose. I think OKC has the overall better balanced team, but the Heat have the special tools to unravel OKC.
    Once again Bosh is the key, his jumpers, and even Haslems from midrange should draw out at least one interior defender and wil open up the middle for wade and james. What they should do is start of every game driving like crazy, show the ball and create contact. Perkins bumps easliy and Ibaka does not come across as a very smart player, he will be very intent on blocking every shot. Let him get his 6 blocks but also 6 fouls per game. Attack, attack, attack and create early foul trouble.
    On defense get back on transition if your life depends on it and force the stagnant OKC halfcour game to shoot jumpers. Spoelstra can go with lineups of 1.wade, 2.jones/miller/battier, james, bosh, haslem/turiaf/joel to put superior height and strength against westbrook (wade) and harden (james/battier), matchup with Sef (jones/miller) etc.
    If wade and james wil not drive hard and go up strong or kick out it will be over.
    Teams are close and it will be about who applies the best strategy. They both have young and often critisized coaches.
    Curious to see if finals experience will show…

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