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Clarksville, TN – Except for the hardcore fans of the teams that have been knocked out, and despite an atypical-boring and injury-changed first round, most pundits and casual NBA fans hoped for the NBA Finals match up that we have between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder that gets started Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, OK on ABC.
We all know the stories of the two teams.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the NBA’s young guns, led by 23-year old sharpshooter Kevin Durant, the best player in the NBA.
The Miami Heat are supposed to be the best collection of players in the NBA with the trio of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
Both teams maybe should have won championships last year, but the Dallas Mavericks ruined it for both with the Mavs beating OKC in the WCF and then coming back to beat the Heat in the Finals.
Both teams are lead by young coaches who have the NBA in their blood, although in different ways.
Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks was a player turned coach. His NBA career spanned from 1988 to 1998 with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers, including winning a championship withe Rockets in 1994.
He got his NBA coaching start with the in 2003 Denver Nuggets and worked for the Sacramento Kings (2006-07) before becoming an assistant with the then Seattle SuperSonics in 2007 and taking over as head coach of the Sonics-turned-into-Thunder on November 22nd, 2008, for P.J. Carlesimo.
Heat coach Eric Spoelstra joined the team as the video coordinator in 1995, became an assistant coach in charge of video in 1997, in 1999 he became and assistant coach/advance scout in 1999, in 2001 he became the assistant coach/director of scouting and then became the Heat head coach in April of 2008, becoming the first Asian/Filipino-American head coach in any of the major North American sports leagues.
Of course the two cities the teams play in couldn’t be vastly differently.
Oklahoma City is in the heartland of America where oil, natural gas and cattle are king.
Miami is the sunbelt of America, where sun, fun, beauty and business all combine and they’ve got South Beach.
Both cities have faced tragedy. The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was one of the most deadly terrorist acts ever committed on American soil. Miami has been plagued by drug wars, the Liberty City riots, Hurricane Andrew and the Mariel boat lifts.
Throw all those intangibles in together and I think it means we’re headed for a great NBA Finals.
It’s one of those finals where I don’t really care who wins, I’m just looking for a great series and I think it will go to seven.
And in the end, I give the slight nod to the Heat in six.
NBA Finals Schedule
James D. Horne began his writing career at the Carrollton Missouri Democrat in 1995, and was the assistant sports editor/writer for the Hammond Louisiana Daily Star for two years. In 1998, Horne became the Missouri Basketball beat writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune. He joined The Leaf-Chronicle in Oct. 2003 as the lead prep writer and became the Austin Peay beat writer in March of 2005. During his career he won a state association sports writing award at the Daily Star and two while at the Leaf-Chronicle.
Originally from Tampa, Florida, Horne earned his B.A in communications from Central Methodist University in Fayette Missouri.
TopicsABC, Chris Bosh, Clarksville TN, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Dwayne Wade, Eric Spoelstra, Houston Rockets, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, National Basketball League, NBA, NBA Finals, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City OK, Oklahoma City Thunder, P.J. Carlesimo, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Scott Brooks, Seattle SuperSonics, The Final Horne
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