NBA Finals 2012: Thunder Will Bring First Championship to Oklahoma City

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NBA Finals 2012: Thunder Will Bring First Championship to Oklahoma City
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Miami Heat are fresh off vanquishing their arch rivals, the Boston Celtics, but don't expect them to do the same to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The road to this year's NBA Finals may have been more high-profile for the Heat, but no team has accomplished as much as the Thunder have this postseason.

While Miami was having trouble with the Indiana Pacers and an aging, albeit game, Celtics the Thunder were defeating the NBA's elite.

The defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs were all more experienced, more playoff proven than OKC. That didn't stop the Thunder from emerging victorious in each series.

Let's take a step back and examine that list of teams again. The Lake Show, Spurs and Mavs have a combined 10 NBA titles between them and another three finals appearances since 1999.

A team built around 23-year-old sensations Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have taken out the three most dominant franchises of the past 13 seasons during these playoffs, and they're about to add Miami to their hit-list.

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The Heat do have reigning league MVP LeBron James, former NBA champion Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on their roster, but unlike the Thunder these superstars rarely get help from their bench.

Players like Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem were the only other two players not part of the Big Three to show any kind of real offensive contribution during the the Eastern Conference Finals. The issue with Miami isn't their star-power, it's who is supporting those stars.

The Thunder have this year's Sixth Man of the Year Award winner James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison. Three key players who have been invaluable contributing factors to the dynamic duo of Durant and Westbrook.

The Heat don't have the depth that the Thunder do. Miami lives and dies by how well (or not so well) Wade, LeBron and occasionally Bosh are playing that night. Chalmers and Shane Battier just jack up three-pointers and hope for the best while Haslem and others are inconsistent to say the least.

Because the Eastern Conference went seven games, some see the Heat with the most momentum heading into this finals. To that I say, did you not see OKC's series comeback against a Spurs team many were calling unbeatable? Yeah, the Thunder beat the four-time NBA champs in six games.

Oklahoma City have put together one of the most impressive playoff runs in recent memory and they'll cap it all off by defeating LeBron and company for the city's first NBA championship.

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