Prediction: Miami wins series 4-3
And here we have it. The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder squaring off in the NBA Finals as another chapter is written in the league's most compelling rivalry.
Once again, all eyes will be on the matchup between the league's primary MVP contenders, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
It feels like it's nearly impossible for Durant to outdo last year's Finals performance, as he averaged 30.6 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting (39.4 percent from beyond the arc) over five games.
However, Durant's partner in crime, Russell Westbrook, will need to elevate his game should the Thunder want to have a legitimate shot at capturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
Westbrook's scoring numbers in last year's Finals (27 points per game) look nice standing alone, but when you consider that the dynamic point guard took 16 more shots than Durant and shot just 43.3 percent from the field (13.6 percent from three), his performance comes off as average.
Looking to squash the Thunder's title hopes will be the Heat, who, believe it or not, have improved personnel-wise from a year ago.
Boasting Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis as complementary shooters alongside Shane Battier, the Heat now have more ways to stretch the floor than ever—which is good news for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but terrible news for Thunder defenders.
The series will last seven games this time around, but the end result will be the same as last year.