It is becoming more and more apparent that the 2012 playoffs are a coronation. Either King LeBron James will finally take up that mantle and exorcise a career worth of demons, or Kevin Durant and the young Thunder will mark their arrival on the league with a title.
After one game, the Thunder look much more ready to seize the crown. Durant threw down 36 points in his first NBA Finals game and along with Russell Westbrook's 27 sparked the Thunder to a 105-94 win.
James put up 30, but at times during game one he looked like he was playing one-on-five as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Heat faded into the background.
The Heat will need to get better contributions from their supporting cast, as well as its stars not named LeBron James, if they want to head back to Miami with a split in the series. Fortunately, trailing in a series is a comfortable spot for them.
The Heat fell behind Indiana and Boston in the past two rounds before they roared past them for a victory.
Look for the Thunder to continue to try to play an up-tempo, attacking style against the Heat. Also be on the lookout for Oklahoma City to try to get big men Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins more involved in the game. The pair combined for 14 points on 7-12 shooting in game one and could be a valuable weapon going forward.
Where To Watch: The game can be viewed online at FirstRowSports. It will also be broadcast nationally on ABC at 9 p.m. EDT.
Prediction: Oklahoma City established themselves in game one of the series, but the Heat are very capable of answering. Thanks to better contributions from the whole roster, the Heat will send the game series back to South Florida in a tie.
Predicted Score: Miami over Oklahoma City 104-97