Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Frontcourt Breakdown: 2012 NBA Finals

Published on June 12, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   1 Comment

Small Forward

Right now LeBron James and Kevin Durant are the two best players in the NBA. It is going to be something special watching these players going back and forth. James, the league MVP picked off right where he left off in the regular season. So far in three playoff series James is averaging 30.8 points per game. 9.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2 steals. James really stepped it up in games 6 and 7 in the Eastern Conference Final. In game 6 he finished with 45 points and 15 rebounds. Durant, the NBA scoring champ also picked up right where he left off in the regular season. Durant has had a couple of game winning shots in the playoffs so far. He is the most clutch player in the NBA right now. In the playoffs Durant is averaging 27.8 points per game, 7.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

These two will players will not guard each other all the time but it when they do it will be must watch TV In their two head to head meetings this year Durant got the better of James averaging 29 points per game compared to 25.5 points for James. At the end of the day I really see these two superstars canceling each other out and the player who gets the most help will win the NBA finals. If I have to pick one I would pick Durant because I know he can make and won’t be afraid to take the last second shot. Durant has already done this twice in the playoffs.

Edge- EVEN

Power Forward

The Thunder’s Sege Ibaka despite being a top defensive player has shown some scoring touch in the playoffs. So far in the playoffs Ibaka is averaging 10.7 point per game, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks. He is automatic with the 12 foot jump shot. Nick Collison gives the Thunder great minutes here off the bench.

Chris Bosh is still not 100 % and not playing his normal minutes. He will probably come off bench to give the Heat a much needed scoring option off the bench. Bosh really stepped it up in game 7 against Boston scoring 19 points including 3 three pointers. Shane Battier will probably start here for the Heat although he is more of a small forward. Battier is a pretty good three pointer shooter.

If Bosh was 100 % I would give a big time edge to the Heat but with him not I see no team getting an huge advantage here. In the two head to head meetings this year the Bosh averaged 15 points per game while Ibaka averaged 11.5 points. While Bosh has the better offensive game Ibaka is a lot better defender. He will be key in stopping LeBron James and Dwyane Wade driving the lane.

Edge- EVEN


Kendrick Perkins is only averaging 4.7 points per game in the playoffs but he does all the little things for the Thunder. He is there toughness inside the paint. Perkins is also averaging 6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Perkins also has a ring with the Boston Celtics. If needed the Thunder can use Nazr Mohammed off the bench.

Udonis Haslem offensive numbers have gone down but he still gets in done in other areas. So far in the playoffs he is averaging 5.5 points and 7 rebounds. Haslem already has a ring an plenty of finals experience. While Haslem doesn’t have a center type body the Heat really have no other choice. Joel Anthony and Ronny Turiaf get you no offensive punch. Anthony might play a lot because of his defense and shot blocking ability.

Both teams get very little scoring out of the center position. The reason I give the Thunder the edge is because of Perkins defensive ability.

Edge- Thunder


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