It's The Finals Countdown: Predicting An Unpredictable Heat-Thunder Series

Jun 11, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) answers questions during a press conference prior to taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 1 of the 2012 NBA finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Complete pre-series coverage of the 2012 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder from around the SB Nation network.

The 2012 NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat gets underway on Tuesday night, and it promises to be a good one. For the first time in many years, the two best players in the league (LeBron James and Kevin Durant) will likely spend the majority of the time guarding each other. This matchup also pits the league's most rabid fanbase against the most covered and scrutinized team in decades.

Yup, this is a big deal. Here at SB Nation, we've treated it as such with tons of previews and other coverage of the series. Here's a complete recap of all the pieces that have been crafted from around the SB Nation network.


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STARTING FIVE

LeBron James. Kevin Durant. Forget all the other factors, because this series is about those two superstars, writes Andrew Sharp.

Those other factors probably matter a bit too, though. Here are eight big ones to watch from me.

Russell Westbrook has evolved ... or has he? As it turns out, he's mostly the same guy he's always been, writes Tom Ziller.

The Thunder may be full of young players, but the salary cap and luxury tax may break this team up sooner than you think, writes Steve Perrin.

While one city cheers on its Thunder, another city will be mourning the loss of its Sonics. That said, Jon Bois writes that it's time for Seattle to get over it.

PREDICTIONS

All of SB Nation's NBA minds try to predict a very difficult series to predict. Opinion is very divided.

As much as we want this series to be about Durant, it will be James' coronation, writes Bomani Jones.

Also, Jones has seven important things to know about the series, or at least how the series will be covered.



The Thunder's frontcourt depth will prove to be the difference in the series, according to Lang Whitaker.

AROUND THE NETWORK

Chris Bosh vs. Serge Ibaka, the Heat's bench struggles and the Durant/LeBron matchup are all discussed in Peninsula Is Mightier's series preview.

At which positions do the Thunder have an advantage? Welcome to Loud City answers that question in its series preview.

Erik Spoelstra and Scott Brooks have been criticized heavily, but both have grown into outstanding coaches with their own distinctive styles, writes Tom Ziller.

Can James become a "championship" player? The staff writers at SB Nation Tampa Bay debate that question.

The Thunder may have the best team, but the Heat have the best players, and the best players usually win, writes Chip Rouse of SB Nation Kansas City.

MORE NBA FINALS COVERAGE

For the 2012 NBA Finals schedule, click the link. For complete series coverage, visit this StoryStream. For more coverage of the Heat, visit Peninsula is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more coverage of the Thunder, visit Welcome to Loud City and SB Nation Kansas City. For more video, see below.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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