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The 2012 NBA Finals is the championship round of the 2011-12 NBA season and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat will face the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder under a 2-3-2 rotation.
NBA Finals 2012 LIVE Stream
Watch NBA Finals 2012 live . This is the first time since 1998 that the finals did not take place inCalifornia orTexas, as the Thunder eliminated the defending champion Mavericks, Lakers, and Spurs in the first three rounds of the playoffs. This also marks the first Finals since 1990 that did not feature either a Phil Jackson-coached team or a team fromTexas.
NBA Finals 2012 live stream . Game 1 of the Finals will be played on June 12, five days later than its originally planned June 7 start. This delay was due to the lockout that pushed the start of the season to late December and shortened the regular season to 66 games.
NBA Finals 2012 live streaming . The Thunder have had a somewhat different road to the championship round, beating every Western Conference Champion since1999 inthe Dallas Mavericks, LA Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.
First they did it by sweeping the defending champion Mavericks in four games.Dallas, however, did not have several corner-pieces from their title like Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea. The Lakers posed a slightly more challenging series, defeating the Thunder once.
The Spurs looked like one of the greatest teams of all time. They won the first two games in the series givingSan Antonioa 20 game win streak.Oklahoma Citybounced back winning four in a row and the series.
The edge for opponents beaten goes to the Thunder. The Heat defeated a betterBostonteam last year in five, and this year it took seven. Also James was unbelievable last year in the playoffs but wasn't consistent enough in the Finals to beat the Mavericks.
For the Thunder, this will be the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance since moving fromSeattlefour years ago. With a young core featuring Kevin Durant (23 years old), Russell Westbrook (23), James Harden (22), and Serge Ibaka (22), the Thunder have made it this far despite being primarily a jump shooting team. The Thunder will also have Derek Fisher and Kendrick Perkins to rely on their NBA Finals experience.
After defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat hope to get the job done this year after failing to get the job done last year against the Dallas Mavericks. NBA MVP LeBron James looks to win his first ring in his third NBA Finals appearance with the help of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and a cast of support players like Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, and Joel Anthony. Which team will prevail in this best-of-seven series to win this year's NBA Finals?
It was only three seasons ago thatOklahoma City's new team was 3-29 and just hoping to avoid the worst record in NBA history.
"You can look at it as a negative, but I think as a group and as an organization, we've seen some light, and we've seen that one day we'd be at this moment, and one day we'd have an opportunity to win a championship," said Russell Westbrook, who may best personify the transformation by turning himself from a rookie struggling with turnovers into an All-Star.
Back when Scott Brooks was hired as coach around Thanksgiving 2008, his first task was trying to get the team to be competitive in the fourth quarter. Now, opponents can't seem to put the Thunder away when it comes to crunch time.
"Even back then, we weren't losing games. I was telling the guys we were learning how to win games, and there's a big difference between that because we had guys that worked every day and it gave me hope that when we were down they were still practicing, still working hard," Brooks said.
They know it, and more importantly for the NBA and its advertisers, viewers know it as well...and that's why they'll want to watch it.
To see the birth of a legacy, and in the Heat's case, a continued tormenting of their trio if they meet with failure yet again.
This link contains Nielsen ratings for the NBA Finals going back to 1972. Since the Lakers completed their three-peat in 2002 with Phil,Kobe, and Shaq, only 3 Finals averaged double-digit Nielsens. 2 of those involved the Lakers (2004 and 2010), and 2 of those happened in the last 2 years. 2010 was a Celtics-Lakers rematch from 2008 while 2011 featured LeBron's quest to win his first title.
Some might argue that OKC's market size will pull ratings down, citing the similarity between their franchise andSan Antonio...and given that some of the lowest rated Finals of the last 10 years involved the Spurs.
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