|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAArguably, the biggest game in the NBA tonight is the matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat.
The Thunder travel to South Beach to take on a team with a slightly stronger record, a team that has come roaring back from its five-game losing streak to post three huge wins, two of them against the most elite teams in the NBA Western Conference.
NBA odds favor James, Wade, Bosh, and the Heat by -6 points, with the total set at 202.5. Since that embarrassing five-game losing streak, Miami has knocked down both the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. The Heat seem to play much better against the elite in the West, and falter against the best teams in the East, such as the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics.
Oklahoma City is entering this game on their own hot streak, winning seven of the last eight games. They are coming off of a win against the Washington Wizards. But then again, who hasn't beaten the chronically injured, short-handed Washington Wizards this year? Kendrick Perkins has also returned for the Thunder, although he is still working off some injury-related rust.
The last time these two teams met, Miami pulled out a close win 108-103. The two organizations are fairly well matched, and the return of Perkins should give the Thunder a much needed defensive boost against the offensively minded Heat. Perkins' debut with Oklahoma City was an average six points and nine rebounds affair, but as he gets back into playing more, those stats should go up.
So are the Miami Heat going to make the Thunder their next victim? Or will it be the other way around, and the Thunder's hot streak ends tonight in South Beach? That may depend on how well Chris Bosh plays for Miami. He has been on fire recently, but his inconsistency could crop back up at anytime. He has averaged 24.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in the three recent Heat wins.