A main story line has been how young the Thunder are, and how they lack experience. However, this will also help put pressure on the Heat to take advantage of this. The Thunder will only continue to improve from year to year, and with Miami at it’s peak right now, they must strike when the iron is hot. I can only see one of the three following situations coming to be.
1) Thunder win. Everyone proclaims the Thunder are the team to beat for the next decade: This of course would be the best/worst situations for the Thunder/Heat. Everyone will claim that Durant is better than LeBron, and that he can never win a title. Everyone will crown the Thunder the elite team in the NBA for years to come, and put the Heat in the background. Talks will come to blow up the Heat, fire the coach, everything that you can imagine.
2) Heat win a close series. LeBron plays exceptional. Everyone proclaims the Thunder are the team to beat for the next decade: People will finally be able to say the LeBron figured it out and won a title. Unlike LeBron, Durant and the young Thunder will not receive the back lash for not winning a title as LeBron has for the past five years. Everyone will simply point out that the Thunder hung in tough, and made another important stride in team success. I really don’t see how anyone could say anything negative about either team if this is the result. This will only build the desire for a re-match next year.
3) Heat win. LeBron plays average: This would obviously mean Bosh or Wade step up huge, or else the Thunder would win. This really wouldn’t help either team public perception. On the Heat side, again people will say that LeBron faded in the finals. We all know that story. For the Thunder everyone is going to be quick to claim the Thunder aren’t who we thought they were. They need to wait another year or so before they can truly contend for an NBA title.
I basically believe that no matter what the outcome is, the Thunder have made a strong enough statement that they will be contending for years to come, and the path for the title will come through them. No one expected the Thunder to become this good, this fast. The Heat are at their peak, if they don’t win now people will seriously question if this team can ever win a title. I don’t need go talk about LeBron in pressure situations, and from what I can tell, all the pressure is on him.