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2012 NBA Finals, Heat Vs. Thunder: Keys To The Series

The NBA Finals begin tonight at 6 p.m. with the Miami Heat, coming off its Game 7 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 in the Sooner State. SB Nation NBA writer Mike Prada compiled a list of keys to the series. Here they are:

1. Will LeBron James get fatigued?

2. Can the Thunder continue to avoid their regular-season turnover problems?

3. How will Kevin Durant be used?

4. How does Dwyane Wade get his points? Who does he defend?

5. Will Miami switch everything defensively?

6. Will Chris Bosh start? How will he change things? Will he change things?

7. Which small lineup wins out?

AND ONE. Which teams executes best down the stretch?

As for the one lingering question: Who ends up getting a ring at the end of the day, LeBron or Kevin Durant?

The Thunder have home-court advantage, which is huge, but I think the Heat are a really tough matchup for them with their size on the perimeter. Assuming James holds up physically, which is no guarantee, I see the Heat winning one of the first two games, twice at home and then finishing this thing off in Oklahoma City. Heat in 6.

Stick with this StoryStream for all your news throughout the 2012 NBA Finals. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, visit Welcome To Loud City and SB Nation Kansas City. For all your Finals analysis, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.