The star-studded Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder will battle it out in a best-of-seven series beginning on Tuesday to be crowned 2012 NBA Champions.
The 2012 NBA Finals begin in Oklahoma when the league’s leading scorer Kevin Durant and his Thunder host the league’s MVP LeBron James and his Heat with both superstars looking to secure their first NBA championship ring.
The Heat edged past the Boston Celtics winning the deciding Game 7 in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series that at one point saw Boston leading 3-2.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said: "I guess that's what a seven-game Eastern Conference series is supposed to be like. It was good to see us come together in a very competitive series."
The Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs on their way to be crowned Western Conference champions.
Players to watch:
LeBron James: Miami Heat
The league MVP has been in superb form this season and with the Heat 3-2 down against Boston and needing an away win to stay in the NBA Playoffs he produced a brilliant 45 point, 15 rebound, five assist game to help Miami level the series at 3-3.
Kevin Durant: Oklahoma City Thunder
Durant was the league’s leading scorer for the third season in a row this year and is still only 23. The small forward combines great shooting with fantastic athletic ability which helped him lead USA to gold at the FIBA World Championships in 2010.
Dwyane Wade: Miami Heat
A former NBA Finals MVP when the Heat won the championship back in 2006, Wade was then partnered by NBA great Shaquille O’Neal. Last year he joined forces with US teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh as they got to the NBA Finals and this year they’ll be looking to go one better.
Russell Westbrook: Oklahoma City Thunder
Another star of the US FIBA World Championship winning side, the 23-year-old point guard in a phenomenal athlete who averaged a career high 23.6 points per game this season.
Photos courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images