The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are in the midst of what many are calling one of the most exciting NBA Finals in recent memory.
Say what you want about LeBron James, but there comes a point where one needs to set aside the disdain and hate for him and soak in the skills he displays on the court.
Aside from James, I would venture to say the most important player on the Miami team through the first three games is Shane Battier.
Whenever the Thunder appear to be on a run or ready to surge ahead with the lead, Battier steps up and takes a charge or hits a three-point shot.
In the Finals, Battier is averaging 40 minutes per game which is 17 more minutes per game than he was averaging during the season. He is also shooting three-pointers at a ridiculous success rate of 73% (11-15).
Oklahoma City needs to keep Kevin Durant out of foul trouble and get more consistent production from James Harden.
Durant is averaging 31 points and shooting 57% in the series, but has been saddled with five fouls in two of the three games played. KD has not figured out how to defend James on the drive to the basket without fouling. Then again, who in the NBA has?
Harden has not been much of a factor thus far against Miami. He has tallied point totals of 5, 21, and 9 while shooting 41%. Throughout the season he has been counted on time and time again to provide momentum and production off the bench, but so far it hasn't happened.
So who wins Game Four?
Well, let's face it, predictions are like rolling dice. No matter how much we think we know about a team, their stats, and their tendencies, nobody hangs their hat on a prediction.
With that being said...
I expect LeBron James to have an off night (10 for 30 shooting) and James Harden to have at least 25 points en route to a seven point Thunder win.
What is your Game Four prediction?
Joe Chacon is a Staff Writer for Operation Sports and a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.