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June 17, 7:00 PM ET
NBA Finals Pregame Chat

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:01 PM)

Greetings from Miami for Game 3! We're about an hour away from tip-off so let's get this thing rolling...

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:03 PM)

Before I forget, happy father's day to all the dads out there.... completely neglecting their families by participating in a basketball chat. I kid, I kid. Hope you've enjoyed your day!

Redd (Memphis)

Who has been the biggest x factor for either team?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:12 PM)

Shane Battier has been a huge difference maker for Miami and is really showing why the team made signing him a priority in the offseason. He's had 17 points in both games, including a combined nine three-pointers, and has helped carry the Heat in tough stretches. Interesting to note that Games 1 and 2 are the first time he's scored in double digits in back-to-back games all season. Talk about peaking at the right time. Miami is going to need another big game out of him tonight if they want to get the W.

Josh (Minnesota) [via mobile]

Who is better dressed for tonights game?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:12 PM)

So far I've only seen two uniforms so I guess that depends on your preference, Josh. I think we'll have a much more entertaining answer for that one after the game.

Mike, Hollywood, FL [via mobile]

Whose starting five has played better so far? Go heat!!!!!!!

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:15 PM)

While I don't think many would argue that the Thunder have a stronger roster from top to bottom, the Heat's starting five has done a much better job collectively in the first two games. The Big Three (plus Battier and Chalmers) have outscored their opponents by nine points when on the court together. OKC's starters on the other hand have been outscored by 18 points while sharing the floor. Seeing as this stat has been widely reported, it's a little odd that Scott Brooks says he won't alter the lineup tonight. But there has to be a reason they pay him the big bucks... right? We can reevaluate this in the postgame chat.

Hector, PARTY ROCKY [via mobile]

Who do you think would throw a better party..... LeBron, Wade or Westbrook?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:15 PM)

That's a clown question, bro!

kevin (ok)

would you start james harden?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:17 PM)

Is this Kevin Durant? I hope not for the Thunder's sake... There are way better chats out there than this one to partake in. Would I start Harden? Without a doubt. But there's a reason I'm not an NBA coach and Scott Brooks is. This formula has worked until this point so I think SB doesn't want to alter it now and screw up the chemistry he's developed with his starters. Even though his team has been outscored by 18 points with Perkins on the floor in place of Harden...

Cortney Merritts (East St. Louis)

What's been the cause of the Thunder's early offensive woes? The Heat's early defense or the Thunder's early offensive nervousness?

Ian (TX)

what do you make of the slow starts for the thunder? can they change that tonight and for rest of series?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:20 PM)

Lots of comments on OKC's slow starts tonight. Has to be concerning for Thunder fans. The Thunder have had two very slow starts to open the series. They obviously were able to come back in Game 1 but, as Game 2 showed, it's not the easiest task against the Heat to have to do consistently. Kevin Durant has been impressive in the fourth quarter but OKC needs him to get going earlier. He scored 33 of his combined 68 points in the fourth quarter. I can only imagine how scary of a player he would be this series if he started in the same beast mode as he finishes. Maybe a hostile road crowd will help motiavte the Thunder from the start tonight.

timmy342 (jackson)

Magic said Westbrook's performance was the worst he had ever seen from a point guard in Game 2. Do you agree?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:20 PM)

I'm not arguing with that statement. Or really any statement about basketball for that matter. Magic knows a lot more about basketball than I ever will.

Jacques (SoCal)

Which of these crowds is better? Does it give that team a home court advantage?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:22 PM)

OKC has one of the best crowds in all of pro sports. No question. Loud, passionate... This might be a good time to stop reading if you're in Seattle. They are essentially college football fans who have brought that intensity to their one and only professional team. They without a doubt have given the Thunder a true home-court advantage all playoffs long. Miami fans on the other hand are... super attractive. So there's that.

John (ca) [via mobile]

why are you a heat hater?!

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:24 PM)

So far, I've complimented Battier and the Heat's starting lineup and have yet to say a negative thing about the team. I can't win. Clearly. I'm sure I'll be called a "Thunder hater" within the next three minutes...

Brad B. [via mobile]

Am I wrong or does something seem off about d-wade this series?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:26 PM)

I'm not sure what's going on with Wade but he certainly doesn't seem like himself. He has flashes where he looks like the Wade of old but other times, he seems to really be struggling on the court. There seems to be a lot of talk that his problems are related to the left knee injury he's been battling with throughout the postseason. He won't admit that it's an issue but he seems to be limping at times. We'll see what he can do tonight but if his knee really is causing him so much pain, it's hard to imagine he can play a full game at the level we've come to expect from him.

taydahead columbia sc [via mobile]

game two was a lucky game for the heat...tonite durant and okc will turn it up

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:27 PM)

We'll see, Tay. Keep those predictions coming though, gang.

Paul (OMAHA)

Will whoever win tonight's game win the series??

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:29 PM)

As we learned last year, a Game 3 win doesn't exactly guarantee a championship. It would help with momentum but with teams this talented, it's just one game. I think a win tonight would mean more for the Thunder as it would open the three-game road stretch on a positive note and would reduce the sting of Thursday's loss. I have a feeling there's still a lot of basketball left in this series.

bryan [via mobile]

Am I wrong or is Durant/ lebron the new magic/bird or Jordan/Isaiah

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:32 PM)

You're not wrong, Bryan. I think the Durant-LeBron rivalry is going to be the one to watch for at least the next five years. These are two talented superstars and I think they're going to be seeing a lot of each other in June of the next several years. They're friends now (and Team USA teammates) but I'll be interested to see how their relationship changes as they continue to battle each other with so much on the line.

John (Pleasantville)

Why does it seem that ESPN always hire hacks from the east coast to write for their website? Do you attribute your success to being the voice of our generation or just plain luck?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:33 PM)

I'm definitely the voice of our generation. No question. In fact, I think I'm the voice of all generations. Thanks for asking, John!

Steven (Munich)

Are you a fair-weather-fan, i.e. a Thunder-hater?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:34 PM)

Classic. I'm totally using that later and pretending I made that up.

Manuel (mi)

Has either of these coaches impressed you more than the other?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:35 PM)

It's been really interesting to watch the contrasting coaching styles of these two. Brooks does a great job with a young squad and seems to always try and keep things positive during the huddle no matter how bad the situation on the court may seem. With a group so young, regardless of talent, I think yelling and screaming wouldn't be as effective. Spoelestra does a great job with an older, more experienced group of guys. He is significantly more hands off and I think that's what his team needs. Definitely worth paying attention to this during timeouts.

Ethan (Boston)

I can't figure Russell Westbrook out. Helpppppp? I trust you with your Jersey Shore opinions so I'll trust you here as well

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:37 PM)

Thanks Ethan. I think. First things first, Russell Westbrook isn't a traditional point guard. He's just not and he never will be. As someone said yesterday, he'll never be John Stockton. That said, his Game 2 performance left a LOT to be desired. Sometimes he seems to forget his main role is to be a playmaker and not the go-to scorer. Scott Brooks likes him to be a scorer but I would imagine his ideal would be for Westbrook to be a passer first and a scorer second. It's great if you're PG can score but it shouldn't be his priority or focus. If it is, you get what happened in Game 2. He's taken eight more shots than Durant during this series. Let that sink in a moment... Westbrook says he's not changing anything about his game but I would imagine he'll take considerably less shots tonight than what he's done in the first two games.

Lauren Yehle, Winters Ca. [via mobile]

If the Thunder doesnt win it all I will be shocked. Their bench is way deeper then the Heat's.

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:38 PM)

We're pretty even so far in terms of your predictions for tonight and the series. Keep 'em coming...

JKool [via mobile]

Why can't LeBron shhoot in the 4th qtr?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:39 PM)

Same reason you can't spell, Jkool. I kid, I kid. I think LeBron and Russell Westbrook have the opposite problem. Westbrook's mentality is to shoot, shoot, shoot whereas LeBron is, at his core, a playmaker first. Everyone expects LeBron to take the clutch shot but he prefers to pass. That's not always a bad thing. He'll get criticized no matter what he does but he just needs to find a better balance of his offensive options, particularly in late-game situations. While he may have talent that rivals MJ, he doesn't have the same game. Once people figure that out, I think they'll enjoy watching him more.

M k [via mobile]

Durant is the best small forward in the league and miami cant out shoot them real talk

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:39 PM)

There's nothing I like better than real talk.

Scott Jackson TN [via mobile]

Why is it that Lebron is so hated? He is the best at what he does so he should do it how and where he wants to do it.

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:41 PM)

That is THE question isn't it, Scott? It's still the lingering consequences of 'The Decision'. It's going to be hard for him to completely silence all of his critics. Although I think a championship ring may help... I feel pretty confident that the LeBron hate has died down signficantly this season vs. last season and I think that trend will continue the further away we get from that.

rEGGIE [via mobile]

is lil wayne in the house tonight?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:42 PM)

No sign of Weezy yet. But then again, I'm pretty sure it's against celebrity code to show up to an event early or on time. I really hope if he does come, he gets treated better here than he did in OKC. I know how disrespected he felt when he was turned away because he, you know, didn't have a ticket. Who knew to sit courtside you had to have a ticket? The life of an A-list rapper sure is tough.

brandon hinge, kentucky [via mobile]

what do you think of westbrook's clothing? too much?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:44 PM)

Russell Westbrook's shirt choices make me proud to be an American. A land where we can wear whatever we want and not be punished. I find myself giddy after games just to see what he's going to wear. Have to think Westbrook, knowing he's not the most sought-after star even on his own team, does it to get equal attention to the superstars. He's extremely talented but the clothes have put him in another level this postseason. Laugh all you want but it's a very smart business decision.

watson, houston [via mobile]

all the OKC fans were given shirts for the first 2 games, is miami doing that tonight?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:45 PM)

It's either a white out... or everyone just got off their yachts and the tennis court. Tough to tell in Miami. But I'm just impressed most of them are here on time. I kid, I kid. Fans were given shirts today that read, 'Beat New York, Indiana, Boston, OKC' with the first three teams crossed out. I give it a C in creativity.

Saul (Texas )

Who has to set the momentum for Oklahoma City?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:46 PM)

Think it has to start with KD, Saul. He's been a major force in the fourth quarter but hasn't started strong. Being the undisputed leader of this team, he needs to step up from the start and motivate his team.

jerred (norman ok)

do u expect a fast start tonight from thunder?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:48 PM)

I think it's going to have to be a fast start to have a real chance of winning on the road. Maybe having spent the last two days in a hotel room, away from home and the distractions that sometimes can bring, will allow them to be focused from tip-off.

stretch from da west [via mobile]

Why can't the media be consistant? Analyst change their stance on things like they change their draws...

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:50 PM)

How do you know how often people change their draws? A good analyst reacts to what they see and observe and that tends to change on a day-to-day, or even quarter-to-quarter basis.

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:51 PM)

Totally dark right now in the arena for the pregame introdcutions. Seems to be almost a full arena. And with over 10 minutes till the game starts. I'm impressed.

Scott (Lake Charles, LA)

Slightly in a different direction, but win or lose do the Heat need to make changes to keep up with the Thunder after this season?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:53 PM)

Great question, Scott. Considering how young OKC is, I would think they will only continue to improve. They already have a deeper team in my mind than the Heat so it might be in Miami's best interest to improve the Big Three's supporting cast. Paging Steve Nash..

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:54 PM)

Side note: does paging still exist?

Scott Jackson TN [via mobile]

Do you think okc can keep the core and Harden. I mean harden is a big time player and a true starter who should draw big money.

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:57 PM)

They should do absolutely everything they can to keep this core in tact. Not to mention trying to resign Scott Brooks...

George (Brooklyn NY BABY!!)

who ya got?

D'Arcy Maine
  (7:59 PM)

I think that's a good question to end with, George in Brooklyn. I'm taking the Heat, 92-89. There's a 99.4% chance I'll be wrong so take from that what you will.

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:01 PM)

That does it for me. Thanks for chatting tonight! If you still feel like chatting, the Daily Dime crew has you covered all game long and I'll be back after the game. Enjoy Game 3!