Heat and Thunder clash once more

24 December 2012 05:54:37 EST

The best in the East meets the best of the West in a rematch of last season's NBA Championship series between Miami and Oklahoma City on Christmas Day in South Florida.

LeBron James will hope to guide Miami to victory on Tuesday.

Winners of four in a row including Saturday's defeat of the Utah Jazz at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, the Heat have responded well since losing at home to the Golden State Warriors back on the 12th of the month.

However with defeats to the New York Knicks, twice, the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers and the Warriors there's a suspicion that Miami is not as hungry as they were last year.

Tuesday's matchup with the Thunder should go a long way to showing the relative merits of the two conferences where on face value the Western Conference is significantly deeper and more talented than their Eastern counter parts.

Wednesday the Heat kick off a four-game road trip in Charlotte against the plummeting Bobcats, and then continue on to Detroit, Milwaukee and Orlando before starting the New Year with the visit of the Dallas Mavericks.

Chasing behind the Heat, the Atlanta Hawks playing seven of their next 11 on the road away from the Philips Arena and all eleven are eminently winnable games.

First up is the visit of the Detroit Pistons before Atlanta leaves for a brief trip to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers.

The Ping-Pong schedule continues with the Pacers visiting Atlanta next Saturday before the Rockets host the Hawks on New Year's Eve.

Miami Heat are 3/4 to win the NBA Championship, with Oklahoma City Thunder 7500/1.

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