The Miami may remember this game as the one where they wasted 25 combined points from Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers.
In the first half, the Heat came out of fire only to go ice cold in the second half. They also allowed Oklahoma City to score 31 4th quarter points with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook going off. The two young superstars scores 34 and 27 respectively. I mentioned in my preview post, that Westbrook needed to take care of the ball and make smart passes for his team to win. Well, he had 11 assists and just two turnovers. That’ll do it.
Durant gets his own paragraph. He was unbelievable in the 4th quarter tonight, putting the team on his back early and delivering several daggers. Don’t forget, he’s only 23 years old. Scary, scary thought.
Lebron James certainly didn’t disappear in game 1. He had 30 points on 11/24 shooting, with 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Good, but not great game.
Dwayne Wade was absolutely awful tonight. He shot 7/19 from the floor for 19 points. The Miami Heat have absolutely no chance of winning this series if Wade doesn’t play much better than that.
Chris Bosh also had a bad shooting night (4/11) and seems to have fallen in love with the three point shot after going 3/4 from deep in game 7 against Boston.
I have to give Scott Brooks credit. In the first half, OKC was getting killing by bad matchups due in large part to the presence of Kendrick Perkins. He is simply dead weight against a team like Miami. He’s a low post defender who offers almost nothing on offense. Once Brooks realized this, he went smaller and the Thunder were better on both sides of the ball because of it.
Don’t buy into the knee jerk reactions you’ll hear over the next two days. Miami had a chance in this game due to a great first half, but there’s plenty of matchups and mistakes they’ll see when they look at the tape and should be able to adjust.
I expect Lebron to post up more in game 2. If Kevin Durant continues to guard him for a majority of the game, he should be able to exploit that matchup. There were also times when Russell Westbrook switched on James and he didn’t take it to the rack. He’s a smart enough player to recognize these mismatches.
I would also be shocked if Chris Bosh doesn’t start game 2. He’s healthy enough and needs to force the Thunder’s hand early in the game.
Miami only played 7 guys. What does Mike Miller give them that James Jones doesn’t? Besides aches and pains?
Game 1 was a lot of fun. Let’s just hope we get 6 more of these.