Both games have gone mostly how I expected, very close toward the end and tense. A true test of which players can carry their team the furthest. Game 1 the Heat had the obvious upper hand throughout the entire game. Lebron was carrying them, Battier was producing from beyond the arc going for 4-6 and Bosh and Wade were supporting the run with a combined 29 points. Then the 4th quarter came around and we divided the two superstars into separate groups. Before I say this, this is not a shot at Lebron choking in the clutch because he is clutch. Think game 6 of Eastern Conference Finals. Durant scored 17 of his 36 points in the 4th quarter to lead a comeback and win the Thunder game 1. Lebron scored 7 points, which is again a solid quarter production. It just showed who was able to really show up in crunch time when it mattered. Game 1 showed that Wade needs to be much more assertive in his drives to the basket for the Heat to sustain the lead. Lebron scored 30, but he can’t keep scoring and hold off the wildly energetic Thunder squad at the same time. Wade was active on D, but he wasn’t aggressive enough on offense and let Lebron take the fall. Game 1 showed us that Lebron can find great success in posting up KD. He did a great job of posting up from 12-15 feet and either driving, or hitting a turn around jumper. Game 1 showed us that Westbrook is a true superstar not just an athletic all-star. He contributed to the win with 27 points and 11 assists. He also only committed two turnovers, that just shows his development as a player because earlier in his career he used to be careless with the ball and in turn had a poor assist to turnover ratio but he is continuing to be efficient. Game 1 showed us that Bosh will have trouble scoring against the Thunder, the interior defense is too tough for him to score over and Ibaka is too athletic for him to just shoot over him after a jab. He will continue to have trouble. We also learned that the Heat’s supporting guys aren’t just glory-hunting scrubs but great supporting players. Battier had 17 points and Chalmers had 12 points. After Game 1, we have to think the series will continue to come down to the 4th quarter considering Wade only had 19 points and Harden only had 5. When those two produce more these games will be closer and have more factors to take into account.
Game 2 showed the difference Dwyane Wade makes to the Heat with his aggression and assertiveness. He recorded 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists and to no surprise the Heat ended up with the W. Bosh faired better in this game with 16 points and 15 rebounds, he was very effective on the boards and killed Oklahoma that way. Once again Battier scored 17 points, but the rest of the team only scored 11 points. That’s why the Thunder rally was possible, the Thunder were intensifying on defense and the Heat only had 5 players to score instead of a whole team. Luckily Lebron and Wade came up big in the 4th while Bosh rebounded relentlessly to keep them alive. The Heat still need the rest of their team to produce consistently otherwise, the Thunder will win the odd game in the series and ultimately win the championship. The Thunder fought back relentlessly and showed true heart. Unfortunately, they couldn’t finish it off. Harden was the best player in this game for the Thunder, and began the run that brought them back. He recorded 21 points while Durant had 32 and Westbrook had 27. They combined for 80 of the Thunder’s 96 points. They desperately need someone else to score with them. Three players can’t beat a team with an equally talented trio who have their supporting guys scoring. The Thunder also need to rebound the ball. Not one player, not even Ibaka and Perkins finished with double digits in the rebounds column. Ibaka and Perkins combined for only 12 rebounds while Bosh alone got 15. They have a strength and size advantage of everybody on the court at all times, they need to start rebounding to limit the Heat’s possessions and give them more opportunities. Overall, a close game in the 4th, and this time Lebron stepped up and held his team up until the finish line.
Game 3 is taken to Miami where the Heat are 8-2 at home. The fans are excited, the celebs will be piled high and Wade always plays better at home, on the flip side Battier only shoots 31% from three on his home-court as supposed to 42% on the road, his production has been huge and if he can’t produce like he has then the Heat may be in trouble. Harden should have another big game, as well as the usual suspects. The Thunder big men need to be more effective everywhere on the floor, they need to show their presence as well as the Thunder bench minus Harden.