Thoughts on the first game of the NBA Finals….
The Miami Heat should be discouraged because: Dwyane Wade’s offensive game consisted of difficult jumpshots that stopped falling after the first quarter. Despite the team’s best efforts, Durant could not be contested and shot very well from the field in the fourth quarter. LeBron took too many jumpshots and failed to provide consistent scoring at the end of the game. Chris Bosh did little to contribute and made some critical errors. The entire team only scored 4 fast break points the entire game.
The Miami Heat should be encouraged because: LeBron has showed once again that when he gets the ball on the move towards the basket, he is unstoppable. He had trouble in isos late in the game with Sefalosha, but if he has any speed going he can score almost at will. Battier and Chalmers gave huge contributions, mostly because the Thunder were so worried about Wade and James. Haslem rebounded well. The Heat were also in control for most of the game on the road. In fact, if not for Durant’s heroics, the Heat should be up 1-0 right now.
The Oklahoma City Thunder should be encouraged because: Durant and Westbrook were exceptional in the fourth, particularly KD. Sefalosha showed that he can guard LeBron and Wade in a straight isolation. Derek Fisher once again provided some nice scoring from the bench. They survived a tough first half and a barrage of 3’s, didn’t panic, and came away with the win.
The Oklahoma City Thunder should be discouraged because: James Harden was not able to get going offensively, and in games when Westbrook struggles, they need Harden to be the second scorer. Westbrook and Ibaka were both missing jumpshots. They came out of the gate with a little less fire than the Heat.
I expect Game 2 to play out very differently from Game 1. Durant will probably have another big game, but I think we’ll see a lot more from D-Wade. My guess is the Thunder are in control for most of Game 2, but when the jumpshot deserts them, the Heat will rally for the win.
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