Game One was the first time the MVP and scoring champ have met in the Finals since 1997 and it was a tale of two halves that predicated the final outcome. The Miami Heat outworked the Thunder in the first half, out-positioning their opponents for open looks and playing strong team defense. In the second stanza, Oklahoma seemed to settle their early game jitters, outscoring Miami 58-40 and winning the first battle by a score of 105-94.
– The Heat stopped attacking the basket for some reason and basically said, “c’mon OKC, it’s yours.” OKC was pretty much giving LeBron whatever he wanted when he went to the cup. ‘Bron should not take a shot within 15 feet in Game 2.
– Spoelstra has to make better adjustments. He got out-coached by Scotty Brooks and, no disrespect to Brooks, but he’s no Phil Jackson. The Thunder took Durant off LeBron. Miami kept Battier and Wade on KD in the fourth and he exploded. Miami has to put ‘Bron on KD. If he does the same thing, at least you can live with that.
– Like Cadet predicted yesterday, Thabo was crucial. He made life for Wade hell all night. He also made LeBron work for whatever he got in the second half. If OKC can keep Sefolosha outta foul trouble this series, they’ve got a great shot.
– LeBron had 23 points through the first three quarters, but only 7 in the final quarter. According to ESPN’s “glass half empty” perspective, he didn’t show up in the fourth. By our dumb math, he averaged 7 points per quarter *shrugs*. In terms of stats, LeBron put on the best performance he’s ever had in three trips to the NBA Finals.
– Wade scored 19 points on 19 shots. Think about that.
– Collison coming over to help Thabo with LeBron was a great strategy. Again, advantage Brooks.
– Russ and KD outscored the entire Miami team 41-40 in the second half. In the fourth quarter alone, the Heat scored 21 as a team while Durant almost single-highhandedly outscored them with 17.
– Also of note, KD scored 36 points in his NBA Finals debut. That’s the second-best debut in NBA history, second only Allen Iverson’s 48 points.
– LeBron’s Finals edition all-red Elites with black/gold Kevlar laces, red Air unit and translucent soles = ill.
– NorBel played 45 minutes last night. When Miami played Boston Coachin-4-Spo’ said “you can’t get tired” which means “I’ll DEFINITELY lose my job if you rest.” Watch and see if fatigue will finally get to James this series.
– ABC and OKC play host to Thursday night’s Game 2 at 9 PM ET.