Game 1 seemed to be full of great plays and great performances from both teams, but if you take an in depth look at the stat sheet it tells a one sided story. The Miami Heat got out rebounded, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison alone had the same amount of offensive rebounds as the entire Heat team. Those offensive rebounds led to more 2nd shot opportunities and when you provide the Thunder who shot over 50% for the game with 2nd chance opportunities it’s tough to leave with a W. The Miami Heat also got out assisted, mainly because the Heats offense is comprised of on ball screens for James and Wade, while shooters spot up in the corner and the wing waiting for James and Wade to dish. Oklahoma City had ball movement creating open shots from all over the floor as well as open driving lanes where Durant was able to create essentially whatever shot he wanted.
The Heat were simply outworked. The only player with a positive +/- ratio for the Heat was Joel Anthony, who in 2 minutes produced 0′s across the board. In order for the Miami Heat to get a win in game 2 they’ll have to find a way to take better shots, and make them. If Wade and James are going to take 60% of the teams shots, they both can’t shoot below 50% and expect to get a win. How can they get better shots? By utilizing their other threats on the floor, might as well limit Haslem to 15 or 20mins, if you’re going to use him as an “All-Time Screener/Rebounder” for 30mins a game you won’t win. You must have an offensive threat at the 5 spot to make up for the PG matchup that you are going to lose the entire series. OR since Chalmers is being underutilized, limit his minutes. Here is a suggested line-up:
PG-Wade SG-MIller SF-Battier PF-James C-Bosh
That gives the Heat an instant advantage on the offensive end…that’s 5 shooters. Defensively they can be exploited with Mike Millers lack of quickness but you have 4 other solid defenders and why not trust your offense since your defense isn’t getting you wins thus far.?
Oklahoma City plays the same every night so there isn’t much to be said. If they continue to play as hard as they do and share the ball when necessary and get out of Durants way when necessary they will be successful. If the Heat find a way to outwork the Thunder, if Lebron or Wade go for 40, or if they even decide to use my lineup I think the Thunder will be in trouble, This is the NBA Finals, which team will bring a sense of urgency to the hardwood?
I look forward to seeing a higher caliber of basketball being played tonight in Game 2. The Miami Heat have 2 of the 3 best players in the series but that doesn’t mean guaranteed victories, and for this reason I will watch the game and the stat sheet, measuring efficiency and congratulating the team who enjoys the correlating outcome.