Miami Heat (12-7, 4-5 road) vs. OKC Thunder (13-3, 9-0 home)
Thunder lead series tied 1-0
View from the enemy: Heat Index
This game is important. Know why? Because it’s the next game in the NBA Finals.
But in terms of a little extra added on, the Heat certainly don’t want to fall back 0-2 to the Thunder and the Thunder most definitely want to go up 2-0. Obviously, being in an 0-2 hole isn’t impossible to climb out of, but it’s very tough to do. You have to win four of five and the Heat would need to win two of the next three games on their own floor to even bring it back to OKC.
So in terms of juuuuuuuust a little something extra, Game 2 is big.
Can the Heat play better? Where do they adjust? Will LeBron defend Durant? Is Dwyane Wade healthy? Does Chris Bosh start? Questions, questions and more questions.
Here’s what I think we learned in Game 1: If the Thunder play their best, and the Heat play their best, the Thunder are probably about six points better. That’s not to say OKC will win tonight, or the series. But the Heat got mostly an ideal effort in Game 1 and just couldn’t hang with the Thunder juggernaut.
Game 2 will feature some adjustments and some new wrinkles. In the end, it’s about making shots, playing defense, grabbing rebounds and doing your job. The Thunder have been almost mechanical with this stuff at home, but the deeper it goes, the more tense it becomes. Three is closer than four, and that’s the number the Thunder are looking at now.
The Thunder can’t lose at home and expect to win the series. Losing at home means they have to win in Miami. Defend The Peake, defend OKC and take a 2-0 lead to South Beach.
Tip at 8:00 CT. Go Thunder.