Random Observations from NBA Finals Game 1
- The NBA finals have been billed by many as a straight duel between the two biggest stars in the game, LeBron James and Kevin Durant and it’s fair to say KD came out on top in Game 1. He finished with 36 points on 12-20 shooting including exploding for 17 in the fourth. Only one player has scored more points in an NBA finals debut than KD and that was when Iverson had 48 vs the Lakers in 2001, worth watching again if just for step-back-step-over on Tyronn Lue. (To just see that move skip to the 8:40 mark, i remember watching it live, an amazing moment!)
- As expected Perkins played reduced minutes and Collision benefited with a solid game on both ends of the court. Perkins minutes may be further reduced due to the Heat’s tactic of putting LeBron on him and allowing him to roam (which helped him pick up 4 first half steals) this is similar to the Celtics in the last round when they would put Garnett on Perkins and almost had him play a one man zone protecting the rim.
- The Heat were hot early on but may have fell in love with outside jumpers. These shots stopped falling in the second half and missed long range jump shots gave the Thunder an opportunity to get out on the break. The Thunder outscored the Heat by 20 points fast break points,this is the first time in any game this has happened since the formation of the ‘big three’.
Dwyane Wade was totally outplayed by Westbrook. The Heat need Wade back to his all-star best if they are to stand any chance in this series.
- KD and Westbrook had 41 points in the second half, the entire Miami Heat team had 40.
- Thabo Sefolosha was huge for the Thunder with some great defense, hustle plays and one outstanding assist. Most important was his defense on LeBron, he guarded him in the fourth and held him to 7 points on 30% shooting when he was on him. Although he has to work on his dunk game!
- Pat Riley and Zo were not a happy couple and this is an amazing gif!
- Eric Spolestra had a drastically reduced rotation only really playing six players, did this effect the Heat in the fourth?
- Chris Bosh hit three threes in game seven versus the Celtics, did this hurt the Heat? Bosh took 11 shots in the game and exactly zero of them where inside the key.
- As pointed out by Van Gundy in the commentary because of the cross match-ups the Thunder were getting far too many open looks and mismatches in transition, the Heat can’t give Durant wide open shots and expect to win.
- Thunder are now 9-0 at home in the playoffs and have overturned at least one double digit deficit in each round. Impressive.
- Lil’ Wayne actually got in to see the game last night after his problems during the last series but Weezy still wasn’t happy with the Thunder staff!
- Good news for the Heat is that they trailed in both the Pacers and Celtics series and managed to come back to win.
Questions for Game 2
- Will Erik Spoelstra start Bosh in game two?
- Will Perkins minutes be further reduced?
- Can Wade get his form back?
- Can Lebron out battle Durant in the fourth?
- Will Sefolosha make a dunk?
- Will Harden have a bounce back game after his poor showing in game 1?
- What sort of shirt will Westbrook’s wear after game 2?
Let us know what you think in the comments below!