*The Heat need to get more from Chris Bosh. Bosh played 34 minutes, but was largely ineffective grabbing just 10 points (none in the third quarter and only three in the second half) and 5 rebounds. While Bosh did account for over 80% of the Heat's bench scoring, he was largely a non-factor. For the Heat to have a chance in this series, he's going to have to play like a member of "the Big Three." Look for Miami to get him more involved in Game 2, possibly even starting him.
|Photo Credit: zimbio.com|
*People make too much of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook's perceived inability to co-exist. Yes, Russell Westbrook took more shots and shot a lower percentage than the NBA's leading scorer last night. But the Thunder won by 11, Durant and Westbrook combined for 63 points, and Westbrook was only 2 rebounds away from a triple double while only turning the ball over twice. Oklahoma City went 47-19 during the regular season, and they're 13-3 in the postseason having dispatched the Mavericks (in 4), Lakers (in 5) and Spurs (in 6). The people who are nitpicking Westbrook's shot selection in Game 1 are doing just that: Nitpicking. This tandem has now won 60 games this year and are three wins from a title. If they can achieve that, hopefully that will quiet the naysayers.
|Photo Credit: host.madison.com|
*Thabo Sefolosha is a very underrated defender. The 28 year old Swiss born swingman spent the bulk of his playing time in Game 1 on Dwyane Wade and LeBron James and was more than up to the task. Yet the 7 year veteran has managed to make the All-Defensive Second Team just one time (in 2010). If the Thunder win this series, expect Thabo's reputation to get a boost.
|Photo Credit: mysanantonio.com|
*Nick Collison was an unsung hero in Game 1. Drafted by Seattle back in 2003, the 31 year old Collison is the longest tenured member of the Oklahoma City Thunder and he came up huge in his NBA Finals debut. In 21 minutes, the 6'10" forward scoring 8 points, grabbed 10 boards (5 on the offensive end) and was diving on loose balls and making an impact on both ends of the floor. Collison was the epitomy of what the Thunder's second unit has brought all year: energy and effort. By comparison, the Heat got an uninspired effort from Bosh, 10 minutes from Mike Miller in which he only managed a garbage time layup, and two forgettable minutes from Joel Anthony. Oklahoma City got only five points from James Harden and the Thunder bench still outscored Miami's by 7 in Game 1. I don't know that Miami has an answer for that production unless Wade and James go absolutely nuts the rest of the series.
|Photo Credit: newsok.com|
*LeBron needs help. Whether it's Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers or someone else, someone is going to have to help LeBron James out. Or else James is going to have to score like 45 a game in this series. The scary thing is that he's probably capable of that. The question is can James hold up while logging all of these minutes. He averaged 45.9 minutes a night against Boston and logged 46 more minutes in Game 1.
|Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com|