SUMOskinny magazine is the ultimate guide to college life. Part local, part national, and all college.
The Oklahoma City Thunder took care of business Tuesday night with an impressive 105-94 victory over the Miami Heat. Star forward Kevin Durant led the way for the Thunder, totaling 36 points and 8 rebounds. Analysts will surely praise Durant and the Thunder, while shamelessly lambasting the Lebron James-led Heat in the process. Here are a few things we can take away and think about after the exciting Game 1.
The Heat need a consistent third scorer.
10 points, Chris Bosh? I understand that he’s coming back from a debilitating injury and hasn’t been in “game shape” for a couple weeks, but this is the NBA Finals. If Bosh continues jacking up 3’s and being absent on offense, the Heat will desperately need another third scoring option. Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier (who had a surprising 17-point outing) are obvious candidates, which is a little unsettling for Heat fans. Miami cannot simply rely on the James/Wade scoring machine to lead them through the Finals.
The Thunder need better perimeter D
The Heat shot a decent 42% from behind the arc on Monday, but wasn’t the problem for the Thunder. Sometimes basketball teams simply shoot the ball well. The issue was the lack of attention given to anyone besides Lebron or D-Wade from the three-point line. This was evident in the first half, as Shane Battier connected on a few wide-open threes early. Mario Chalmers and sharpshooter Mike Miller also saw ridiculously open looks. While the Thunder contained James and Wade, so to speak, they still gave the Heat supporting cast too much room outside. Look for coach Scott Brooks to improve on this before Game 2.
Related: NBA Finals Preview: The Big Six
The Thunder have the definite home-court advantage
Chesapeake Energy Arena was electric on Monday, about 10 times louder and more frenzied than I’ve ever seen the Miami fan base. Heat fans are historically dreadful, consistently churning out low attendance averages. Oklahoma City has small-community camaraderie that gives players the extra confidence boost they need. Why else do you think KD signed that contract extension allowing him to play in the middle of nowhere for years to come? Miami fans will need to come in flocks if they want to compete with the rabid Thunder followers.
Thabo Sefolosha is the X-factor for the Thunder
Sefolosha’s specialty is defense, something he showed the world in Game 1. His ability to switch from guarding Dewayne Wade and Lebron James was admirable. Wade was held to 19 points, in large part thanks to Thabo’s bullish defense. He truly made guarding two of the league’s best players look easy. Also, the Thunder don’t mind his ability to knock down those wing 3’s every game.
Everytime you socialize with SUMOskinny, you get points. Read a story? Points. Share a story? Points. Use points to get free stuff in our shop now.