The basic storyline of flow and struggle felt like the summary of game one. The Heat come out with energy and jump to a comfortable lead, only to see it reduced in the fourth. LeBron James was able to save this storyline for the Miami Heat, but scoring some clutch, athletic baskets down the stretch.
For the Thunder, Durant and Westbrook were once again dominant. Westbrook has emerged this season and playoffs as a different kind of point guard. His twitches and outbursts to the hoop are unstoppable. He always gets a hand on the ball in tip in situations. And his jams and oops are as ferocious as any so called point guard we’ve ever seen.
Durant kept up his streak of brilliance with another strong game, including a clutch three pointer in the final seconds that threatened to tip the balance of the game to the Thunder. Durant had another typically smooth opening three quarters, only to noticeably exert his will on the game more in the final quarter. The ability to divide a game like that and determine when to move into attack mode is impressive for a player who is 23 years old. It’s a trick that Jordan learned out of self-preservation later in his career. Durant’s mental game remains an enigma as much as what it is that drives him. But the early signs of beyond advanced basketball IQ suggest he sees the game differently than anyone who has come before. I would love to get more insight into how Kevin Durant approaches the game.
Miami saw the reemergence of Dwayne Wade, who had been heavily scrutinized in the media for having a lackluster game one. Wade came out with effort and intensity on both ends, and proved to be a crucial contributor for Miami getting over the hump and evening the series.
I see the series as even in both games won tally and momentum. The Thunder did what they needed to do by defending home court. Miami was able to get the split, but not before a serious scare of going down two games to none. The Thunder have lost no momentum, and perhaps Miami has taken a bit of pressure off of themselves as they head home.
Looking into the next game, I expect LeBron to have the biggest game of his Finals career. I think this will be a game where he scores in the upper 40s and has a near triple double. If Wade can post a decent line of production, the Heat will win on their home court. I also expect Durant and Westbrook to continue their stellar play. Neither side has any glaring weaknesses. It should be another down to the wire game. And we are all hoping the ball will end up in LeBron or Durant’s hands as the clock winds down.
A legend of the new era of NBA basketball will be born very soon.Tweet