Just Like That, Miami Is Right Back In It
Alonzo Mourning is not walking through that door. Neither is Bimbo Coles, for that matter. Not to worry, Miami fans. Shane Battier is in the building. The free agent pick-up has absolutely been on fire over the first two games of the Finals. Battier is shooting 12-17 over that stretch, 9-13 on three-point shots, alone. I mentioned the necessity for Coach Spoelstra to make some vital adjustments, but the difference in this game was actually as easy as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh simply playing better.
Strangely, in series where OKC should have a decisive advantage in terms of role-player productivity, the Miami Heat were able to steal a game on the road, as they head back to South Beach having tied up the series (1-1) with the next three games coming in the friendly confines of American Airlines Arena. Even though Miami did exactly what I said I wouldn’t be surprised by (respond with a Game 2 win), I’m not ready to say the Heat have taken absolute control. Not that I’m doubting Miami’s ability to maintain a home-court advantage, just that I’ve witnessed the Thunder win tough games in Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Antonio along their path to the Finals.
While some are referencing OKC’s lack of the same defensive intensity in Game 2, I would venture to say Miami simply got their legs beneath them, and made the necessary adjustments. From the start, Miami established the tone by aggressively attacking the basket, instead of settling for the jumpers they were relegated to in Game 1. Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling the team that wins Game 3 will ultimately go on to win this series. Sure, there are (potentially) five games remaining, but something tells me if Miami is able to ride the momentum of a tough win in OKC, they’ll be able to figure out how to close the show. After all, they are one of the better front-running teams out there. On the flipside, if OKC can avoid the ridiculously slow starts, you’d have to think they’d fare better in this series.Game 3 is on Sunday at 8pm EST. Who do you have?
Jabari A. Davis
@RealTalkOnSprts on Twitter