By Charley Rosen, for NBA.com
Posted Jun 14 2012 11:57AM
The coaching staffs of both teams will diligently study the videos of Game 1 to learn precisely what happened, what didn't happen, and what needs to happen for their squads to have a better chance of winning Game 2. Here's some of what they might discover:
WHAT THE HEAT DID RIGHT: They hit a barrage of 3-pointers early in the game -- most notably Shane Battier.
When OKC's defense swarmed their dribble-penetrations, kickout passes by Dwyane Wade (eight assists) and Mario Chalmers (six assists) led to several open shots for various teammates.
Chalmers was more aggressive with the ball than he usually is.
Double screens set at the right elbow and also near the left box allowed curls and pops by the screeners to create shooting space, thereby proving the validity of an old axiom: Players who set good screens usually wind up with good shots.
Excellent ball movement resulted in Miami generating many more open shots than the Thunder.
Cross-baseline screens for both Wade and LeBron James put Miami's most dynamic point-makers in prime scoring positions.
On their own early-offense opportunities, James was rarely challenged on his way to the hoop.
The Heat cashed in on Kendrick Perkins' (zero assists, two turnovers) inability to make accurate passes while on the move.
Miami was able to control James Harden by attacking his defense and swarming his offense.
WHAT THE HEAT DID WRONG: They were outrebounded at both ends of the court.
Trying for steals, James made several ill-advised gambles on defense that led to easy shots by the Thunder.
When the defense collapsed on penetrations by Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant was often left open.
They were unable to get their running game in gear (four fast break points to OKC's 24), mainly because the home team shot a dazzling 51.9 percent.
Miami's interior defense was atrocious, allowing a host of layups and dunks in half-court sequences. Indeed, Chalmers recorded the Heat's only blocked shot.
There were precious few secondary rotations in the lane, which is why Nick Collison was able to rack up five offensive rebounds and score eight points on layups and dunks.
Durant was seldom tagged when he trailed OKC's fast break.
Wade and Chris Bosh combined to shoot 11-for-30, not close to a winning percentage. Bosh, in particular, had no defensive presence, was strictly a jump shooter, and was a non-factor.
When James had the ball on the perimeter, the Thunder always gave him room to shoot. This strategy worked to perfection as James was only 1-for-9 on shots from 15 feet and beyond.
LeBron's total stats were somewhat impressive -- 11-for-24 for 30 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. But he was only 2-for-6 in the fourth quarter, and scored five of his seven fourth-quarter points when OKC had already assumed control of the game. Haven't we seen this movie before?
WHAT THE HEAT NEED TO DO: Use cross-baseline screens to establish both Wade and James in the low post. Moreover, Bosh likewise needs more touches in the pivot.
Use more of the double-screen situations that were so effective.
Get better basket-coverage by playing Joel Anthony more than the two minutes he played in Game 1. This is also advisable since Anthony is Miami's best screen-role defender.
Have more on-ball pressure and weak-side help available when Battier plays deny defense against Durant.
Get the ball to LeBron after he curls off weak-side screens.
Have Wade guard Russell Westbrook and Chalmers guard Thabo Sefolosha.
No matter whom he's guarding, isolate Serge Ibaka to take full advantage of his penchant for biting on fakes (both of his fouls resulted from this) and saddling him with foul trouble.
The bigs have to make more aggressive shows when the Thunder set high screens in their early-offense sequences.
In half-court sets, LeBron needs to make quicker decisions with the ball to prevent OKC's defense from loading up in the paint.
Understand that lazy passes will be tipped or stolen by the Thunder's quick, long-limbed, athletic, and alert passing-lane poachers.
WHAT THE THUNDER DID RIGHT: Routinely split the Heat's double-teams of high screen-rolls.
OKCK took advantage of Miami's lack of shot-blockers by constantly attacking the rim.
Collison consistently out-hustled Miami's bigs.
Sefolosha hounded James on defense, sniping at his dribblings, and forcing the bigger man into help zones. Above all, Sefolosha refused to be intimidated.
On offense, Sefolosha helped to scramble Miami's interior defense by constantly moving without the ball.
Westbrook was able to get the ball wherever he wished.
Durant was able to carry the ball into the paint at will.
Durant moved to open spaces on the perimeter when the Heat's defense collapsed on ball-penetration. He did the same in early-offense situations. In other words, KD always had brilliant reads on what the defense was up to.
They ran as freely as the wind through an open meadow.
Amped up their intensity after halftime, which is a tribute to Scott Brooks' ability to make in-game adjustments.
Had a workable game plan that they executed nearly to perfection.
Overall, Brooks clearly outcoached Erik Spoelstra.
WHAT THE THUNDER DID WRONG: Shot too quickly too often in half-court situations.
Lacked snappy ball-reversals in half-court sets.
Westbrook frequently overhanded the ball (although he did manage to score on several of these occasions). Look for Miami to double him whenever he has the ball on a string for too long.
Failed to adequately contain Miami's double-screen sets.
Were unable to get Harden involved on offense.
The bigs were too passive in defense of Miami's secondary fast breaks.
Often overcommitted defensive help on penetration, leaving Miami's long-distance marksmen untagged.
Defense of cross-baseline screens was confused.
Ibaka rushed all of his jump shots.
WHAT THE THUNDER NEED TO DO: Get Harden going by getting him a few touches in the post.
Have the bigs establish a foul-line presence in Miami's secondary breaks to at least slow down James' uncontested forays to the rim.
Get better close-out defense on Miami's perimeter shooters.
Improve the defense of double-screens and cross-baseline screens, by either switching or having the screenee loop over the top of the screens.
Show more patience on offense.
After taking too long to dispose of the courageous but slow and weary Celtics, look for Miami to make adjustments to OKC's quickness and athleticism. But are they capable of making a sudden switch into overdrive?
If OKC doesn't win Game 2, then the significance of their opening win is seriously diminished. Are they mature enough to understand this?
Charley Rosen is a former pro basketball player and coach and author of 16 books on basketball.
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