The 2012 NBA Finals: Keys to Game 2

Dwayne Wade needs to at least match the productivity and
effectiveness of Russell Westbrook for the Heat to steal Game 2
(Photo by Getty Images)
The Heat is down 0-1 to the Thunder in the NBA Finals. Game 2 is on Thursday night and for the Heat to have a chance to tie the series, they need to make major adjustments. Here are the keys for the Heat:
  • Get Dwyane Wade involved early and often. D-Wade has to have a bigger impact on both sides of the court. The Heat cannot have Westbrook outplay Wade again and expect to win Game 2. Coach Spo should run more pick and rolls with Wade and Bosh/Haslem or assign post plays for him. Wade should eliminate isolation plays without using screens.
  • Manage the rotations better. Erik Spoelstra needs to give his starters more rest since they cant match the pace that the Thunder will set if their players are tired. The Heat bench must contribute a few minutes of rest for Wade and James. Chris Bosh must be inserted in the starting lineup to get him involved and focused as early as possible. He should be ready to play more than 34 minutes. 
  • Put LeBron on Durant more often. Kevin Durant exploded in the 4th quarter because he got favorable match-ups against smaller and weaker defenders. James was able to harass KD into 10 turnovers during a regular season game so he certainly has the skills to slow down Durant. LBJ could get tired on defense so the rest of the Heat need to pick it up offensively. 
  • Grab the rebound then run. The Heat was out-rebounded and they were pummeled into a 24-4 deficit in fast break points. They need to get the rebound first before having the chance to run. The Thunder will probably always have the advantage in transition points but if the Heat can narrow the deficit, then that's a big plus for Miami.  

LeBron James needs to be more efficient on offense and he
needs to be on Durant more. Playing defense on Collison helps too.
(Photo by REUTERS) 

The Thunder has the opportunity to go 2-0 and be halfway to the NBA trophy. They started slow in the first half but managed to comeback in the second half. If they can build a lead on the Heat early, it could be over for the Heat. Here are the keys for the Thunder:

  • Get Harden going. The third banana of their Big 3 only played 22 minutes due to foul trouble and managed just 5 points. The other role players picked up the slack with Collision and Sefolosha scoring 17 points between them. Still, the Thunder cant expect them to have the same impact offensively. If Harden plays more and scores more, the Thunder will be unstoppable. 
  • Make Durant take more shots. KD had an efficient game as he shot 12-20 and got his 36 points within the confines of their offense. Westbrook still took more shots and hijacked their offense a few times by shooting immediately without ball movement. 
  • Run and gun. The Thunder is the only team capable of providing more highlights and exciting plays versus the Heat. They dominated Miami in transition and owned the paint battle. The Thunder should continue to force the action and set the pace. If the Heat can slow them down, the Thunder will settle for jumpers which can help the Heat bounce back in Game 2
  • Contest the three-point shooters. Battier and Chalmers made 6 treys for the Heat early which led to a halftime lead for Miami. OKC must improve their closeouts and rotations to pressure the shooters into hurried and contested shots. Missed shots will allow the Thunder to attack in transition more
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