NBA Finals Game 3 Prediction and Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat

Posted: June 15, 2012 by Shawn in NBA, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Miami Heat were able to hang on to Game 2 in Oklahoma City to tie the 2012 NBA Finals at one game each. An important thing to keep in mind is that the NBA Finals has a different game layout, due to travel difficulties, then the previous three rounds. Instead of playing in a 2-2-1-1-1 format, the Finals is in a 2-3-2 format, meaning in this series the first two games are at Oklahoma City then the next three are at Miami and the final two games (if necessary) will be back in Oklahoma City. This gives an advantage to the Thunder because even if they are down 2-3 the final two games are at the “Thunder Dome.”

Many are placing the Game 2 loss on Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, Stephen A. Smith and Magic Johnson even said it was the worst point guard play that they have ever seen in a Finals game. Magic must have forgot why people gave him the nickname “Tragic Magic” in the 1984 Finals against the Celtics. Westbrook’s stats for Game 2 are 27 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, a steal and only two turnovers! The problem that people are having is that Westbrook shoots too much, this is not breaking news because he has been doing this ever since he has been in the league. The Thunder had a better record in the regular season when Westbrook took more shots than Durant compared to when Durant shot more that Westbrook. This is just a classic case of people over reacting to a few possessions where Westbrook was out of control.

Some are saying Thunder head coach, Scott Brooks, should insert sixth man of the Year, James Harden, into the starting lineup but he gives the Thunder an explosive scorer when Durant and Westbrook need a rest. The Thunder have gotten to this point with Harden coming off of the bench it would not make sense to make a change after one loss.

LeBron James was unstoppable in Game 2 and if he continues to attack the basket and not settle for jump-shots it not only helps the Heat on offense but on defense too because there will be no long-rebounds that will spark an Oklahoma City fast break. Dwayne Wade will also have to play the way he did in Game 2 for the Heat to win again, he cannot afford to have another game in which he only scores 19 points on 19 shots like he did in Game 1. The Heat will also have to get more production out of their supporting cast because even though Shane Battier is shooting out of his mind, he cannot (theoretically) continue to shoot 75% from behind the arc. Miami cannot take their foot off the gas pedal, if they lose Game 3 they will give home court right back to the Thunder.

If the Thunder want to win Game 3 they will need to get off to a fast start, which they have not done in their previous three games being out scored 90-57 in the first quarter (according to ESPN). Oklahoma City will have to play like Game 3 is their season because they cannot afford to go down 2-1 with two more games in a row in Miami. Kevin Durant has been unstoppable up to this point and due to this the Thunder should be running the offense through him every possession and let him set up the plays and either attack or distribute. Durant has to find away to stay aggressive but also stay out of foul trouble maybe by not put him on James to start the game because he cannot contain LeBron in the post.

The Heat will Game 3 92-84 with LeBron having another monster game and Wade being there to lend a helping hand like Game 2.

Tell us your thoughts on Game 3 and the remainder of the Finals.

Check out the complete NBA Finals predictions here.

  1. Rob Barros says:

    You were off by 1 point! Wow

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