Miami Gets Thunderstruck
Considering what transpired Wednesday night at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, I'm almost certain that Lebron would have rather attended an AC/DC concert than post 34 points in a loss courtesy of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Well, who wouldn't? A little travelling music, maestros:
After trailing by 18 points early, I thought that the Thunder were destined to lose that eight-game win streak. With a team full of seasoned veterans like the Miami Heat, I thought Lebron & Co would've continued to play solid defense and protect their 19-3 home-court record.
Oh, how my assumptions were dead wrong!
After that abysmal first quarter, the Thunder decided to awake and not only start launching three-pointers. After 16 makes, the Thunder ended up routing the Miami Heat, 112-95. After intermission, Miami didn't have a chance. Kevin Durant, Jeremy Lamb, Serge Ibaka, and Derek Fisher lit up the Miami Heat.
Given Durant's offensive tear over the past month, you'd have thought that the Miami defense would have targeted the perennial All-Star. Instead, Durant went off for 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting. This wasn't his most efficient game during a 12-game streak of 30 or more points, but he was effective on the defensive end and dished out five assists to go along with his seven rebounds.
This was certainly a testament to how skilled Durant is. Even with Lebron James playing suffocating defense, Durant still shot 9-for-17 against him, mostly jump shots. Durant has a lethal release that's almost impossible to block, which he showcased with relative ease on Wednesday night.
Miami has nobody to blame but themselves for this loss. They couldn't stop the Thunder's potent offense even with Russell Westbrook still on injured reserve. They even let the ageless one, Derek Fisher, go 5-for-5 beyond the arc. Lethargic defense perhaps, or the inability to effectively rotate on defense? Even with the Thunder seemingly hitting the bottom of the net at will, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's probably a combination of both. It's quite evident that the Miami Heat aren't playing the way that they should.
Regardless, tonight was all about Kevin Durant.
I'm sure Lebron's envy grew a little bit more after witnessing what Durant did on his home floor.
Round 1 of this regular season goes to Durant with an unanimous decision. Let's see what happens when Lebron visits Oklahoma City for Round 2 on Thursday 20 February.