James had his fifth straight 30-point game, breaking Wade’s franchise playoff record, and added eight rebounds. He defended Durant early in Game 1 and helped put the league’s scoring champion in early foul trouble, just one of the problems the Thunder had early.
Looking at Game 2 this morning. In the “LeBron vs. Durant” record books, this one goes down slightly in LeBron’s favor. But it’s close. Much closer than I thought it was. The foul trouble cannot be overstated. LeBron worked Durant hard early in the game and it broke up his rhythm. The refs no-called Kevin’s 6th foul and then made it up with swallowing the whistle on LeBron’s block. But the Thunder almost came back again. They’re dangerous. I still think the Heat win this series, but it’s not just a matter of the Big 3 gelling anymore.
To beat this Thunder team next year and in the years to come, the Miami Heat need more than they have right now. Another big man, a real point guard that doesn’t have to get verbally abused to play properly, maybe a younger Battier. But the window in which the Heat’s experience and savvy can overcome the Thunder’s athleticism is closing swiftly.
These guys (Durant first and foremost) are ready now.