Russell Westbrook was zigging when Thabo Sefolosha thought he was zagging, as a result the ball and pivotal Game 3 of the Finals landed in the hands of the Miami Heat.
Game 3 is always pivotal and once the see-saw eventually swung in favor of the Heat, we also gained a revealing insight into the schematics of both teams.
The Heat, who are fuelled by the pain and continual reminders of losing last year’s Finals were led by their battled-hardened Olympic Gold Medal winning core, they are highly experienced and resilient for having been forced to confront their demons.
LeBron James has emerged as the Heat’s floor general and cornerstone, he’s officially Batman to Dwyane Wade’s Robin, a hierarchy that has taken shape over the course of this season and now confirmed throughout the playoffs.
James is now two wins from securing his first title and one win from entering unknown territory of being just 48 successful minutes from earning that elusive ring.
Shane Battier has played the ultimate role-player cameo thus far, shooting 14-of-19 including 11 three-pointers as if he had been eagerly waiting 12 seasons to finally reach the Finals and accumulated the wisdom to completely seize the moment when it arrived.
Oklahoma City have learned, grown and evolved throughout the entire season, even adapting on the fly during the playoffs.
Have they now met their match and gone as far as they can on this particular learning curve or can they continue their gifted climb to glory improbably before they were expected to?
The Thunder only spotted Miami six points at quarter time, trailed by one at the half, two after three-quarters, but were clamped down during a suffocating fourth.
Kevin Durant fell into foul trouble for the second straight game, having to contend with containing James in stints, while on the other end of the court James covered Durant like life insurance at times.
The youthful Thunder are new to the Finals and for the first time in this matchup looked like debutants as the game and series’ edge was errantly thrown away in the dying moments of the fourth quarter.
These Heat have become the demons that will fuel the Thunder to their first title, the question is; will this happen next week in Oklahoma or sometime after?
18 Junio 2012