Welp, OKC took game 1, so that must mean they’re going to win the series, right? Well, maybe. In a game 1 that scored the highest TV rating in history (11.8), there was plenty for pundits to discuss—including LeBron James losing in his 1-on-1 match-up against Kevin Durant. Wait, they weren’t the only two players out there? Huh.
Let’s go through some of the reactions, which—as Brant Parsons of the Sun-Sentinel reminds us—were definitely an assemblage of overreactions more than a sober reaction after a game 1 home team win. Defending your home court is what each team is supposed to do, in case you didn’t know.
Skip Bayless took to twitter to declare Durant better than LeBron after one game. But he still found time to criticize Westbrook for taking more shots than Durant, and is claiming that he’ll ask Durant’s mom about it. The level of anger I have towards Skip Bayless’ Twitter account, and general existence, is scary. I literally start shaking and have to go smoke a cigarette. I’m pretty sure I’m capable of extreme violence to get him to stop, but hopefully I never have to meet him. He’s an awful human being on every level, and even though it’s obviously ratings shtick, it’s boorish and uncreative, like that NBA Memes Tumblr.
So what can the Heat do? Gregg Doyel, who—like Bayless—lives to play devil’s advocate, says Dwyane Wade has gone from being all about winning to all about whining. He wasn’t the only one chastising Wade for his play. Dave D’Alessandro at the Star-Ledger thinks this is going to be a short series if the Heat don’t get more from Wade.
Tom Haberstroh at the Heat Index, makes a good point about the Heat upping their effort on defense so they aren’t out-scored 24-4 in fast break points. Good defense leads to easy buckets in transition; that’s NBA 101. It’s the first time in the LeBron era the Heat were outscored by 20 in that category. Diego Quezada of Peninsula is Mightier, mirrors this thought and says the Heat need to be more aggressive in game 2. Welcome to Loud City mentioned this with their recap featuring player and coach quotes; basically, the Thunder out-hustled the Heat, and that, more than Durant’s excellence or LeBron’s fading in the clutch (which he didn’t do) is the reason the Thunder won.
Stay tuned for more on the Durant-LeBron narrative that’s already gotten out of hand—Bayless isn’t the only one; the ridiculous notion that the Thunder are winning despite the ball-hogging of Westbrook (as stupid a notion as any of the others) and more.