Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry points out two key adjustments by Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra before Game 2 even started that put the Thunder at a disadvantage from tipoff.
OKC had to be anticipating Chris Bosh being re-established into the Heat starting lineup. But leaving Battier in, taking Udonis Haslem out, and starting Bosh at center threw the matchups for a loop. And Battier's unlikely deadly shooting on the road carried over from Game 1.
These graphs from Mayberry's notebook:
Spoelstra changed his starting lineup for this one, inserting Chris Bosh and sitting Udonis Haslem. It worked like a charm. Bosh gave the Heat a boost of energy and a presence down low. He had a game-high 15 rebounds and scored 16 points and spent a good portion of the first half diving all over the floor for loose balls. Bosh's energy and hustle early illustrated how the Thunder was getting outworked.
The Heat started LeBron James out on Durant this time, and it too worked to perfection. Much of the reason the Thunder struggled was because Durant couldn't shake free from LeBron. His defense broke down the Thunder's entire offense. As a result, Russell Westbrook had no choice but to start jacking jumpers, Serge Ibaka, too. The Thunder even had to go inside to Kendrick Perkins, who was being guarded in the post by Battier. None of it worked.