If a team wants to live by the individual, then they will also die by the same. The Miami Heat lived as long as LeBron James was able to take them in game one, but the end result was a 105-94 loss in game one of the NBA Finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The reason is simple: they played a better team.
The Thunder might be led by a superstar in Kevin Durant, but he shot an efficient 12 of 20 on the night and was matched all around by Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka among others doing what it takes to win. The Heat, on the other hand, were marked by poor shooting all around and an inability for anyone -- including Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- to step up and help LeBron, who had 30 points on the night.
Even after the game, Durant speaks in personal pronouns of "we" and references his coach Scott Brooks as a reason for winning.
"We just wanted to continue to keep playing," Durant said. "It's a long game, and every time our coach was just saying play harder, and that's what we did. It's a game of runs so you just have to make sure that every time we got a good shot, and on the defensive end we've just got to contest and play hard. We have to continue to do that."
If the Heat are going to come back in game two and tie the series, it will likely be because they come together and watch others on the team rise to the occasion. There's a reason that the Heat came this far on nights when names like Mario Chalmers is the hero.
Until then, expect the Thunder to continue to roll. This is how they've played all season and, as they say, the best team typically wins.
For more on the 2012 NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat, check out Welcome To Loud City and Peninsula Is Mightier. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.