|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBALast night, the NBA featured two Game Two matchups, with the Heat looking to go up 2-0 on the Celtics, and the Thunder hoping to pull even with the Grizzlies.
Both of the home teams won on Tuesday night, and it is looking increasingly likely that the Heat will be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. The Thunder also came back from a shaky Game One to hit their shots from the field and from behind the arc.
The Miami Heat have won both of their games against the Boston Celtics in this series at the free throw line. Last night, the Heat attempted 36, compared to the Celtics at 22. In fact, Miami made more free throws at 27 than Boston even attempted. In almost every other statistic, the two teams were about even, including field goals, three pointers, rebounds, assists, and turnover. The Heat were just barely better, but the Celtics could not go to the line as often as the Miami players.
The Memphis Grizzlies came out shooting poorly in the first quarter, scoring only 17 points compared to the Oklahoma City Thunder's 28. The Grizzlies could just not overcome that deficit the entire rest of the game, and falling into that deep a hole in the first quarter made it nearly impossible to climb back out. The fact that the Thunder made 53% of their shots and 57% from three-point range buried the Grizzlies for good in Game Two.
It is fair to say that the Thunder will not always shot that well against the Grizzlies, and that Memphis will not always shoot so poorly the rest of the series. When the Thunder get that hot, they win games with ease, as they did last night. They also got 17 fast break points, which is more of a concern for Memphis. Their Game Three adjustments should take into account stopping the Thunder from getting the easy baskets.
The Celtics have more of a problem with the more athletic Heat. The C's just can not compete in the running game, and are lacking an effective answer inside the paint to James, Wade, and Bosh. Their lack of a true center means that Heat players can get close to the rim and score easy points or make it to the free throw line. But with the way that Miami is playing right now compared to the rest of the Eastern Conference, they could quite realistically make it to the NBA Finals.