This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (43-23) vs. The Miami Heat (46-21)
Time: 6:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
TV: Entertainment Sports Programming Network, Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Sun Sports
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), 790 The Ticket
Enemy Blog(s): Peninsula is Mightier, Hot Hot Hoops
Previous Meeting(s): Jan 30 (Heat Lead Season Series 1-0)
The Thunder have finally finished out a relatively boring slate of Eastern Conference games unscathed. And now, the real fun can begin against the circus sideshow known as the Miami Heat. Though everybody and their mother-in-law knows about what's going on with the Heat, I'll tell you anyway. The team goes through extremely hot and cold streaks. Just this month, they had a four game losing streak to Orlando, San Antonio, Chicago, and Portland. But right after that, they had a three game winning streak against the Lakers, Memphis, and San Antonio. To put this in perspective, they lost to San Antonio my thirty points, then beat them by thirty points a week and a half later.
I know you're going to be surprised to hear this, but whether the Heat do well hinges on Wade, James, and Bosh. The other players can play an almost irrelevant role at times. And this is what makes the team so moody. When everything hinges on three guys, one or two bad nights can be really devastating for the team.
If the Thunder are to win, I'd say our main strategy should be to pick a guy, and shut him down. I don't care what player it is, but if we can limit one of their stars to a sub-par game while watching out for Miller and Chalmers, we should be alright. We also need to shift our offensive and defensive focus more to the perimeter, because they're capable of destroying inside-oriented teams. All-in-all though, the Heat are too hot right now to lose. They'll win in a relatively close one.
Prediction: Miami 112, Oklahoma City 104