Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
If you’re a Heat fan, what worries you the most?
Steve Aschburner: If I’m a Heat fan, I’m not too comfortable with the idea that, from its lowest point in Game 2 (down 18-2), the Thunder outscored Miami 94-82. Now, I understand managing a lead and being in control and all that, so let me put it this way: OKC has come out without sufficient focus and hustle twice in two Finals games now, allowing itself to fall into early double-digit holes, and still it is a basket or two and a whistle or two away from a 2-0 lead in this series. There are some obvious things the Thunder coaches can clean up — like having your team ready! — and that could swing this thing fast.
Fran Blinebury: The same old thing, a nagging habit of having a hard time playing with poise down the stretch and closing. Because of that, the Heat very nearly dragged an 0-2 deficit home to Miami.
Scott Howard-Cooper: That I’m playing a team that doesn’t know it should be concerned. The uniqueness of the Thunder is their inability to act their age. They are mature and grounded and play with a composure beyond their years, so losing home-court advantage and heading to Miami 1-1 will not make them sweat.
Shaun Powell: The lack of production from the bench. It’s nice that Shane Battier’s shot is falling, but if he has a rough shooting game, who takes up the slack? Also, Udonis Haslem was a rebound machine against the Celtics but has been mild so far in The Finals. With Chris Bosh in the starting lineup, Miami needs someone to rise off the bench. Who will that be?
John Schuhmann: I’m worried that the Thunder got off to two very slow starts and still were just a possession or two from being up 2-0. I also understand that Shane Battier isn’t going to continue shooting 69 percent from 3-point range, and that we may have to win ugly once or twice. That would require slowing down the OKC offense, which may be an impossible task.
Sekou Smith: Heat fans have to be worried that they’ve been here before, that they’ve smelled what looked like success in The Finals, only to have things break down the way they did against the Mavericks last year. They also have to wonder how long Shane Battier can keep this up, this being his wicked shooting from deep and his ability to be in the right place at the right time whenever the Heat’s Big 3 need someone else to make a play. You want to bottle up the energy, effort and efficiency of Game 2 — sans the fourth quarter nail biting, of course — and unleash it on the Thunder in Games 3, 4 and 5 and avoid making a return trip to Oklahoma City, where the pressure will most certainly have shifted back on the Heat, if the series goes that way.