Blogtable: Series Shifts To Miami

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.

What do you expect to be different in Miami? Anything? Everything?


Steve Aschburner: Fewer pickup trucks? More empty seats at tipoff? Oh, you mean on the court. Well, as stated elsewhere, I’ll be shocked if Oklahoma City doesn’t start games better from now on. But the biggest difference resulting from change of venue will be big help from a couple others in Miami’s supporting cast. Namely Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem. They’ll be more comfortable in familiar surroundings and might ease the burden on Shane Battier to continue playing above his head. Still, this series could be played in Poughkeepsie and it ultimately would come down to the “big six” of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Chris Bosh and James Harden. That doesn’t change.

Fran Blinebury:  Only the swimwear.  You can go topless on South Beach. Very little on the court. I always thought this would be a highly entertaining, highly competitive series that’s going six or seven games.  If the Thunder can get two in Miami — and it’s possible — then we’ll really find out what the Heat are made of.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Nothing. I thought it would be a close series all along — the pick was Thunder in 7 — and I think the next three games will be a continuation of the last two. If Miami can get a big win, though, that will mean a slight change. The Heat being able to lighten the minutes on its stars, even for a night, pays big dividends because OKC has the advantage in depth. The more Miami is able to succeed with a seven-man rotation, the better off it is.

Shaun Powell: There’s no home-court advantage in this series, so the shift in venue means nothing. Besides, nobody every confused American Airlines Arena with a snakepit anyway. The next three games will be like the first two. They’re all going down to the final three or four possessions, folks. The stars must step up and the ball must bounce right. And even then, we’ll probably still be forced to wait until the series returns to OKC before getting a champion.

John Schuhmann:  I don’t think much will change and it does feel like all of the games will come down to the final few minutes. But I suspect we might get an Eastern Conference-style (ugly) game or two in the next week. I also think that Chris Bosh will continue to trend up, making more of an impact as the series goes on.

Sekou Smith: The weather, the nightlife and the scenery is all going to be drastically different now that this series has shifted to South Beach. But the spirit of the competition between these two teams won’t change a bit. They’ve gone after each other in all of the ways most of us expected before the action began. A time zone change won’t have any impact on that one way or another. The Heat didn’t appear to be rattled at all at their surroundings in Oklahoma City and the same should be expected of the Thunder, who have been road warriors throughout this postseason. If you thought this series was fantastic through two games, you won’t be disappointed with Games 3, 4 and 5.

49 Comments

  1. Raf says:

    Miami has played much better at home all season, for some reason. Maybe they were all hypnotised into improving when they hear an announced shout “DOS MINUTOS!”. I don’t expect Miami to keep getting killer starts, even at home, but I do expect them to have an improved 2nd half performance back in Miami.

    This game is SO important. Winner probably wins the whole shebang.

  2. Efr@ says:

    MIAMI IN 5 !!!! EVERY GAME IS A DESPERATION GAME!!! ITS THE FINALS ….. WE’LL SEE

  3. Celtic Fan says:

    Hakuna matata,OKC!

  4. mark15 says:

    durant for final mvp okc win the champ, lebron better luck next year

  5. polyflux2005 says:

    It’s H-E-A-T Time. OKC have to queue up and wait for their turn, …. long time maybe.

  6. rod says:

    heat will goin to win their 2nd ring this time..,no chance the thunder hastt on miami floor,.remember guys.they have the best homecourt record this season.,

  7. jonfer says:

    MIAMI got it 4-1

  8. finale says:

    Savor the moment!

  9. wadeallday says:

    heat gonna take it thunders too young, kinda reminds me of lebron back when he was in the finals with the spurs

  10. bheinteh20 says:

    from the above writers, all of them predicted thunder in 6 or 7 except one, forgot who. now lets see if they can keep up their stand.

    • supertammy says:

      john schuhmann is the only one who has the best frame of mind to pick miami unlike the other writers who only know how to jump ship! remember they are also the ones who picked san antonio over okc, the rest is history!

  11. SirRoque says:

    I believe this series comes down to stamina. I understand there are 6 ‘superstars’ however if Heat can maintain heir intensity from the start and hold their stamina I can’t see why the Heat don’t win all three home games and take the finals!

    Question: who can stop Lebron once hes in beast mode? Stamina

  12. gerald29 says:

    in this thee games in south beach,, i can see the heat will dominate the thunder,,,,with the six man of the heat,,, stepping up ,,thats the crowd…heat team will show what there are made of…bullying depense..

  13. Mick Salmons says:

    @Fran Blinebury- “If the Thunder can get two in Miami — and it’s possible — then we’ll really find out what the Heat are made of”?

    If the Thunder gets 2 wins in Miami and you still don’t know what the Heat are made of then.. then there’s something wrong with you.

  14. Jonathan says:

    Yes I am a Heat fan! BUT! looking at this series objectively, its fair to argue that it is going to be extremely difficult for the heat to hold their home court if the Thunder come out swinging and that’s a big IF. We all know the Thunder have it in their arsenal, but in order to make it a series, they must take one game from Miami. This is not an easy task as the thunder have struggled to make their stamp early in the game and with no fan base behind them in Miami, it will be tough to gain momentum in the second half. We all know the best home court team in the NBA is the Heat so lets see if they can absorb the punch OKC has coming at them and dominate at home!

  15. Gil says:

    GO GO GO HEAT…..

  16. Godric says:

    i agree to ezi_47

  17. Gil says:

    Ha ha ha.i thought Heat will close max 6 games.But the color of the series,it seems HEAT will end in 5th game.

  18. LAheat says:

    a THUNDER strike would only start a fire, make the HEAT worse. fire burning! more AGGRESIVE! HEAT all day baby!

  19. Defense of the KING says:

    The Heat are the underdogs? Really? If you have the Best Player in the World you can’t be called a underdog. Just watch LeBron James burn the Thunder! Miami gonna win this series. enough said.

  20. ontifex says:

    lets go heat, we need at least 2-3 in our home court

  21. Dom says:

    The heat had the best home record in regular season. I think its huge. Mr powell said he doesnt recall the AAA being big. Well, #1 record is huge. I dont think U count the Boston and Indy series because Chris Bosh is out. Miami also went undefeated like OKC in playoffs last yr until a game 2 home loss to Dallas. If the heat take just 2 out of 3, that means the heat go back to OKC up 3-2. With 2 shots to close it out. and with 1 game to win his 1st ring. heat win it in 6 if they take 2 in miami.
    mark that down. Heat win 2 in miami, they win in 6. If they win games 3 and 4, I think its over in 5. OKC has to win 1 of the 1st 2 in miami to extend the series.

  22. LOLakers says:

    Miami in 5 easy!!! There’s no way the Blunder can beat Miami at home!!! Lebron for finals MVP and GOAT!!!

  23. Efr@ says:

    everybody will be amazed if the heat win this in five…. nobody has tell that this could happen n it could. we’ll see……

  24. BRUNOLAY says:

    Miami in 5 worst is on 6!

    Miami FTW!

  25. Māris says:

    heat 4:2 thunder

  26. steve says:

    Aint no disrespect to OKC, but Miami was said to be underdog all the time for some ,,reasons,, . And so far all i see is Maimi and James taking charge from the very first minute and almost took two games out of two in Oklahoma. So OKC fans should shut the .. up! and show some respect!!!! You guys survived both games. The only reason it is not yet a Blowout and baad Sweep is Miami coach ERIK Spolstra. Thank him for keeping you guys in the series!

    • cesar says:

      Miami will win…IF! and I HOPE they win at least TWO in their home court.. i know oklahoma can come back with a win there… BUT if MIAMI WIN TWO OR SWEEP, thats good!

  27. Håkon Rodvelt Anvik says:

    I’ve followed Lebron throughout his years in Cleveland and Miami, and I’ve never seen him change this much from one season to another. He realized what he had to do, and have pulled off one of the greatest seasons this league has ever seen- Mentally, he has a greater focus and another approach to the games. Physically he has improved his postgame, and he has taken smarter shots. I’m not saying Lebrons changes will cause the thunder to collapse, but he will help Miami get that 4th quarter energy and focus. It’s incerdible seing him this prepared and focused. If the Miami Heat moves the ball, takes wise shots and plays that lock down defense they are capable of, OKC will have much more struggles with them. The OKC plays a lot through KD and Westbrook, and if you stop the pick and rolls, or double Durant when he’s feeling it, I really believe Miami can win this. With Bosh back to give a flow and threat to their offense, D-Wade can be effecient as well. I really hate seeing Miami being hated this much, I agree coming out of Free Agent summer saying they would win 5 consecutive championships was a mistake, even the big 3 agreed to that. But Lebron and Wade and Bosh are really nice guys, playing unselfish basketball, and the fact that he left cleveland is something the Ohio fans much accept, he had a bad situation going on there with a team that had no future winning the playoffs. All he wants is a ring. Why do we hate his desire?

    • Good post, I agree with you!

      Lebron is in the zone and about to peak! Never seen him like this. I’m rooting for Miami. Picked them to win it, just by a feeling I got through the season. And now it manifests. Their playing more as a team, especially this finals. And they ALL want it!!

      I would like to see Lebron getting his first ring, with a big smile on his face, relief and the silence of the critics. It’s not gonna be easy, thunder are good but Miami wont let this opprtunity let slip. Its probably gonna be a shootout all the way and dont think any team will really crumble. Just who wants it more…

      Enjoying it so far!

  28. Champions 1 says:

    Major changes. Heat will be dominating the entire game and Lebron will earn his first ring home. Today’s game is going to surprise all the critics and haters who have been haulting nasty comments on Lebron James. LETS GO HEAT!

  29. FAN1 says:

    The Heat’s big three are going to be far more aggressive on their home court for sure. The heat need to get Durant in foul trouble just as they did in game 1, more specifically D-Wade with his nice pump-fakes. It’s all about controlling Durant and not letting him get a hot hand, just like miami did in the first half of game 2. Also, I’m guessing OKC’s late rallies are going to be less likely to occur in South Beach.

  30. ezi_47 says:

    MIAMI supporters= loyal and true fans!
    OKC supporters = loyal and true fans + Boston BITTER fans + Cleveland can’t-get-over fans + Lebron HATERS + LAKERS in-denial-their-old-and-their-time-is-up fans + ESP (and the list goes on)

    My point? MIAMI will always be outnumbered wherever they go! people will hate on them and would pray for them to fail again. I’m a Lebron fan since his rookie year. I didn’t like “THE DECISION” but I still support him. People makes choices, and this is his choice and I respect that. There’s NO WAY Lebron will let this one slip away! MIAMI will be Champions!

    • BBall Fan says:

      totally agreed with you, i’m with you on this……

      • Funboy says:

        Comment Marked. Heat on 3-4-5. Go HEAT!

      • TreyZeroFive says:

        Which is why most of us have a black and red Tshirt that has been wore to nothingness that says, “Let Them Hate.”

        LBJ has decided he is going to get his ring. THAT and ONLY that, is going to be the difference in this series. KD and Russ WANT a ring, but have never been close enough to taste it, only to miss out. LBJ has. He doesn’t let the chance slip by again. Call it an “intangible” or whatever you want, but when the dust clears, that’s what everyone will be saying.

        Does the series go back to OKC? Maybe. But tonight (Game 3) belongs to MIA in a blowout. Spo, Riley, LBJ, Wade, UD, Bosh…ALL understand that winning tonight in a big fashion will be FAR MORE damaging to OKC than a close ugly game.

        (And could all of you who make comments like Aschburner: More empty seats at tipoff? please check the seats at the beginnig of any LARGE MARKET game: NYC, BOS, LAL? LOL…you can’t hate on our players right now, so you hate us, as fans. What is at about MIA ya’ll don’t like? Heat TShirt: Let Them Hate. UM Tshirt: Hated By Many, Loved By Few: The U. Gee, ya’ll act like we spit on you and called your mamas names…)

  31. Bryvy says:

    Miami will win. I’m sure bout that. Okc has the young players, better legs. fast players. But not as mentally strong as the Miami heat. They weren’t rattled in games 1,2, they’ll be more comfortable in their own court.

  32. Emil Alisago says:

    The heat should win atleast the 2 of the next 3 games in Miami :) As a heat fan, I hope the heat will win the next 3 games at their homecourt, but I think its 60% sure. LETS GO HEAT!

  33. purpandgold says:

    I agree with all this opinions, not much will change. I expect closely contested games coming down to the last few posetions in the 4th. Question is, will Lebron be mentally strong to continue putting up numbers in the 4th, or will he buckle under pressure like he has done year after year. He steppep up the last game, not scoring much but hitting clutch free throws and tough banker. The Thunder Im sure will be more aggressive from the start of the game and will look to get KD going early to set the tone and possibly get Lebron in foul trouble. Westbrook hopefully learned from all the mistakes he made on the first half of the last game and being chewed out and highly critized by the media. He needs to make sure he KD gets enough touches. If the Heat’s others can continue contributing, this will be a hell of a series.
    I still say OKC takes it in the end, and it looks like this just might be a long grueling series.

    • H3@+ says:

      So Lebron didn’t score much with 32pts? Also year after year? Last year was the only time I can say Lebron buckled under pressure. Of course I’m sure you’re just one of the people who talk about him based on what the media puts out because if you were a real basketball fan you would know the numbers he put up against the Celtics in 10 & 08, and the Magic in 09.

  34. markangelo says:

    Miami is the final destination ,were Lebron will have his first championship, and all critics and haters will shut their mouth and will learn how to appreciate prepare the champagne and confetti’s we’ll be having party here at southbeach!! wooooh!!!

  35. manny says:

    i expect Miami to relapse and go back to jump shots for most of the night. if OKC starts better the older heat will not have any legs left to fight the yournger thunder team on the closing minutes. I also expect thunder to have some uggly second half without their fan behind them.

    • tyler says:

      Heat having no legs??? HAHAHAHAHA man thats messed up. We aint no Spurs or Boston this is the finals were everything comes out.

  36. Meshal Al-Harbi says:

    Beat the Heat with the Thunder in 7 games.

    Thunder, Heat, Thunder, Heat, Heat, Thunder, Thunder. Won the series 4-3!

    2K ain’t no joke people!

  37. Jason says:

    In my opinion, I think that the series shifting to Miami for three games will mean that LeBron and Wade will be much more aggressive!