There were long stretches in previous playoff rounds where the Heat just were not focused. Where they took games and quarters off. It cost them.
But after the first game of the NBA finals ended, the Heat have stepped up every game.
And in Game 5, with the chance to close out the Thunder and win the title, the Heat came out with their most focused half of the playoffs and are up 59-49 at the half.
Miami came out with a real energy, attacking on offense but the Thunder doubled a lot. So the Heat just kicked it out and were 4-8 from three in the first quarter (and 7-13 for the half). Miami shot 58 percent in the first quarter and 55 for the half, while the Thunder are at 36.6 percent.
LeBron James is putting his head down and attacking the basket and the result is 15 first half points on 9 shots.
Only Durant — 14 points on 14 shots — had brought his “A” game for the Thunder. Westbrook has 13 points but is 2-of-9 shooting. Bosh has 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, and Wade also is 4-of-6. Even guys like Mike Miller were 4-6 and contributing in the first half.
Miami smells blood, the crowd at AmericanAirlines Arena is fired up and it feels like there is going to be a big party in Miami Thursday night. Well, they do that every night on South Beach, but this time they’ll have a good reason.
We’ll know in the first four minutes of the second half if the Thunder can make a push back.