NBA Roundtable

Game Time: Oklahoma vs Miami

In Game Log / Recap on October 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Some thoughts over the course of the game

  • Chris Bosh does not look fully healthy. He doesn’t have the explosion or the quickness that he normally has. He is playing and moving tentatively out there. Not finishing as well around the rim, not creating as much separation from his defenders.
  • Scott Brooks has been praising James Harden’s defensive improvement
  • Oklahoma’s offense looks very good when Westbrook and Durant are on the floor together but it fell apart as soon as Westbrook went to the bench.
  • Not convinced by Maynor as their backup PG. He doesn’t contribute enough. A defensive liability, a non-rebounder, a solid but unexceptional passer and a weak shooter/scorer.
  • James Harden needs to step up too and take on a larger portion of the offensive burden.
  • Miami’s interior defense looks soft. As of now, Chris Bosh has not stepped up defensively over where he was in the last two seasons for the Raptors … but I expect him to gradually improve throughout the season and to peak in the close stretch.
  • Miami made a huge mistake in not signing Eric Dampier.
  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ inability to play pick and roll defense is forcing Miami’s defense to collapse and gifting Oklahoma’s second unit (weak offensive lineup) with easy jump shots.
  • Kevin Durant looked very good in the post against LeBron James early on. He had a lovely baseline spin and layup + a very smooth Jordan-esque fadeaway over LeBron.
  • LeBron responded with a couple of strong physical post moves backing down Durant and trying to muscle his way to the middle. He got a bucket and forced the double on the other (which became a Mike Miller three ball, missed).
  • Cole Aldrich is a very good addition for the Thunder. He adds a legitimate physical presence in the paint. A big body. A strong body. Good length and shot-blocking.
  • I can’t wait to see more of Aldrich + Ibaka playing alongside one another … that should be a terrific defensive combination. Especially with Oklahoma’s excellent perimeter defense.
  • Russell Westbrook looks set for another big leap this season. A commanding figure directing his team’s offense out there on the court + looks capable of beating his man whenever and wherever he wants.
  • Udonis Haslem has been excellent in the first half and was superb in game one (vs Detroit) in pre-season too. Rebounding the ball fiercely, playing very intelligent and effective offensively and competing hard defensively. A major contribution across the board.
  • Miami’s defense looks thoroughly mediocre without Dwyane Wade … without his quickness defensively in hounding ball-handlers and playing the passing lanes. Miami needs that quickness and athleticism defensively to get their trapping defense into full gear + to create all those turnovers. Otherwise, meaning without that weapon, Miami is vulnerable defensively.
  • LeBron has gone into the post another two times and been very effective on both occasions. Drew a foul and created another perimeter jumper for M.Miller.
  • Would Oklahoma be better moving Jeff Green to the bench and dropping Maynor from the rotation?
    • Starters – Westbrook + Sefolosha + Durant + Ibaka + Aldrich
    • Rotation – Harden + Green + Collison + Krstic
    • Reserves – Maynor + Cook + Peterson + White + Mullens
  • Oklahoma needs to get more out of their backup point guard. If Maynor doesn’t step it up, Oklahoma should look to replace him before the trade deadline. That hole will make them unnecessarily vulnerable come playoff time.
  • Jeff Green has gone right at Chris Bosh and taken him to the rim on two occasions.
  • Mike Miller has been more aggressive tonight than we’ve seen in recent years. 7 shot attempts in 17 minutes. Looking for his jumper more than in Minny or Washington. Good news for Heat fans.

Miami leading 55-52 at halftime

  • Oklahoma still appear to be short a final go-to scoring option. Their offense goes dead far too often and it looks to be a problem again this season.
  • OKC could live with just Durant and Westbrook if they got more offense out of their supporting cast but with limited contributions from Sefolosha, Maynor and their big men + with Jeff Green and James Harden failure (so far) to step up their games … that doesn’t appear likely to happen … but it is the alternative option.
  • Chris Bosh’s jumper has been silky smooth tonight. Two straight midrange J’s.
  • Hey, a Chris Bosh drive, finally, a drive to the right by Jeff Green and draws the foul. He has been reluctant to drive the ball tonight.
  • Mike Miller’s defense has been seriously weak over the first two preseason games.
  • Cole Aldrich has done a great job letting his physical presence be known. A lot of tough screens, some elbows, smacking into people, fighting for every loose ball, hustling on the backboards. Banging in the paint.
  • Chris Bosh moving better laterally
  • Bosh drains another jumper. He is automatic tonight. He has scored 8-10 quick points to begin the third quarter and he has helped Miami open up a double digit lead.
  • Westbrook posting up Chalmers, not getting much joy, fadeaway J along the baseline, short arms and front rims the jumper.
  • Ibaka stroking that midrange jumper = an under-rated short + midrange jump-shooter
  • Jeff Green 1-11 from the field tonight after a big scoring night in game one. Contract year for Green.
  • Miami move ahead by 16 after a LeBron breakaway dunk as we near the end of the third quarter

As the fourth quarter begins and as the bench players flood the court, I am going to call this one done. Good preseason game.

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