Heat vs. Thunder: Miami's NBA Title Chances Evaporated with Game 1 Loss

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 12:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks down in the second half while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 12, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Of all the ways the Miami Heat could lose Game 1 of the NBA Finals, they managed to find the worst way possible against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. 

The Heat looked fantastic right out of the gate. They led by seven after both the first and second quarter. Any talk of them being out of steam following a seven-game series against Boston was gone. They were running all over the Thunder in Oklahoma City, which nobody does. 

Unfortunately there are four quarters in an NBA game, and the Thunder did to the Heat what they did to San Antonio in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals: Used their speed and athleticism to overwhelm Miami. 

The Thunder outscored Miami 58-40 in the second half en route to a 105-94 victory. Kevin Durant was magnificent in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points to put the game on ice. 

For the Heat, the loss is just going to spark more questions and dramatic turns for a franchise that is used to being put under the microscope. The biggest question that will be asked is, what do you do with Chris Bosh?

However, for all the questions we have about the Heat, the only thing that we should be talking about is the fact that the Thunder are just a flat-out better team. In a short series, they often say anything can happen. And while that is true, when you have a team as good top to bottom as the Thunder, the odds of "anything" happening decrease dramatically. 

Everyone has high expectations for the Heat simply because of Bosh, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, yet we can't see the forest through the trees. This team has a great, albeit banged up, trio that carried them through a very weak Eastern Conference. 

They had a chance to take control of the NBA Finals right out of the gate, to build the momentum in their favor, but their collapse in Game 1 put the nail in their coffin. They might come back to win a game or two against the Thunder. 

Give credit to the Thunder, who have won in so many different ways this postseason that it feels like their time to sit atop the NBA world.