Heat vs. Thunder: Players Who Must Rebound from Poor Game 2
Game 2 of the NBA Finals saw the good, the bad and the ugly. Both teams had players that could have produced more.
The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered the tough loss and will need more from their key players. The Miami Heat did win, but they also had a few players that they would like to see improve their contribution.
Now that the series is shifting to Miami, these are the players that will have to improve to help their team break the series tie.
5. Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher is an all-time top performer in clutch moments. However, in Game 2, he did not leave his mark on the game.
Off the bench, he only had two points and was only able to make one of his five shots. In 24 minutes, he went 0-of-4 from three-point range.
Fisher will have to return to his normal self and give his team the extra boost off the bench that they are used to getting.
4. Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem is one of the toughness leaders on the Heat. He will need to show it more in Game 3.
In 16 minutes off the bench, Haslem was only able to get two points and four rebounds. He was fortunate that Chris Bosh was able to grab 16 boards, but the possibility of that happening again is highly unlikely. So Haslem will have to come in the game and get on the glass more in Game 3.
3. Mario Chalmers
Yes, the Heat were able to win, but Mario Chalmers cannot be a non-factor in Game 3.
In Game 2, he had as many turnovers as points: three apiece.
Chalmers also shot 1-of-7 in 40 minutes from the field. Luckily for him, though, Game 3 is in Miami, so the home crowd can help him get back on track.
2. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook nearly had a triple-double in Game 2, but he struggled to make baskets. He shot 10-of-26 from the field.
27 points on 26 shots is not an efficient contribution. Westbrook is going to have to get to the rim more in Game 3.
Westbrook has been shooting 43 percent in the postseason, so he has reason to shoot many shots. However, it's either knock the shots down or get other teammates involved, because shooting that poorly from the field will not help the team.
1. Serge Ibaka
Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was not able to contribute anything on the offensive end in Game 2. Ibaka had seven points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field.
He was not even able to be effective on the boards. He only grabbed four rebounds in 29 minutes.
Ibaka has to give his team the threat of knocking down mid-range shots as he did in the Western Conference Finals. If he can knock the mid-range down consistently, he will force the Heat defenders to make a tough decision when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook drive to the basket.
For now, since the shot isn't falling, the Heat can leave him open and collapse to close up the lane.