The NBA Finals, featuring two of the league's best teams in the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder continues with Game 2 on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST. After Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder dismantled Miami in the second half of Game 1, Oklahoma City hopes to win one more game on their home court before heading to Miami, while the Heat hope to build some momentum before they bring the Finals to South Beach.
Game 2 will be played in Oklahoma City, while Games 3, 4, and possibly 5 would be played in Miami, if the Heat can steal a win away from the Thunder. If the series continues after that, Games 6 and 7 would be played back in Oklahoma City.
For those of you trying to watch this game at home, we have a few live streaming options for you so you can watch the games online. Of course, if you have a television or cable access, all you need to do is switch to ABC at 9 p.m. EST to watch the game. To live stream the event, check out our solutions towards the bottom of the page.
Recap of Game 1
As many expected, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Miami Heat on their home floor in Game 1, but it was a closer game than many would have thought.
After an extremely emotional Game 7, the Miami Heat were expected to be reeling from the long, hard-fought series with the Celtics. The Heat didn't had much time to prepare, and the team had to travel to OKC to play in this game. The Thunder, meanwhile, had plenty of time to prepare for any scenario, and they are always energetic on their home court, thanks mainly to their thousands of engaged, lively fans.
Yet, at the beginning of Game 1, the Heat had all the momentum. The team led by 13 at one point and had a 7-point lead going into halftime, but in the second half, Durant, Westbrook and the Thunder turned on the jets, quashing the good efforts by James, Bosh and Shane Battier.
The Road To The Finals
Both of these teams have fought hard to get to where they are right now. Oklahoma City had its best season yet with its young guns in Durant, Westbrook, and Sixth Man of the Year James Harden off the bench, as well as Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins coming up big in their roles as, well, big men. The Thunder finished the NBA's lockout-abridged regular season 47-19, and the team has only lost three games in the entire 2012 playoffs.
Oklahoma City swept the defending NBA champions in the Dallas Mavericks before dropping their first game to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of its second-round match-up. The Thunder looked to be in trouble in the third series against the San Antonio Spurs, which won its first two games at home, but OKC surged back, winning the next four games and clinching the series.
The Miami Heat have had a much more difficult, much more scrutinized road to the NBA Finals. The Heat only finished aslightly-worse 46-20 in the regular season, despite plaguing injuries to Wade, Bosh, and others, and the team has struggled in the playoffs as they've continued. The Heat lost just one game to the Knicks in the first round, two games to the Indiana Pacers in the second round (falling behind 2-1 before winning the next three games), and losing three games to the Boston Celtics, needing to beat the veteran team in a Game 7 scenario. If this trend continues, Miami will lose four games in this next series, but that would mean they would lose the series.
Everyone seems to think that this will be the case: Miami will lose four games in the NBA Finals, and the Thunder will win. The Vegas line has the Thunder winning in six games, and many seem to believe this is the case.
The Thunder and Miami match up very well against each other. Oklahoma City has an equal share of young, quick players and big bodies around the rim. Miami, on the other hand, is absolutely loaded at a few positions -- namely, those occupied by James and Wade -- but the team is lacking in the paint, despite Bosh's presence.
Yet, everyone believes it will ultimately come down to the game's superstars in James, Wade, Durant, and Westbrook. James was the NBA MVP this year while Durant was the league's scoring champion, while Wade and Westbrook are both known for their high-flying acrobatics and their heady plays to the rim.
In the postseason, James has averaged almost 31 points a game with almost 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and two steals. Durant, on the other hand, has averaged about 28 points in the postseason, along with 8 rebounds and four assists. James can absolutely fill up the stats sheet compared to Durant, but Durant has a higher percentage from three-point territory (Durant's 36 percent to James' 28 percent), and Durant arguably has more role players to fill in what he lacks on the scoring end (which isn't much).
There are several ways to be able to watch Game 1 of the NBA Finals live online, whether you're on a desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Firstly, there's First Row Sports, which will have a few annoying pop-up ads, but will definitely carry more than a few different streams to follow. Simply click Basketball, find the Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game, and you're watching a live stream! If it isn't working, try refreshing the page or click another one of the possible links at the top of that page.
Another solution you can try would be Veetle, which includes ways to broadcast and watch live streams of TV shows, movies, concerts and sporting events. On the Channels page, click Categories, then Sports. You'll be taken to a page with a bunch of streams. Some of them will include the live stream to the Heat vs. Thunder game itself, while some pages will just include links to the pages with the streams. Visit any page on here and you'll likely find what you're looking for.
Of course, if these options still don't work (they will, don't worry), try this search.
The Heat will try hard to bounce back in Game 2, so expect big games from its star players, namely in Wade, James, and Bosh. Wade and Bosh especially need to pick up their games, having only scored about 30 points combined in Game 1. Wade looked somewhat disinterested during Game 1, having missed a number of fadeaway jumpshots and isolation moves, so the MVP of the 2006 will need to step up his game.
Yet, the Thunder have all of the momentum going into this game. Durant had 36 points and Westbrook had 27 points to lead the Thunder in Game 1, but Harden, the team's third biggest scoring option, barely got it going at all. He had just 5 points the entire game, and his team won by 11. Expect Harden to step his game up with some driving moves to the basket and many more shots at the free throw line.
In the end, it's going to be all about teamwork. Miami was playing good help defense in the first half of Game 1, but it couldn't get its act together in the second half; the Oklahoma City Thunder had the opposite problem, taking time to get it going in the first half but kicked it into overdrive in the latter part of the game. The Heat will need big contributions from its stars, but it will need a big defensive stop to put the Thunder down at home.
Unfortunately, the X-factor in these NBA Finals has been the crowd. Miami's home crowd is just utterly lame, while the Oklahoma City home crowd is boisterous and highly disruptive to the Heat's game plan. Wade and James may play well, but they don't have enough to beat this young, athletic Oklahoma City Thunder team, especially at home.
Predicted Score: Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Miami Heat, 95-90.