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Game Day #49: Heat at Thunder

Miami Heat (35-11, 15-9 road) at Oklahoma City Thunder (36-12, 21-4 home)

  vs. 

Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 7:00 p.m. CST
TV:
 ESPN (206 Directv, 28 Cox, 602 AT&T U-Verse, 140 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Heat
PG Russell Westbrook Mario Chalmers
SG Thabo Sefolosha Dwayne Wade
SF Kevin Durant Lebron James
PF Serge Ibaka Chris Bosh
C Kendrick Perkins Joel Anthony
6th Man James Harden Martell Webster

Last time: The Thunder beat the Heat in Miami last season 96-85 on March 16, 2011.

Right in the middle of the NCAA tournament, a potential final match up will take place in Oklahoma City. The Miami Heat travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder. Yeah, those Miami heat. Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and the King, Lebron James.

A lot of teams are intimidated by the names alone. However, the Heat haven’t beaten Oklahoma City since the Thunder acquired Kendrick Perkins from the Boston Celtics.  That’s just been one game though.

The Miami Heat are coming into tonight’s game on a four game winning streak. The most impressive thing is that all three of the big three led the Heat in scoring in the last four games. They’re not just the Wade and Lebron show. You still have to watch out for Bosh.

Both teams are the leading the league in field goal shooting, Miami is #1 and Oklahoma City is #2, respectively.  The Heat are also one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league. They can hit it down low, and if you leave them open, they’ll hit the deep ball.

Keys to the game

Defense
Oklahoma City hasn’t played great defense lately and as said before, Miami can really make the shots. Oklahoma City needs to really play some defense to have a shot in beating the Heat. If you can keep Miami under their season average, Oklahoma City will have a really good shot.

Rebounding
Oklahoma City and Miami are both in the bottom third of allowing offensive rebounds. Miami is middle of the road in the total rebounding category. So, keeping the Heat off the glass. No allowing second chance points. It’ll be key.

James Harden
James Harden is going to be tonight’s X-factor. I don’t think Miami has an answer for him. Harden needs to be aggressive for four quarters, not just in the first half or fourth quarter. I would love to see Harden take it to the next level based on the this competition.

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