June 16, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) smiles during practice for game three of the 2012 NBA finals against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

5IVE Keys For The Thunder Heading Into Game 3

In my previous “5IVE Keys To The Game” I didn’t write anything about what Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder should do in order to save home-court advantage and take Game 2 to have a 2-0 lead over LeBron James and the Miami Heat. And now, I feel guilty for not doing that and so as a form of an apology, I will not give 5IVE keys to the Miami Heat, but for the following games after Game 3, I will be having keys for BOTH teams this time. Anyways, without further adieu, here’s the 5IVE Keys for the Oklahoma City Thunder:

1.) Don’t be intimidated. For a young team, it is still pretty much easy to be intimidated by the superstar-power the Miami Heat have from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. The Heat may at times overpower you, but just sticking to your game plan and playing the way you have been the entire NBA post season, you can do great things in Game 3 on the road.

2.) Be roadrunner. In Game 2, the Heat didn’t allow the Thunder to easily get out and run and in Game 3 the Thunder must find a way to break through in the fast break. It all starts with their rebounds and their defense. If they can secure the board and if everyone will run, the Thunder will look poised to steal Game 3 from the Miami Heat.

3.) The loud noise at home may energize you, but the sound of silence is beautiful and certainly more effective on the road. The Heat fans are certainly not as loud as the Thunder fans. The Thunder, however, must still find a way to silence the Heat fans. Their offense in Game 1 and Game 2 have been totally different as Harden was absent in Game 1 and emphatically present in Game 2. So basically, the Thunder’s offense hasn’t been similar in the series so far. The Heat’s offense on the other hand has been similar with the Heat running and overpowering the Thunder and making themselves build a huge lead over the Thunder. The Thunder’s offense must be in a flow as it has been for most of the playoffs and when Durant or Westbrook make shot after shot, the Heat fans would definitely want to take a seat in silence.

4.) Start of strong. In the first two games, the Thunder stared horribly and dug themselves into a huge hole. The Thunder in the series so far has been the team on the comeback trail and doing that in the NBA Finals is not going to keep you alive for most of the series, especially against the Miami Heat. Last post season, the Mavericks were the team that made comebacks mostly but in the final games, the Mavericks didn’t do that anymore and in the end they won the championship. However, comeback games may be good for a team for the next game as it gives you energy, but consistently doing that is not healthy.

5.) Durant must out work LeBron offensively and also defensively. I know it’s easy for me to say that but Durant must match LeBron and if not prevent him from scoring 30 points on a regular basis. Sefolosha will mostly be the main guy to guard LeBron but everytime Durant guards The King, Durant must be special and if he can be able to stop LeBron consistently, it will give him a little bit of confidence on the offensive end against the league MVP. And when Durant goes off … trust me … LeBron wouldn’t want that to happen.

From Theon Kyne Dy and the rest of the staff at Dunking With Wolves and most of all Fansided.com, I would want to wish every father out there, a Happy Father’s Day. I hope you guys enjoy tonight’s Game 3 of the 2012 NBA Finals, I know I will.

For more NBA analysis and other NBA opinions check out Theon’s general NBA blog, THEONBA

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