In Miami's run to a second straight appearance in the NBA Finals, they've gone up against some of the best small forwards in the league.
They swept a Carmelo Anthony-led but shorthanded New York Knicks team in the first round and bounced back from a 3-2 deficit to win two straight over Paul Pierce's determined Boston Celtics squad.
Now they’ll really have their hands full with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, who's coming off his showcase fourth quarter of Game 1, where he lit up the Heat with 17 of his 36 points.
“He's a great player, and that's how we view every round, it's another challenge. It's its own challenge, and they're a team in our way,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday after practice.
“And so he does some things at his size that are extremely unique, great shooter, he's great in transition," Spoelstra said. "He had those10 (points) in transition that really got him going, another couple bail-out threes from an offensive rebound, we didn't match up with him, and another spot-up open three that really got his confidence going. So by the time he got to the fourth quarter he was in an incredible rhythm.”
Yup, it was too late.
It's now just another thing to worry about heading into tonight's Game 2 in Oklahoma City.
There have been questions lingering about Dwayne Wade's physical condition and whether it has affected his play.
He's just not the same D-Wade we've seen from the years past as he's admitted to having his knees drained once during the playoffs. Then you have the question of whether Chris Bosh should continue to come off the bench or start tomorrow night in Game 2.
Let’s not forget the Heat's defensive lapses, a lot of concerns with just a day to prepare in between games.
Miami had NBA MVP LeBron James at times guarding Durant, the runner-up to this year's award. But during the fourth quarter in Game 1's 105-94 loss, Shane Battier drew the duty of having to start directly up against Durant. Usually your best player wants that challenge of guarding the other team's top scorer, especially in a game of this magnitude.
And maybe Spoelstra, his Big 3 and the remaining active nine players must have thought that there’d be Oklahoma City's jitters, which Thunder guard and NBA Finals veteran Derek Fisher sensed early on in his young mates.
They didn’t last long.
You'd think James would have gone up to Spoelstra and demanded to take care of Durant himself. After all, he was voted on to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Yet King James didn't take a stance on whether he should stick like glue on to the 23-year-old who torched the Heat.
Heat fans would like to see LeBron walk over to Battier and say, "Hey I got him."
Bosh thought he played well coming off the bench but said it's Spoelstra's decision on whether he will start or come in during the game. His presence on the court definitely changes the dynamics of the Heat half-court offense, especially freeing up shooters in the perimeter.
After the end of Game1 Durant spoke about trying to get better. He knows what to expect and how physical it continues to get with the way he was used in different screens, at some points shooting over shorter defenders.
He'll be waiting for Battier, James, Bosh or whoever they have to throw at him, and it could very well be a scary sight come Sunday night in South Beach if Miami fails to adjust.