The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Miami Heat for the first time in their last seven tries on Jan. 29 in South Beach.
The Thunder got out to a terrible start though falling behind 22-4 at one point. The game looked as if it would be the same script we had seen the previous six times the two teams had played.
Then the Thunder came back and went on to win 112-95. An interesting development occurred when Scott Brooks decided not to start Kendrick Perkins in the second half, going with Perry Jones instead.
Perkins played the first five minutes of the game and the Thunder were outscored by 13 during that time.
While we may rightfully expect to see little Perkins tomorrow when the two teams play, it has been confirmed that we will see at least some of the Thunder’s starting center.
Scott Brooks said Kendrick Perkins will start vs Miami tomorrow. Adjustments could come after.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 19, 2014
The Heat will definitely start their usual small lineup with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Shane Battier on their frontline. And it will likely give OKC trouble as long as they have Perkins, who cannot match up with anyone in this lineup, on the floor.
The progress we saw Brooks make the first time OKC played Miami this season should still have Thunder fans optimistic about this matchup. Brooks clearly knows for sure now how much of a hindrance it is to have Perkins on the floor vs. Miami. I doubt he sticks with him for too long tomorrow night.
The combination of Perkins in the starting lineup and Russell Westbrook returning to the lineup for the first time since Christmas, the Thunder may be in for a rough start. Also consider that over the last three games, LeBron has been playing at the highest level he has all season.
The game will tip at 7 p.m. CST.