“We’re going to play a lot better,” Heat center Chris Bosh said after film and on-court work Thursday. “We’ve come to expect that of ourselves. We know that yesterday wasn’t the championship effort that we need in order to win the series, let alone win the finals. We’re going to have to do a much better job on defense and on offense to take care of the basketball, do a better job on the boards, do a better job of containing some of their actions.”
For all the sensational statistical story lines that were born from Game 1 — James’ 30-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist effort, Chris Andersen making all seven of his shots, David West and Hibbert combining for 20 field goals — the boxscore alone points to plenty of areas where things could get better for both sides on Friday night.
In Miami’s case, key reserves Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Norris Cole combined to shoot 2 for 16. In Indiana’s case, George — who finished with 27 points — only had two at halftime, and Lance Stephenson shot just 2 for 10.
“We can get better,” James said. “I think both teams didn’t play to the level that they’re capable of playing at in Game 1. But both teams had a chance to win.”
The Heat usually have more than a chance to win. They’re now 46-3 in their last 49 games, and 28-0 when Andersen grabs at least four rebounds. Still, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was pleading for more.
“We have to push to get to another level,” Spoelstra said. “It was a very competitive game. Both teams were laying it all out there but we’re trying to push to another level that we think we can get to — and we’ll need to in this series.
“We have to continue to push forward and evolve. ... We have to play better in this series. In order to be able to win this series, we have to get to another level,” Spoelstra said.