Miami Heat Begin With Some Weird Defensive Matchups

Remember that great LeBron James/Kevin Durant duel that was supposed to dominate this series? It’s not happening, at least when the Thunder are on offense. Coach Erik Spoelstra is instead going to some really unique matchups.

James isn’t on Durant. Instead, he’s guarding Kendrick Perkins of all people. Meanwhile, Shane Battier, who is starting instead of Chris Bosh, has begun the game by guarding Durant.

Why is Spoelstra doing this? I think he realizes he needs to rest James. I suspect James will slide over to Durant at some point, but there’s no reason to wear him out by forcing him to run through a maze of screens trying to defend Durant all game.

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