Sneaker Watch // Thunderous Rally Gives OKC Edge in Game 1

words // Brandon Richard

By the numbers, Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals between Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder was the most watched series opener since ABC acquired rights in 2003. The game registered an 11.8 overnight, topping the previous record established by the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons in 2004. If last night’s game was any indication of the gameplay we can expect in the series, then expect those type of numbers to trend as we progress through this anticipated showdown.

The early stage of Game 1 was dominated by the Heat, led by a focused LeBron James and surprisingly hot-handed Shane Battier. Shane dropped a postseason high 13 first half points, helping Miami lead by as much as 13 and maintaining a 7 point advantage at halftime. However, the Thunder seized control in the third quarter, led by their two All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The two outscored Miami 41-40 in the final two quarters, including another impressive late-game closeout by the 23-year-old three-time scoring champion. Stifling defense sealed the deal on a 105-94 win for the home team.

Also impressive in Game 1 was the footwear, particularly the Finals Player Exclusives worn by James and Durant. Westbrook continued to wear his old “Why Not?” Hyperfuse PE; Kendrick Perkins added gold laces to the recently released “Military Blue” Air Jordan Retro 4; Mario Chalmers broke out a new colorway of the Spalding Slash; Shane Battier shot well in his PEAK sig; Mike Miller understandably ditched his usual KDs for a new Hyperdunk 2011 Low PE; Chris Bosh laced up a Finals colorway of the Air Max Hyperdunk 2011; and D-Fish, Daequan Cook and Serge Ibaka all repped the Three-Stripes.

A full look at the sneakers worn in the game (and Lil’ Wayne!) in this installment of Sneaker Watch.

Sneaker Watch // Thunderous Rally Gives OKC Edge in Game 1

LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron 9 P.S. Elite Red Finals PELeBron James backs down Russell Westbrook in his red Nike LeBron 9 P.S. Elite.

LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron 9 P.S. Elite Red Finals PE (2)Another look at LeBron’s Finals Elite 9 PE.

Lil' Wayne wearing Nike Dunk High Black OrangeAfter all the hoopla, Lil’ Wayne doesn’t seem too excited to finally be at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Kevin Durant wearing Nike Zoom KD IV White Gold Finals PEKevin Durant dials up a shot from long distance in a White/Gold PE colorway of the Nike Zoom KD IV.

Kevin Durant wearing Nike Zoom KD IV White Gold Finals PE (2)A closer look at Durant’s Finals KD IV PE.

Kendrick Perkins wearing Air Jordan IV 4 Military BlueKendrick Perkins works the post in a golden-laced pair of the “Military Blue” Air Jordan Retro 4.

Mario Chalmers wearing Spalding SlashMario Chalmers runs the point in a red-based colorway of the Slash by Spalding.

Serge Ibaka wearing adidas adiZero Shadow PESerge Ibaka operates in the post wearing his ‘Home’ adidas adiZero Shadow PE.

Chris Bosh wearing Nike Air Max Hyperdunk 2011 Finals PEChris Bosh drives in a Finals PE colorway of the Nike Air Max Hyperdunk 2011.

Russell Westbrook wearing Nike Zoom HyperfuseRussell Westbrook had an explosive game in his PE colorway of the original Nike Zoom Hyperfuse.

Dwyane Wade wearing Jordan Fly Wade 2 EV FinalsDwyane Wade sizes up James Harden in a Finals PE colorway of the Jordan Fly Wade 2 EV.

Nick Collison wearing Nike Zoom KD IIINick Collison dunks in his Nike Zoom KD III PE.

Mike Miller wearing Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011 Low Finals PEMike Miller attempts to block Harden’s shot in a Finals PE colorway of the Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011 Low.

James Harden wearing Nike Hyperdunk 2011 Low Elite PEJames Harden shoots in his Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011 Low Elite PE.

Shane Battier wearing PEAK Battier VIShane Battier had a surprising offensive “explosion” in the PEAK Battier VI.

Thabo Sefolosha wearing Nike Zoom Kobe VI

Thabo Sefolosha attacks in the Nike Zoom Kobe VI.

Udonis Haslem wearing Converse SicksUdonis Haslem dunks in Converse Sicks.

Derek Fisher wearing adidas adizero Crazy Light LowDerek Fisher dishes in the adidas adiZero Crazy Light Low.

Daequan Cook wearing adidas adiZero Crazy Light 2Daequan Cook looks to score in the adidas adiZero Crazy Light 2.

Joel Anthony wearing Nike Air Max DestinyJoel Anthony joins KD’s poster in the Nike Air Max Destiny Finals.