Usually, the 4-5 playoff matchups tend to be among the most thrilling matchups in the NBA playoffs. But that has hardly been the case this year, with the Houston Rockets picking up a 2-0 advantage over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Similarly, the Miami Heat have opened up a 2-0 lead over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference, as the Pacers have struggled to score or match Miami's proficiency from the perimeter.

Initially, it seemed the 4-5 matchup in the West bracket would provide plenty of intrigue.

Not only were the “small ball” Rockets taking on an upstart Thunder team, but both Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul were facing their old squads. But the series has been a clunker so far.

Even without Westbrook, the Rockets have cruised to a 2-0 series lead, with the two victories coming by a combined 28 points. Houston has peppered OKC with a barrage of three-pointers while swarming the Thunder on the defensive end, and OKC's inexperience and hesitancy seem to be peaking at the worst time.

Still, the Thunder have an opportunity to get back in the series. After all, this is a team that was not even expected to make the playoffs when the season began.

Westbrook will sit once again for Game 3 on Saturday, but the Thunder need to make a host of changes in order to earn a critical win and make things competitive again.

Here are four adjustments OKC must make to get back into the series.

1. Prevent dribble-drives

If you just look at the box score from Game 2, you would think the Rockets simply lived and died with the three-pointer. Houston attempted an absurd 56 treys in Game 2, making 19 of those attempts compares to “just” 11 OKC triples.

But the difference was the Rockets' role players found a lot of open looks because Houston had plenty of success penetrating and kicking to shooters in the corners and the wings.

James Harden was just 2-for-11 from deep, and Eric Gordon did not make a single one of his three-point attempts. But Austin Rivers, Jeff Green, P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington combined to shoot 12-for-21 from beyond the arc. That simply cannot happen, especially because most of those guys (aside from maybe Rivers) are not “shot creators.”

The Thunder need to be more aggressive and physical with the body in order to cut of driving lanes and prevent kicks to open shooters.

2. More off-ball cuts

The Thunder are not a three-point shooting team. Sure, guys like Danilo Gallinari can fill it up from deep, but the Thunder are at their best when they get into the lane and crash the offensive boards.

But the Rockets have roped OKC into their style of play. The Thunder took 32 triples, and Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were about the only two players getting to the free throw line.

Oklahoma City need to find other ways to score. The Thunder demonstrated one of these ways late in the fourth quarter of Game 2, when things were already in hand for the Rockets. The Thunder got a pair of good looks at the rim when Dennis Schröder drove to the cup and found Gallinari cutting baseline, leading to a layup for Gallo.

These are the kind of actions that made the Thunder successful during the regular season: simple cutting and players presenting themselves as scoring options around the rim.

Schröder and Chris Paul were routinely swarmed any time they came into the lane. But if OKC's bigs and wings can anticipate the help, they should be able to find decent positioning in order to set up a scoring action or better ball movement.

3. Get out in transition

Speaking of Schröder, the Thunder really need him to get rolling. The same can be said for Paul. One of the best ways to do this might be to look to run, and run early.

Now, the Thunder do not have the best personnel for this, at least not in the starting lineup. But if Schröder or Paul are on the floor with second-unit guys like Nerlens Noel or Darius Bazley, they need to push the tempo.

The Rockets slow things down so much with their isolation-based offense, it can sometimes be hard to then jumpstart your own offense at the other end of the floor.

But again, one of the best ways to do this is to run.

Paul might not have the same kind of burst and athleticism as he did in his prime, but he is still a capable playmaker in transition, and the Thunder could find more open looks if the wings commit to sprinting to the three-point line.

Getting on the break is also the best way to get Schröder rolling. The German point guard is a microwave, and one big game from him could be a tone-setter for the rest of the series.

4. More Dort on Harden

As previously mentioned, James Harden had a nightmare of an offensive performance in Game 2. Why, you might ask?

Well, Luguentz Dort played excellent defense on the former MVP. He displayed tremendous anticipation when it came to Harden's patented step-back jumper, and routinely stayed in front of “The Beard.”

Dort is only 6'3″ and 215 pounds, but he got into Harden's body to make him uncomfortable and even made some plays as a help defender.

The Thunder need more Dort in Game 3. As soon as the rookie left the court in the fourth quarter, Harden heated up for nine quick points.

Billy Donovan needs to find a way to mix and match his rotations so as to give Dort more run at key moments of the game. Although the Thunder might have lost even with Harden's off night in Game 2, they stand a good chance at winning if he continues to struggle, especially given Westbrook's continued absence.

The Thunder absolutely need more out of their marquee players. But Dort's continued ability to give Harden issues is a critical factor in the series.