I got a feeling the winner of this one wins the series!
Thunder in game 4.....Thunder in 7.
If the Heat win this game, they'll win game 5.
If the Thunder win this game, it'll be a toss-up for game-7.
I agree with that.
The Thunder haven't played well the last two games, yet had a chance to win. IF the Thunder team I saw beat the Spurs four games straight shows up, then I like them to win this game. That was a team that made free-throws, limited turnovers and rebounded the ball.
Durant has grown up every series. He needs to make the adjustment and stop getting into foul trouble. It's time for him to take another step up this series.
Don't let up on em
Thunder playing like it's game seven.
Russell Westbrook can be amazing at times. And Durant just makes it looks so easy, even when LeBron is defending him.
Scrappy game so far here in the 1st
Am I the only one who feels like the Thunder's start seems unsustainable. I think the Heat have looked better to start, although each team has played sloppy. The Heat are being outhustled, though. They need to run the floor better.
You think the Heat look better than the Thunder to start this game?
Dwyane Wade after missing FT: oh &$#%#&@!. ABC mutes the TV one second later. I don't know why I found that so hilarious.
The Thunder are playing like a team that's pissed. Westbrook and Durant are playing REALLY aggressive. The Thunder are rotating harder, faster and just doing everything with more aggression.
Westbrook's first step is so explosive, he even leaves LeBron in a standstill position. Crazy.
A Chuck Norris sighting...
Is this some sort of omen?
I say that and the Thunder start dominating.
@IB: How am I nuts? The difference 2:00 to 7:00 stretch of the game was all upon making and missing shots. Chalmers missed wide open threes and Westbrook made contested ones. Plus, LeBron could have shot FT's and Wade missed FT's. After I made the comment, the Thunder started playing better, but the Heat could have easily had the lead at the midway point of the quarter if they played better.
Basketball is a game of runs and now the Heat are making their run, led by LeBron and Cole.
D. Wade is the best cherry picker in the NBA.
To clarify: For the 1st 6 minutes of the game, the Thunder played extremely poor defense, giving up layups on the pick and roll to Bosh, letting LeBron make plays in the post, and giving up open looks to the best 3 point shooter on the floor. If they didn't fix their defense, their lead would be unsustainable.
The Thunder did buckle down, especially when Chalmers left the floor. But I still say, this will be a close game.
Man, the Thunder came out with more energy and were much hotter shooting, but the Heat have executed much better on offense and have taken the lead. The Thunder will need to make some adjustment of defense in order to win. They haven't clogged the paint as effectively as they said they would and they have given up open shots.
Uh oh... D. Wade goes down.
Good block by Ibaka.
Wade's ego was hurt by that Ibaka block.
D. Wade is the best cherry picker in the NBA.
The Thunder need to man up on defense and block out.
The Heat play a spread offense similar to the Suns/Knicks. Put LeBron and Wade on the floor and just spread the floor with a bunch of shooters. Thunders defenders have to man up period. No more open shots to Cole, Battier, Chalmers, etc.
Someone just took a charge from Lebron....Thank you!!! I've been preaching this for the last few series against Miami. Nobody has had the balls to step in front of Lebron charging to the rim. Have a help defender slide in front of him every time he drives to the bucket. Either make him run you over, pass the ball, or shoot a jumper. Don't give him easy layups.
The problem with them just manning up is that LeBron will burn them in the post like he did in game two. They decided before the game they would commit to forcing jump shots. The problem is that their help defenders are losing their man too much and the Heat have been able to create open shots or dribble penetration opportunities for the Heat, which is the last thing the Thunder want.
JVG puts it perfect.
I'd force LeBron to shoot the jumper and bring over a help big if he drives, but they can't keep leaving open shooters on the perimeter.
Like Thibs says, you have to flat out man up. That's what it comes down to sometimes. Man to man.
Thunder need to play better defense period.
Good half for Heat. The Thunder shoot really hot and the Heat miss some easy finishes and open shots, but are only up three. If the Thunder don't play better in the 2nd half, they will lose.
The Thunder need to find a way to create more shots for Durant. He got some scores, but they didn't come easy or often enough. They should commit to running Durant off even more pin downs and try to get him the ball in the middle of the floor. I am not a fan of him catching the ball so far on the elbow, like he has. They need to try to get him curling to the free throw line-extended area. That is where he is most dangerous.
Heat need to just be patient. They were at their worst when they played out of control in transition. When the Heat moved the ball around, they got easy shots. They committed some silly TOs, especially considering how good LeBron has been in the half court. LeBron has been insanely good in these playoffs.
Cole is being hyped up, but he wasn't respected by the defense at all and didn't play great overall. Him making those big threes was huge, though.
The Thunder still will leave shooters open when LeBron drives, though, if they help with bigs. I do completely agree with you that they shouldn't double so aggressively on the catch and should instead help when he drives, with bigs rather than smalls.
I think the Thunder aren't trusting their defensive rotations enough. They should just pack the paint, but not send any double on LeBron. If they just double off the entry passer, LeBron will just continue to pick them apart with his passing. I think they should have a big continually ready to close in the lane and have a guard ready to reach in, and then just trust the weakside defenders to use their athleticism to close on shooters. Of course, the Heat can counter this just by being patient and swinging the ball around, but it is better to force the Heat to use as much time as possible.
Kendrick Perkins is useless... Like literally useless.
Westbrook is such a good shooter off the dribble. He is the only reason OKC is in this game at all. He is the classic example of a player who gets underrated because he can and does make shots other people think he shouldn't take. Of course, he won't make quite as many as he has so far for the whole series, but it is still so impressive that he can stop and pop like he can. He does get a little carried away sometimes, though.
Wade is a FLOPPER!!!!!!!
LeBron hasn't been posting up as much, but the Heat's offense is continuing to look good and create open shots. The Thunder are showing resilience, though, still looking good attacking the basket right now.
Also, Ibaka has made two fade-away jumpers tonight, plus another contested jumper. Looking good, although I am not sure those are exactly the Thunder's ideal shots.
no hes not he aint a very good finisher but he he plays great defense
The officiating in this series has been terrible. And it's kinda hard to play defense when the whistle are blowing.
"The officiating in this series has been terrible."
You mean the whole playoffs, right?
The officiating in this series has been terrible.
I'll 2nd that
Weird spacing by Thunder on that Westbrook-Collison pick and roll. Westbrook made the most of it, though.
KD needs to step up and demand to guard LB. Length can negate strength.
Bad way to end the half for Heat. That was a settle by LeBron and poor transition defense by the team.
Durant deserves an Oscar. Guess that makes up for LeBron successfully working the refs for that bogus foul on Harden.
length can negate strength but length can't negate refs and durant's 4 and 5 fouls would be killers
the thing that really stands out to me is that Kevin Durant has ZERO rebs
Nice pindown for Westbrook. Sweet offensive set for OKC. Harden couldn't make the shot, but Durant cleaned it up.
Has anyone else noticed the one Seattle Sonics fan that is going nuts whenever the Heat score a basket lol
I don't think I've ever seen Harden play this bad until this series before...
I believe this series has proven that James Hardin is very good, but not a Max contract player.
Harden this finals has looked like Romo in the playoffs. He's been comically turrible, and it's hard to understand why. It's not just that he can't shoot these finals but his decision making and court awareness has been horrific. It's like he has no sense of urgency for the moment.
C'mon, LeBron. He needed to just attack Collison and maybe not demanded the ball so soon. Haslem bailed him out.
Heat need to find a way to get LeBron the ball closer to the rim the way they did in the 1st half. The Thunder's defense has looked better this quarter and LeBron hasn't quite had the monster half the way he had in the 1st half.
Thunder looking better offensively, but just aren't getting the shots to fall. They used up the rim's kindness in the 1st quarter and now can't even make the open ones.
The roles are reversed in this half. In the 1st half, the Heat outexecuted the Thunder, but were undone by a lack of shot making and hustle. Here, the Heat are making the crazy shots and hustle plays, but the Thunder are getting more of what they want on offense.
Not a Westbrook fan....but damn...dude is on fire
Remember when Westbrook shot too much?
Westbrook is looking unstoppable.