Forty-Three Points and One Stupid Foul

6/20/12 in NBA   |   aaronjchung   |   264 respect

Blog Photo - Forty-Three Points and One Stupid Foul
 
In the last 25 years, the only players with 43 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, were Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal.  After tonight, we can now add Russell Westbrook to that last. 
 
We can also add Russell Westbrook to the same list as Chris Webber, for biggest mental lapses in Championship games. 
 
With only 13 seconds left in the 4th quarter, but 5 seconds left on the shot clock, Russell Westbrook intentionally fouled Mario Chalmers when it was still a one possession game.
 
Westbrook said, "Just a miscommunication on my part.  Nothing I can do about it now.''
 
Call it youth, call it inexperience, or just call it one mental mistake, but the Thunder failed to win a winnable game.  Meanwhile, the Miami Heat have looked like a veteran poised team, showing their composure even after LeBron sat out the last minute of the game with a cramp.
 
Coach Erik Spoelstra said, "Four or five plays.  That's what this series is coming down too.  This is incredibly competitive."
 
And it was the Miami Heat who made the 50-50 plays tonight, be it a Shane Battier tip, a Mario Chalmers lay-up, or Norris Cole hitting a couple 3’s early in the game, the Heat had different players step up at different times to win Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
 
It is also the reason why they will eventually be the 2011-12 NBA Champions.  Teams that go down 1-3 in the Finals are 0-30 historically.  While it’s very possible that the Thunder may win the next game, if history repeats itself - and it almost always does - it may be too little too late.
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6/20/12   |   Scott   |   49483 respect

GFortier wrote:
I hear what you're saying, but you can't assume Kevin Durant wouldn'tve kept them in the game had Westbrook not gone off like that. 

I know that's a big if, but really, Westbrook was running down the floor and making it happen early in the shot clock as I recall. You can't say for certain that Kevin Durant wouldn't have made things happen for the Thunder in the 4th had the offense been running through him. 

That, and it was also quite a serious mental lapse. I wonder if Brooks hadn't made the situation clear to the players before the jump ball. At the risk of sounding too harsh, I wonder why Westbrook wasn't able to put it together himself. 13 seconds left, 5 on the shot clock, down by 3. That's all you need to be aware of as a basketball player. 

Kevin Durant doesn't seem to be able to take over a game against the Heat like he did last round against the Spurs. IMO, the Thunder seem more concerned about the fouls they aren't getting and it affects the way they play the game. James Harden has been a non-factor and in the last 2 games, Kevin Durant doesn't seem to have that killer instinct that he did against the Spurs.

6/20/12   |   aaronjchung   |   264 respect

This is what NBA.COM says about the 5 second reset.

"The 24-second clock shall remain the same as when play was interrupted or reset to 5 seconds, whichever is greater, any time on jump balls retained by the offensive team as the result of a held ball caused by the defense."

http://www.nba.com/analysis/rules_history.html

6/20/12   |   GFortier   |   520 respect

Scott wrote:
Russell Westbrook gets a pass from me since IMO, he was the sole reason why the Thunder even had a chance late in the 4th quarter to win the game.  Other then that, this game played out exactly like games 2 and 3 did.  The Thunder just don't have the experience on the big stage that the Heat do and you can see that with mental lapses at crucial moments that have really cost them a chance to be up 3-1 in the series. 

I hear what you're saying, but you can't assume Kevin Durant wouldn'tve kept them in the game had Westbrook not gone off like that. 

I know that's a big if, but really, Westbrook was running down the floor and making it happen early in the shot clock as I recall. You can't say for certain that Kevin Durant wouldn't have made things happen for the Thunder in the 4th had the offense been running through him. 

That, and it was also quite a serious mental lapse. I wonder if Brooks hadn't made the situation clear to the players before the jump ball. At the risk of sounding too harsh, I wonder why Westbrook wasn't able to put it together himself. 13 seconds left, 5 on the shot clock, down by 3. That's all you need to be aware of as a basketball player. 

6/20/12   |   GFortier   |   520 respect

I'm curious about something-- 

before the play where Westbrook committed that foul, Wade went up for a shot with the shot clock nearly at zero, or atleast that's what I thought. His missed layup went for a jump ball, and the next thing I noticed the shot clock was at 5. 

Was I missing something? I, and the friend I was watching with, both seemed to think the shot clock was at .8 when the jump ball was called. If I'm totally off on this one, that's all I want to know.  

6/20/12   |   Scott   |   49483 respect

Russell Westbrook gets a pass from me since IMO, he was the sole reason why the Thunder even had a chance late in the 4th quarter to win the game.  Other then that, this game played out exactly like games 2 and 3 did.  The Thunder just don't have the experience on the big stage that the Heat do and you can see that with mental lapses at crucial moments that have really cost them a chance to be up 3-1 in the series.