Four our next pick of the day, we have Game 5 of the NBA Finals. After the Thunder were able to win the first game of the NBA Finals at home, they have now lost their last three games. Now obviously you have already heard that in the NBA Finals, the home court format is different. Instead of the typical 2-2-1-1 format, it is now 2-3-2. Now this format has many ups and downs which we could talk about for a while, however let’s focus more on this game. Whether you are a causal NBA fan, or a hard core fan, you cannot argue with how these series has played out so far. Although the Heat have a commanding 3-1 lead, the games have been much closer and competitive than what the scores indicate. In Game 2, either team could have won, as it came down to the last possession and a questionable no call. Then again in Game 3 and Game 4, we saw similar results. Although Game 3 was not as competitive, the Thunder did make it a contest in the second half. Now this is a do or die game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The scenario is easy for them, win or go home. Now although going down 3-1 in a series is typically a death sentence, in this NBA Finals format, it may not be. If the Thunder can manage a win tonight, they will have the potential final two games at home. With that being said, the Thunder really have nothing to lose. The media and all of the NBA are just waiting for the Heat to win and LeBron get his long awaited NBA Championship. However, remember that he has never in this position before. LeBron has never been one game away from what he so desires. In his two previous NBA Finals appearances, he never was in this situation. It will be interesting to see how he responds in this situation. On top of that, you have to wonder how much his “cramp” he suffered at the end of Game 4 will affect him tonight. Now this may sound very critical of me, but personally I feel as though he was afraid of the stage. I think he was afraid of getting beat but Russell Westbrook and getting the “choke” tag attached back to him. Now tonight you can imagine that the Thunder will come out with heart. After the way they lost their last three games, all games they could have won, they will come out with a chip on the their shoulder. Although you cannot ask Westbrook for much more than what he gave the Thunder in Game 4, I feel he will focus more on the silly foul at the end of the game that nearly cost the game for his team, rather than the 43 points he dropped. He will take the loss into his hands and will use it as motivation. The key for the Thunder tonight is not to have a quarter like the second quarter in Game 4. After the Thunder came out on fire in the first quarter, and looked like they may run away with the game, they then watched their lead and momentum slip in the second quarter. The Thunder will not and cannot take their foot off the petal and win this game.
: As I mentioned before, LeBron has never been in this position; one win away from a ring. I wonder how he will respond to this situation. After watching the Thunder play so well leading up until this three game skid, I feel they will win tonight. Even though they have lost the last three games, at least two of them were very winnable games. In my opinion they have been getting slightly unlucky to a certain degree, and I think Thunder fans live to see another game in Oklahoma City this NBA Finals.
: Oklahoma City Thunder
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