Thunder Don't Take My Advice, Tank In Game 4
First of all, I said that Harden shouldn't start and that the Thunder's early-game woes would solve themselves. Well, Harden once again came off the bench, and the Thunder came out of the gate just fine. 33-19 I believe it was after the first quarter. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook don't need Harden to get themselves going (especially when Harden is playing like he has been the past two games).
The Thunder also took Durant off of LeBron for most of the game and stuck Thabo Sefolosha on him, as I suggested. That worked out great, as Durant finished the game with only three personal fouls, and LeBron put up series lows in points and free throw attempts, and also had his second lowest rebounding game of the series. He did manage to rack up twelve assists, but when LeBron takes 20 shots and scores 26 points you kind of just have to be happy with the fact that he could have hurt you a lot worse.
Head coach Scott Brooks went with my first two suggestions and they both worked, but the rest of my suggested adjustments didn't happen.
I said that if the three ball wasn't falling for the Thunder they should give Daequan Cook (42.2% from three in 2010) some minutes. Well, the Thunder were once again awful from behind the arc, going 3 for 16 (18.8%) from three-point territory. Come on, Brooks! Put this guy in, you never know. This team is hitting almost nothing from three, so what do you have to lose? Plus, the bench last night combined for 14 points last night. As a matter of fact, outside of Westbrook and Durant, the most points anyone scored for the Thunder was 8. Wow. That is wildly pathetic. Give Cook some minutes, would ya?
I didn't see the aggression and ferocity I wanted to see in the paint either. Only two blocked shots. No hard fouls. And most pathetic of all statistics, in my opinion, was the frontcourt of Durant, Ibaka, Perkins, and Collison combining for 16 rebounds. That is a complete joke. Well I guess it's not actually a joke, but it seems like it should be. Kevin Love nearly averaged that by himself this season. The Thunder were 6th in the league in rebounding this year. The Heat? 21st. Rebounding is supposed to be a huge advantage for the Thunder in this series and they're getting beat on the boards. The Heat out-rebounded them 40-35. That's just a shame.