That was a bad game to lose, but I'll only panic if the Thunder lose Tuesday. I guess tomorrow's practice and Tuesday's shootaround should consist only of free throws or games of gotcha or something.
Also the Thunder badly need to utilize the Westbrook Harden Thabo Durant Ibaka lineup more. I am convinced that this combination can right things.
Agreed. Thunder is not in panic mode, but they should be realistic. Heat have outplayed them in three games. Simple as that. Further, in reality, while it was an exciting series, the Spurs outplayed OKC in 3 games too. So Thunder have shown their Achilles' Heel, which is playing against what is realistically a more talented team. There are a lot of bandwagon fans jumping on the Thunder right now, but those of us who been following this team since they were almost last place in the NBA know that you can't be a championship level time while during the season also both LEADING THE NBA in turnovers (averaging just under 17 a game!!) and also ranking dead last in ball movement (they were 30th in assists this season).
Those are glaring stats which keep popping up their ugly head, hence Miami's domination of the fast-break. Heat on the other hand also have their predictable flaws, they are an NBA record setting team for giving up double digit leads in the 2nd half (something like almost 30 games this regular season alone were either barely won or even lost even when the Heat led by double figures at the half) and so not surprisingly OKC has had some miraculous comebacks, and further, they stretch their starters a bit heavy and play shallow rotations. However, I think when you compare OKC's flaws to Heat's flaws, they are worse in this circumstance, and further, when you compare Heat's virtues to OKC's, Heat also have several key advantages (size, home-court, momentum, experience, explosive drives in the paint, defense) compared to Thunders (length, scoring, athleticism, ball movement when they're playing hot like against Spurs)
Don't forget that Harden almost had a steal just prior to that foul. I think people should attack Lebron more when he tries to handle the ball in the backcourt. Put a smaller guy on him and force turnovers when he's trying to act like a point guard.. Lebron isn't the best dribbler in the world. But when you allow him to dribble uncontested then he can do just about anything he wants. He has great vision and knows how to find the open man.
Many teams have tried to put intense pressure on Lebron when he has the ball, that is when they come to discover as you said, his great vision and b-ball IQ. Lebron has superb
dribble control, simply stated, folks can triple team the brother and still both not force a travel neither even get the steal, rather force a good pass, which is the secret of the Heat's "Pace and Space" offence which is essentially an enlarged version of the Triangle. But you'd have to follow LBJ around for a few years to catch those moments, because of his sheer NFL defensive line-man size, many players avoid putting too much pressure in his face, getting hit by his drive is like getting straight out-blitzed.