Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: Can the Thunder get over Game 4?

Posted on: May 25, 2011 2:33 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 11:54 am
Posted by Royce Young

One Big Thing: It definitely feels like this series is over. That's probably because it sort of is. The way the Thunder fell on their face in Game 4 and gave away a win basically sealed their fate. Now not only do they have to try and recover from that but they have to do it on the road. Chances aren't good for them.

However, the other humiliating loss the team suffered, they bounced back from. After a Game 3 loss to Memphis where the Thunder blew a 10-point lead late, OKC bounced back and won a crucial Game 4. Their backs are to the wall even more and they're even more heartbroken now. Do they have anything left? That's the question.

The X-Factor: Mental fortitude. How do you shake the feeling this series is over? How do you stop replaying those final five minutes in your head over and over again? That's what the Thunder have to do. They're going to show people what they're made of in this game. They have every reason to just pack it up and quit. Will they? Or are they going to play with that same resiliency that got them this far?

The Adjustment: The Thunder have to figure out how to score the ball in clutch situations. This has been gone over a million times but whatever the solution is, the Thunder haven't found it. Russell Westbrook can't create everything and score on his own. Kevin Durant can't get away from Shawn Marion for open looks. When James Harden isn't on the floor, the Thunder don't know where to go for points. The Mavs defense has been really good in those circumstances but if the Thunder are close in Game 5, the question is, can they score?

The Sticking Point: I just keep coming back to whether or not this young Thunder team is ready to say they've had enough. Durant is a player that has a ton of pride. Same with Westbrook. The Mavs have a serious chokehold on the series and it's just a matter of closing out a young, rattled team at home. No problem, right?

Thing is, these Thunder aren't quitters. And the temptation for the Mavericks could be to relax and try and coast out of the Western Finals. But mess around and give this one away at home and the series will return to Oklahoma City where you can be sure the Thunder don't want to embarrass themselves again in front of their home crowd. The Mavs could play with some fire here if they don't take care of business.

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:29 am

Playoff Fix: Can the Thunder get over Game 4?

Westbrook thnks he is a lot better than he really is.  Until the series against Memphis and now this one, I didn't know anything about him but he sort of comes off as a ballhog.  The only game OKC won in this series had Westbrook sitting on the bench for pretty much the entire 4th quarter.  I like OKC and it would be nice to see them win but they're like Chicago in that they have one player that everyone knows will have the ball at the end.  If I were calling the shots for Dallas, I'd try to force the ball to Westbrook.  Almost a guaranteed turnover.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: May 25, 2011 9:46 am

Playoff Fix: Can the Thunder get over Game 4?

I don't know about anyone else, but for me the coach blew this one for OKC. I don't know how many times you continue to go to Durant for one on one matchups and it is clear that Marion is blanketing him. Durant was nervous and turning the ball over. He wasn't getting his shot off and when he did Marion was blocking it most of the time. I usually don't like when Westbrook tries to do it on his own, but this was one of thimes when they should have isolated him and let him drive and either shoot or dish the ball off to Durant on the move. Durant is a great player, but when he is facing good solid defense, he tends to whither under the pressure. He's still young and learning how to get those veteran foul calls.

I would have liked tohave seen the coach go to more of a motion offense instead of isolation, especially with Harden on the bench. That offense they were running made Marion look like an All-Defensive Superstar and got his confidence up. If something is not working coach, you don't stick with it. Insanity - doing the same thing and expecting different results! Wakeup!!!

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: May 25, 2011 8:59 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2011 6:57 am

Playoff Fix: Can the Thunder get over Game 4?

Thunders are without class. Imagine the way KD celebrating with his virutal "championship" belt, while dallas was down 15points, under 5minutes, must have been a lesson learn! Humble so they said about KD?? Learn the likes of Dirk...he was not celebrating their victory, like that of KD, when at least they thought, they got game4 wrapped, and a sealed win for thunders. I know game4 dictated how game5 will go. I am sorry but I dont mean to be callous but the show is over! Better luck with butter next season KD and company.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or