Blogtable: Worries for OKC?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

If you’re a Thunder fan, what worries you the most?


Steve Aschburner: If I’m a Thunder fan — and I’ve paid attention to what’s come before this particular Finals — then I know that this is a different LeBron James than the one San Antonio and Dallas faced in the 2007 and 2011 Finals, respectively. He’s not the same guy Boston was able to put out in East showdowns, either. James is driven like never before and, with all his added post-iness, at the peak of his basketball powers. He also has dipped his toe enough into the late-game, don’t-fail pressures to see that, “Hey, maybe I can handle that stuff after all.” There might be a superstar/legacy/destiny thing going on here that no one will be able to stop.

Fran Blinebury: The Thunder have the opposite problem: Bad starts.  They got away with them in Game 6 against the Spurs and Game 1 of The Finals. But coach Scott Brooks has got to get those internal alarm clocks set earlier.  One too many deep holes will eventually prove fatal.

Scott Howard-Cooper: That I’m not seeing much hope for slowing LeBron James. Even if he is not shooting the ball well, James is getting to the line. And if he is shooting well, forget it. He scores and he opens the court for teammates. Thabo Sefolosha is not strong enough. Serge Ibaka is not fast enough

Shaun Powell: Look, everyone knows what Russell Westbrook can do and also what he can’t. We’ve seen the good-bad Russ after two games and this kind of split personality is what can drive OKC crazy in this series. Can the guy involve his teammates without losing his scoring mean streak? Or is that development still a year or two away?

John Schuhmann: I’m worried that LeBron James hasn’t shot the ball well yet. He’s 3-for-16 from outside the paint in the series and 4-for-26 in his last three games. Once that jumper starts to fall again, he’ll be more impossible to stop than he has been already. I also understand that Kevin Durant’s shooting (57 percent so far) will come back to earth a bit, and that more misses and turnovers on our end will fuel Miami’s transition offense.

Sekou Smith: Thunder fans have already realized their worst fears. Their young team has shown itself to be a bit jittery at the start of both Games 1 and 2, and it could have cost them both times if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook hadn’t saved them in Game 1. Speaking of Westbrook and worst fears, the Thunder’s mercurial point guard has displayed all of his best and worst qualities through the first eight quarters of this series. Westbrook has that wedding vow quality to his game, “for better or worse” that does not lend itself to the magnified attention that comes with The Finals. There might need to be an intervention where Westbrook is concerned if he can’t curb his enthusiasm for freelancing when the Thunder need him to play within himself and their system.

27 Comments

  1. best point guard = best BBIQ says:

    i just can’t believe when westbrook said that he would not change his style of play..you have seen what happened to rose rightt? yo can end up like him if you play that way..be smart enough man.you are causing too many turnovers for a point guard..that’s why i believe that you are a shooting guard in a point guards body..if you are not changing your style of play into a more mature smart point guard play well you can end up like BD, Steve Francis those who are so athletic in their prime scoring bunches,dishing but really never showed the smart and more mature style of play..yes you can show spectacular, athletic, incredible plays but that would not help you when you age..it’s better to play more mature and smart like what a point guard should be.ask steve nash jason kidd. till now they can still play in the nba not like BD or Francis.. just don’t force too much.it’s not doing good to your team..i can even see harden as a much better, smarter and mature player than westbrook..if you just have harden’s maturity on seeing the court well and making the right decisions you could be unstoppable so easily. liten to MAgic he is the best point guard that ever played basketball.. just telling the truth..westbrok is the key of this series..

  2. W/E says:

    westbrick must create plays like a poinguard or the thunder got no chance with his selfish shooting hes too inconsistent..

  3. Deraj says:

    Who cares, we shouldn’t even be talking about Miami vs OKC, it should’ve been Boston and OKC.

  4. Celtic Fan says:

    I agree with Fran

  5. The Truth says:

    The Game is fixed because Stern, ESPN, and the league dont want to see the better team (thunder) win the series in 4 or 5 becuase they want the millions of dollars and viewers from a big market team such as miami.

  6. supplanter33 says:

    what i see is this. If James or Wade is in its beast mode, no team can stop them even if they played great. I think thats why Miami got lots of haters because its to unfair if they are playing GOD MODE

  7. supplanter33 says:

    Seikou can’t even give credit to miami. he only talks about OKC’s faults tsk tsk.

  8. OctoPPus says:

    When Russel scored 36 points vs Lakers (a big night for him) no one said his style was “questionable” – just hope he’ll get into the flow and feel the shot – maybe he’s right – with “new adjustments” will his game be as good ???

  9. Bryan says:

    @JohnfromOKC

    Do I believe it is totally predetermined? No.

    Do I believe that Tim Donaghy could have spent 13 years making enough bad calls to land in federal prison all by himself? Hell no. There’s two other refs on the court, just one isn’t going to have much of an effect all alone.

    OKC makes perfect sense. Went through two bigger markets yes, but no rivalry.

    Kobe vs Lebron flopped because Lebron didn’t have a team behind him in Cleveland and now Kobe/Lakers aren’t what they were, spurs don’t have that one superstar to clash with LBJ and Dallas just doesn’t have it in them this year.

    If I was fixing a game, I would want to see the two best players on the planet going toe to toe in the championship to make sure I held the public’s interest, especially if they had the potential to meet up for a few years running….oh wait, that sounds familiar.

    Stern maybe crooked, but he ain’t dumb.

  10. gerald29 says:

    miami will get the help from westbrick to win this championship….

    • katsomehlo says:

      When Miami wins, Russell Westbrook will be Co-MVP for playing top-notch defense against his own team!

  11. Fedor says:

    The NBA isn’t rigged and everyone’s getting their panties in a knot. OKC had two bad starts survived one and could’ve survived the second if KD got his free throws at the end. What you guys see is a team that’s rattled what I see is a team that hasn’t played their best basketball for more than 2 quarters in a game and are tied 1-1.

    Home court is nice, but it doesn’t matter too much, OKC won twice in Dallas, once in LA and once in San Antonio. They aren’t afraid of the road.

    Watching OKC finally get a nice start and lead wire to wire and regain that home court advantage right back, maybe even take 2 on the road.

    And people should quite tripping at Russ, sure his style is different, but you can’t argue with the results. I love KD, but he wouldn’t be here without everything Russ has done.

  12. Donna Lauron says:

    Bam! to John from OKC

  13. John From OKC says:

    My biggest worry is that Nick Collison won’t get enough minutes. I liked Perkins when he was with my adapted city’s Celtics, but Collison is better than Perk at guarding players quicker than he is. That was never the strongest part of Perk’s game. I’m confident the Thunder can win a least 1 game in Miami, but there chances will be better if Nick gets more minutes than Kendrick.

  14. G.Lane says:

    The series is over.why pretend the outcome is in doubt?the heat were chosen before the playoffs even started.the nba is like pro wrestling an exhibition.it is no longer a true sport.

    • John From OKC says:

      If the NBA was actually rigged, why did the Thunder knock of, not one, but TWO bigger market teams on the way to the Finals? And why have the New York Knicks, in the biggest market in the country, not made the Finals in decades?

      Claiming rigging in any sport is copping out on admitting that your team just isn’t as good as you thought they were.

      • katsomehlo says:

        lol, well, you do know that out of the west OKC would generate the most views, plus there were plenty of questionable calls against the Spurs in Game 6 to advance the Thunder

  15. designlords says:

    I couldnt agree more with SEKOU when he says that Westbroke is FREELANCING, hahaha..

    • NBAfan says:

      Is Sekou the coach for OKC? Did the coach bench Westbrook? Did the coach shout at him at half time? I don’t have the audacity to secound guess an NBA coach and an NBA star,

      Justs to play devils advocate…sometimes you have to take a step back to take 2 steps forward…maybe Westbrooks “freelancing” as Sekou calls it is their step back wards and the fact that despite being tied 1-1 in the finals, OKC still looks like the better team and STILL looks like the team that can still improve WITHIN the series itself is the two steps forward….

      No team plays “perfect basketball”….you just have to use what you have and adjust against the team that you are playing. Why pin point one SINGLE ASPECT of OKC’s game plan.

  16. AnoNymouS~ says:

    I don’t see Westbrook doing anything bad, besides his slow start along with the team. It seems like he’s excelling in driving in and his quick jumpers, although i don’t remember OKC having alot of point in the paint in Game Two or am i mistaken

    • designlords says:

      If coach BROOKS agree with you that westbroke is not doing anything bad, they will lose this series very FAST! 20 out of 50 .. attempts last game 2? Magic says he never seen such very worst pointguard in the final.he should stick in playmaking and let Durant do the shooting

      • QuestionMark says:

        Westbrook had 11 asts in Game 1 and like 7 in Game 2, thats good enough for a PG, plus KD can’t score 50 a night, Westbrook carries some of the scoring load of KD, and I don’t see Ibaka or Harden scoring 20 consistently, Harden can but disappears at times, like the 5 pt game in Game 1. Plus Harden is a more pure play maker than Westbrook, so Harden can carry the play making load of Westbrook.

      • thatiam says:

        with russell you got to take the good with the bad. and this whole season there has generally been more good than bad i think. if i’m brooks i want him to attack the rim even harder (no settling for the j) and keep putting pressure on the defenders especially in transition.

  17. Patrickmarc says:

    I don’t agree with :” Ibaka is not fast enough“ . He moves very fast in the two last second,
    and before that he moves like a cat, you can’t hear him in your back.

    My cat is super good at blocking, he doesn’t move, feel resting until I make a mistake,

    • jayianne says:

      serge ibaka will only block LBJ with the help of his teammate but in ONE-on-ONE i dont think serge can HANDLE the KING…

      • NBAfan says:

        one on one he may not block jamese all that often, but he will be able to make him miss at least….

      • thatiam says:

        1 on 1 serge is not going to be effective enough at stopping lebron from getting in the lane. lbj plays better without the ball now – serge may not be quick enough to stick with him cutting, getting himself open etc. and as a shot-blocking/changing presence it works better if serge is encountered on the way to the basket as a help defender rotating over. also if he has to step out to the perimeter to guard james it takes him away from the basket, opening the paint up a bit more for guys like wade to attack the rim, get perkins in foul trouble etc. serge is not the solution.