OKC Gets Minor Victory Over Miami, May Have Major Lineup Breakthrough


VIDEO: Kevin Durant leads OKC past LeBron and his Heat

MIAMI – Those who came or tuned in seeking some odd, early resolution to the NBA’s Most Valuable Player race probably left or went to bed disappointed. Entertained, exhilarated even, but disappointed because the slim gap between Kevin Durant and LeBron James didn’t widen more, based on their individual performances Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Based on the outcome – a 112-95 Oklahoma City victory, in which the Thunder bungeed from 18 points down early to 25 points up late – Durant probably did pull a few extra chips to his side of the table. But in practical terms, there wasn’t much to choose between: Durant’s 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting with seven rebounds, five assists and four turnovers vs. James’ 34 points on 12-of-20 shooting, with three boards, three assists and three turnovers.

So, set aside the MVP debate for a while, at least until these teams meet again Feb. 20 in Oklahoma City. Focus a little on the COY — Coach of the Year — because the Thunder’s Scott Brooks accounted for the biggest highlight move of the night.

Understand that Brooks hasn’t had his preferred starting lineup for a while, not with All-Star guard Russell Westbrook (right knee meniscus surgery) sidelined since Christmas. But the one he started Wednesday has been his next-best option, with a record now (15-5) that’s nearly as good as OKC’s ‘A’ team (17-2).

So, coming out of halftime, Brooks pulled a lineup from column C. He sat down center Kendrick Perkins and inserted backup forward Perry Jones. Jones is listed at 6-foot-11 but he’s a quarter-horse compared to Perkins’ Clydesdale and the switch effectively rendered the Thunder small. Serge Ibaka was the default center, Durant the ersatz power forward.

It worked wonders. OKC outscored the two-time defending champions 36-25 in the third quarter. A 91-75 lead ballooned to its max with 8:45 left when the Thunder opened the fourth on a 10-1 run. Miami fans might have learned their lesson in The Finals about leaving early when things look bleak but this time, there really was little reason to stay.

Now, we’re not suggesting that Brooks be handed the bronze trophy with the little Red Auerbach on it, not on the strength of one game or even half the season. He was named Coach of the Year in 2010 and, for some voters, having a legit MVP candidate at one’s disposal is an small argument against that coach taking home hardware.

It wasn’t as if Brooks necessarily had a “Eureka!” moment, either, given the way Miami jumped on his starters for a 22-4 lead in the game’s first 5:40. Perkins had subbed out when it was 15-2, after which Oklahoma City outscored its hosts 53-35 through the end of the second quarter.

So Perkins/bad, small ball/good was plain to see on this night. But Brooks dared to tinker with a mostly pat hand (Perkins has started all but two games), in a properly ballyhooed game, in front of an ESPN audience. He went with Jones and left him in for all 24 minutes of the second half. He made sure the Thunder used their mobility especially to get back on defense, choking off any Miami notions of transition buckets (OKC won that battle, getting 20 fast-break points to the Heat’s eight).

And he sold it on in real time, with nary a pout – who can tell with Stoneface Perk anyway? – nor a ripple.

“I thought to win this game, we had to make a decision,” Brooks said. “It’s just this game. It’s not something we have to do all the time. Perk brings so much to us. We’re not going to make it a small lineup/big lineup [issue]. ‘We’ won the game. It’s always been about ‘us.’ We have a bunch of guys who are always about ‘team’ and tonight was a prime example of that.”

Veteran guard Derek Fisher had found the bottom of the peach basket (hey, that’s how he learned it) for 15 points by the time OKC led 101-76, compared to a Miami bench that had scored just 11 by then. Jeremy Lamb scored 18, combining with Fisher to hit 9 of his 11 3-point shots. The Thunder were uncanny from out there, hitting 59.3 percent compared to 47.2 percent of their 2-pointers.

Miami was, well, the opposite, going 3-for-19 from the arc. Then there were those 21 turnovers worth 25 points. Just four steals to OKC’s 13. Seventy points allowed in the second and third quarters combined. Not much flow from the champs. And so on.

“There were a lot of different issues,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Our offense got us in trouble tonight – it was uncharacteristic. Even in our right plays, we were fumbling it. Our guys were zigging, they were zagging. … But again, you have to give them credit.”

OK, here’s some: Oklahoma has won nine consecutive games, edging closer to the franchise mark of 12 set early last season. And Durant ran his string of 30-point performances to 12, longest in the league since Tracy McGrady stacked up 14 late in 2003.

Durant is averaging 38 points during the streak, shouldering the load left by Westbrook’s absence. He’s shown no serious wear, and he had fun in his back-and-forth with James, both with the ball and in some “slick stuff” they chattered on the floor.

Still, he sounded as if he enjoyed more the work of his teammates, chipping in against about the toughest competition they could face. Most times Durant carries them, but to a considerable degree Wednesday, guys like Lamb, Jones and Fisher carried him and the Thunder. It’s the sort of flexibility that allows them to adapt to Westbrook going and, sometime after the All-Star break, coming back, a better “acquisition” than any other team will get at the trade deadline.

“There are going to be games where guys are going to play more minutes and games where guys are going to have to sacrifice a little bit. And that’s what we did,” the NBA’s leading scorer (31.3) said. “Them young guys are gamers, man. They want it. They want that opportunity. When you mix ‘em out there with Fish, who’s probably the biggest gamer of us all. He doesn’t care what the moment is, he’s going to come out and play the same way. And Nick [Collison] is the same way as well.

“I’m proud of them.”


VIDEO: Kevin Durant and LeBron James discuss the Thunder-Heat game

109 Comments

  1. tim thurow says:

    KD is better than Lebron. LeBron is physically gifted but is not as dominate of a scorer as Durant. if KD wanted, he could have easily put up 40+ pts n this game…

  2. A-hole says:

    @LOL hey.. Dude you can’t make everyone here be a believer of LBJ if they arent a fan.. Let them be.. As far as everyone knows from the past that he is a Quitter.. So let the past alone too. Oh.. He did carried Cavs to finals one time.. And he is also the who bring them down.. Shooting 35% fg 20% from 3 pt. line 69% ft. And 5.75 to per game.. Oh please stop this annoying backriding bs tha he had no one.. He may have no other superstar on that team but those are the best role players you can have.. Oh! You better check the stats right here yourself.. http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/stats/2006/nba_finals_stats.html

  3. LOL says:

    The FUNNIEST thing about the matchup LBJ and KD is that LBJ checked KD WAY more KD checked him. That says ALOT.

  4. MAN says:

    Put Lebron in OKC minus Westbrook, and the Thunder would not even close to have the best record in the west. Put Durant in Miami, and I bet the Heat would be having the best record in NBA right now.

  5. Nick says:

    OKC won’t make it to the Finals this year, I’ll bet anyone 10,000 dollars.

    • jake s. says:

      you sir have made an ill-fated bet

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Then you lose 10 grand, chief. :-)

      Russell Westbrook returns after the All Star break. After all that extended rest, he will be fresh and 100% by March. He’ll be there for the whole playoff run, this time.

      Unstoppable. No West team will stop Thunder from returning to the NBA Finals.

      Tell me what West team will stop the Thunder from returning to the Finals! Spurs? No. Blazers? Better this season but No. Clippers? No. Rockets? No. Grizzlies? Worse this season so No.

  6. Dr Lebron Fan says:

    All this MVP arguing is silly. Most (not all) of the time season MVP goes to someone on the team that finishes with the best record for the season.. IF OKC ends up with best record at the end of the regular season dance, then KD will undoubtedly be crowned MVP. If not, then he still might get it, but it would be tougher. If Indiana wins the regular season record battle, Paul George will likely get MVP. This is just the way it is. The way KD has stepped up this year in Russel Westbrook’s absence is nothing short of phenomenal, and people should not take that away from him. And it seems that Lebron is not really that interested in regular season MVP honors — I think he would be happy for his friend KD to finally get his due. With respect to their positions among the greatest of all time — all these comments are again silly. Let’s just say that LeBron and KD are two of the best players in the game right now, and the differences that separate them — like any of the other top 5-10 ;players in the league — are more of style than substance. They can be measured against the greatest of all time when their careers are over.

  7. GOD says:

    Love it how KD shoots over the defense of James a couple of times, makes good highlights.

  8. qwerty says:

    I like how the title says okc gets MINOR victory( of 17 points ) over miami. If miami won with the same score, it would have been THE BIGGEST WIN IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS MIAMI IS THE BEST TEAM EVER IN EVERY SPORT IN THE WORLD !!! LEBRON MVP BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE IN THE GAME SINCE THE DAWN OF THE DINNOSAURS!!!

  9. cp10 says:

    Fish was CLUTCH, learned it from the bottom of the peach basket eh Aschburner? Good sense of humor. KD is scary-good.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Honestly, I didn’t understand what that metaphor meant. I thought it was a compliment to Fisher. Not sure. Hehe.

  10. OKC says:

    Did anyone notice when Derek Fisher made the buzzer beating 3 a Thunder fan in Miami got up and cheered.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Derek Fisher was outstanding and helps spread the floor with his shooting. He has found the Thunder Fountain of Youth and could play 5 more seasons, if he wanted to. We’ll see.

      • LOL says:

        Right Joshua right. He hasnt shown up this year just in this anomaly of a game where OKC hit the most 3s ever in the last 6 years since they moved to OKC and the Heat happened to be off on most of those open looks they got. Wont happen for a series

  11. Mark says:

    @LOL um don’t you think that if the Thunder held the Heat to that performance that IS saying something?

    • LOL says:

      They didnt HOLD them to 3-19 3 point shooting. Sorry. most of those were good open looks that they normally hit

  12. Art says:

    Miami fans are saying that LeBron is the better all-around player.
    Well, in addition to scoring Durant has more rebounds, steals & 3 times more blocks this year (this year and not only last 12 games).
    LeBron declined & not MVP contender any more. His PIE drops about 2.8% per month: November 22.9%, December – 20%, January – 17.2%. Could anybody explain why? Do officials help him a little bit less? Don’t they make now each and every call in his favor? Not good. By playoff his PIE could be just 10%. Wow!

    P.S. Kevin’s PIE BTW increased every month and is 23.9% in January.

  13. lens2film says:

    @ LOL in reply to: {“OKC lucky as hell with 16 s BAHAHAHAHA. ONLY Time EVER in OKC history, since they were the Sonics did they hit 16 3′s. And the Heat 3-19 which is very RARELY gonna happen. So this game is nothing more than an anomaly. proved NOTHING as to who the better team is. Sorry OKC fans. D fish isnt hitting 5-5 3s in the Finals and OKC isnt going 16-27 and Heat 3-19 in a 7 game series. You lose.”}

    Even if Fish missed ALL of the 5 3′s. making the team 11/27. OKC would have still won by 2. OKC balled hardcore last night. Just admit, these teams are closer than you think. Why do you think Heat missed 3 of 19 from the arc? OKC’s D had a lot to to with it… You would know if you have watched their other games…

    • LOL says:

      No it didnt haha ALMOST ALL of those 3s were really good open looks. sorry about it. The 3s were the only diference and thats that. Sure okc got some steals and were active on D. But the only difference in the game was the BIG ANOMALY on the 3 point shoting.. Not happening in a series like I said. Sorry.

  14. Lakers says:

    Lebron James has been overrated for years. The reality is, if he didnt come to Miani to an already proven winner in Dwayne Wade, Lebron wouldn’t have a championship. Kevin Durant is a much better all around player than Lebron hands down. The problem is the league try to boast up lebrons image, so that he can be the face of the NBA.

  15. Jeff says:

    so it take 12 games for you guys to fall in love with KD? I mean what is he doing differently from the past years he is going to get his 30+ ponits every year but now everyone want to praise him for it because his on a little streak man you guys do not know basketball lebron is not even trying and his still being mentioned in the MVP conversation Durant is clearly going for MVP and with westbrooke out he is taking full of advantage of it it’s crazy how you guys are down playing his teamates and giving KD all the praise durrant is not doing nothing different if anything the coaching staff got better and the bench players got better. I still say lebron will get MVP because he doesn’t have to score to get it his all around every time KD guard lebron he gets in foul trouble. but if durrant gets MVP who cares a 3 peat sound better

    • Den says:

      Let’s forget about what LBJ did in the past, he’s arguably the best player in the last 5 years, but we are strictly talking about SO FAR THIS SEASON, THIS SEASON ONLY.

      KD is clearly the MVP so far THIS YEAR THIS SEASON.

      • LOL says:

        Nah Den we WONT forget about the past sorry because were comparing LBJ’s past in that he isnt trying as hard this year. Playoffs he will come alive when it matters.

  16. celentano says:

    tyred about Lefake praising,he’s fake end of story!Always making tons of travelling moves,he’s an illuminati puppet pulled from the strings behind the that team from the dark side,the Heat!See the symbols it’s says enouch about that vomit all-star team!A lot of Heat fans+bandwagons are big fools,it’s too obvious the circus the Nba become today!

  17. Den says:

    MVP should be given to the best player in the world of THAT SPECIFIC SEASON ONLY REGARDLESS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE PAST. People backing for LBJ or saying LBJ is still the best in the world are stucked with what LBJ did IN THE PAST.

    If you look at this season, THIS SEASON ONLY, it is clear that KD is the MVP so far. Key word, “so far”.

    • LOL says:

      MVP never WAS nor will it ever probably WILL be an award givin SOLEY for the BEST PLAYER. You must not know the NBA very well or are very young because you have no idea what your talking about.

      • Den says:

        I don’t get what you are suggesting dude. MVP is not given to the best player? Who are you giving it to then? Mario Chalmers? I think you are drunk.

        MVP winners of the past decade:
        Kobe
        LBJ
        Nash
        Nowitzki
        Rose
        KG

        Please tell me if there’s any single year that the MVP was NOT given to the best player in the league of that specific year. Please elaborate

      • LOL says:

        Den theres no reason to explain. If you dont already know that the award is not always given to the best player EVERY YEAR, then I’m not wasting my time. Thats one of the most basic things in a sport anyone should know. Sorry.

  18. Sick Of Fools says:

    Dee
    You are a complete idiot. I said Lebron carried his team on his back for MOST OF HIS CAREER. That would be the years he was in Cleveland, Moron. Do you know what “most” means? And by the way, as Charles Barkley said, Lebron carried his team on his back for most of the playoffs last year. And ZERO of the playoff games and only few other games have been “won by the play of Bosh.” Lebron is the key contributor almost every night. When one player scores thirty or so points and flirts with a triple double with some blocks and steals, and your contribution is significantly (look the word “significantly” up before you comment) less (maybe single digits, a couple of rebounds, and sketchy defense, for example) but you make one or two key plays, you did not win the game by your play. Suggestion, Dee: Stop “just saying” and start “just thinking a little bit before I pop off.”

  19. joe says:

    I’ve been a lebron fan since you guys was little boys (got a pristine pair of lebron’s first awesome pair of nike kicks to prove it!) but I’ll go with kevin this year.. he’s earning it big time – and we ain’t greedy – we’d rather get the three-peat! :-)

  20. nbaman says:

    Lol, Aschburner. Ha!
    95% of these comments talk about KD obviously more deserving of MVP.

    Oh how the mighty fall.

  21. nbaman says:

    Lol, Aschburner. Ha!
    95% of these comments talk about KD obviously more deserving of MVP.

    Oh how the might fall.

  22. Autocorrect says:

    KD deserved MVP from last season check the stats but he’ll get it this season along with that finals mvp

  23. Da Beast says:

    KD is on a tear with at least 30 points a game for 12 straight, and the author says that the MVP race is too close. When LeBron went 6 games with 25 points shooting 60%, everyone said there is no way anyone can catch up to him. But when Durant goes a huge tear, the race is way too close and the gap is “slim”. This dude might as well title his articles with “LBJ will always be MVP”.

    • LOL says:

      Actually you shouldnt comment because it was an NBA RECORD 7 games with 60% shooting. So yea it was very worth of the praise..But keep on hatin tho. Obviously KD with westbrook out is gona be the Most VALUABLE Player doesnt just mean automatically the BEST player. You dont seem like your really someone that knows what their talkin about.

  24. Sick Of Fools says:

    Dear Fools:
    Lebron has been MVP for years. Durant has been MVP for approximately twelve games, maybe a bit longer – no more than 1/4 of this season, at most. And it was the entire team, including the coach, who won the game last night. Durant has never carried a team on his back as Lebron has done for most of his career. Show some respect, Fools.

    • Dee says:

      Dear Sick of Fools:
      Who is really the Fool? The only time Lebron has carried the whole team on his back was in Cleveland. He came to Miami with Chris Bosh to join Wade. Wade already had a Championship and was considered at that time the third best player in the NBA. How many times has Perkins, Serge and the rest made the All Star Team. Please check the records to see how many games were won by the play of Bosh. Show some truth, Fool. I’m just saying!

  25. Tom says:

    CotY for benching Perk??? wtf are you on, it should’ve happened months ago

  26. ELISEO SORIANO OLDPATH says:

    must wait until RUSSEL WESTBROOK comes back…. more powerful.

  27. Janice says:

    Lebron is the better all around player. Kevin is a better scorer. Lebron allowed Kevin to pull him out of team playing and went one on one. He did not involve his teammates more. Stay focus Lebron on the Championship because that is what we want and it takes the entire team.

  28. kaibaboy says:

    if you watch the sum of the game or full of the game in the 3rd…, Kd and Lebron had a duel of scoring and KD won…He took of the game from Lebron…Man Lebron was hopeless then:)

  29. standard says:

    this is KD’s time baby
    he’s tired getting second place every year.
    Lebron and the league please step out of the number one podium.

  30. Roy Schneider says:

    You guys need to guys need to get of that bull Kevin is so much better than LeBron James, most of LeBron James shot or lay ups I can I can make those on the hand Kevin shoots from anywhere and everywhere. LeBron has all star team, Kevin don’t, LeBron at home and Kevin on the road and still won. What does it take for you tell fhe truth Kevin is better than LeBron and really it’s not close as you pretend. Kevin MVP buy a very margin!

    • LOL says:

      baaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha

      • bballjunkie1 says:

        Don’t get carried away with a jump shooter KD can’t hang in the paint getting pushed, bumped he wouldn’t have half the numbers. He’s good but keep it in perpective. Lebron is no jump shot shooter, he does so many other things good like defending point guards, fowards, centers 2 totally different players. The biggist difference is the rise of KD mental game to get everyone else involved, doing the other things, points coming easy 4 him.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Who said KD is “so much better” than Lebron? All they’re saying is KD will probably win the MVP this time.

      BTW, Chris Bosh may have made the All Star team, but I’d rather have Serge Ibaka on my team than Bosh. Serge is a future All Star and DPOY candidate. When Russell comes back, he’ll be 100% by March and will be back playing at an All Star level again just like he did earlier this season.

      Plus, Jeremy Lamb is the next Ray Allen. Future All Star. Reggie Jackson? Future All Star.

  31. D'up says:

    let’s be honest right here, Kevin Durant without that 3 poitn shot is nothing… How many poitns he scored from downtown?? 3 – 4 ( 12 points just from there )… How many points LeBron scored from downtown? Just 1…. So yeah KD it’s an All-Star player, but you can’t win championships by yourself… and just for this year playoffs miami won’t be in the finals with this kind of play

    • Da Beast says:

      Most illogical comment I have ever read on this site.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Thunder are better than they were last season. The good thing about subbing Jeremy Lamb for the now-departed Kevin Martin is that the ball had a tendency to “stick” when we had Kevin Martin last season in the playoffs.

      This Thunder team has better ball movement and Jeremy Lamb is a huge part of that. Lamb is more of a pure shooter and strikes more quickly like lightning than Martin.

      Thus, the Thunder have a chance to win the next 10-15 Championships.

      Don’t forget, as well. Russell Westbrook will be 100% by March. He’ll be there for the entire playoff run, this time. The Thunder are better than ever and probably have the deepest bench they’ve had in a long time.

  32. jake s. says:

    I promise you that the Durant era of OKC will take at least 3 championships. They have 10 more years in them. Dynasty can begin anywhere, just look at the San Antonio Spurs. I cannot say that the Thunder will win it all this year, but they will soon. Be forewarned… KD is taking home that trophy.

    • LOL says:

      Please. They both dont have 10 years left at their peak level LOL Get outa here.

      KD can take home the MVP LBJ already 4 in 5 years hes more worried about the 3peat.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Uhm, yes they do. OKC Thunder have an incredible work ethic (as good as anyone in the NBA). Durant is only 25, Westbrook only 25. Ibaka only 24. Jeremy Lamb only 21 or so. Reggie Jackson (future All Star) only 24 or so. Stephen Adams is only a rookie.

        Thunder are so so young. Expect them to be elite for the next 15 or more seasons.

      • LOL says:

        baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha @ joshua

        crazy

  33. Drew says:

    Uh Kobe had a string of 16 straight 30+ points games….

    • DubbSonic says:

      His streak was the month before McGrady went off so technically McGrady was the latest to do it . When KD hits 15 straight and more , then it can be measured against Kobe’s streak

    • LOL says:

      Right, which KD will beat 5 more games from now.

  34. dustydreamnz says:

    Durant’s numbers are huge mainly because Westbrook is injured although he is getting better.

    • LOL says:

      exactly. i mean OBVIOUSLY he becomes the MVP because he doesnt have the other top 5 to 10 player in the league in westbrook playing

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        You just pinpointed why the OKC Thunder will be the best NBA team for the next DECADE. Westbrook will back at 100% by March.

      • LOL says:

        Please lol for the next decade. They aint 20 no more their 25 so to say they’ll be the best team til 35. Sorry aint happening. They’ll have a nice run tho but not 10 years at the top. keep dreaming

  35. kenny says:

    Just watch Durant will get screwed out of the MVP again

  36. the whole heat team looked like they were in the special Olympics tonight, hopefully next game they’ll break out of this

    • justsayin says:

      Nice throwdown from Bosh though.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Well, a lot of that had to do with the Thunder’s strategy. Once they subbed Perkins out, Bosh no longer had that quickness advantage.

      The Heat can still make it back to the Finals. There’s no shame in losing to the best NBA team: the Thunder.

      The Heat will bounce back against lesser teams. No NBA team has the length that the Thunder has. The Thunder’s length bothered the Heat noticeably, disrupting their offense and forcing turnovers.

  37. amitpal says:

    Whenever KD and lebron face off, the winner is always the one with the better supporting cast. Normally its lebron supporting cast that steps up but today KD’s came through. Can’t wait for next game.

  38. aaron says:

    good win for us but i have feeling Miami gonna want revenge come Feb 20 and im going to be there to!

  39. Gillsy says:

    I look at this team and see the biggest difference in that Jackson, Lamb and co are giving this team serious back ups to the big 3. This has resulted in Durant playing his normal minutes even though Westbrook is out. Durant has gone to another level though and having to shoulder the load has mad him a better player.

  40. Karl says:

    You’ve got to be crazy if you don’t believe KD proved who was the real-deal MVP legit tonight. He had more boards, more dimes, about the same points. Sure LJ shot at a slightly, very slightly higher %, but KD shot a higher 3-point %. Not only that his court-generalship was brilliant. So there should be no doubt.

    • LOL says:

      Please. LBJ outSCORED him which is KDS game, not LBJs right? Isnt that what all the haters say? Yep. Well just like LBJ’s scoring average for his CAREER is HIGHER than KDs and or KB’s, hes a SCORER too. 27.5ppg career says he is. He OUTSCORED KD last night, and thats HIS game.. Held him 5 points BELOW his 38ppg average for this 12 game streak. So yea at the best in your case it was a DRAW. There wasnt anything proven other than these 2 are both really good. Also its funny because LBJ checked KD WAY more than KD checked him, which should say ALOT.

      All that KD benefits from with his scoring is a smooth jumper. Its so silky smooth it seduces everyone so hes automaticcaly a better scorer. Sorry but ill take LBJ’s more EFFICIENT shot selection last night by doing more driving and less settling for dancing and pullup jumpers. Obviously how did all those silky smooth jumpers work out for KD? He both scored LESS points and shot WORSE from the field.

      • jody collier says:

        So does it matter which team won? Heat will be lucky to get past indiana.. and if they see okc in championship game its a wrap. Lebron is the games best player. Durant is games best teammate.

  41. dustydreamnz says:

    Perkins isn’t good enough to be starting anyway. Good move by Brooks but Jones or even better Adams should have been starting ages ago.

    • HereHereBeer says:

      Dude, you need to stop looking at stats and simply the offensive end. Perk is occasionally annoying, but the guy brings so much to the team on defense and as an enforcer. He helps set the tone and we are best with him in the starting line up. Against certain teams, like Miami, small ball may be best, but mostly Perk starting and Adams bashing in late has worked well. In time Adams will start, I believe, but let him learn and develop first and use Perk while he is still (somewhat) mobile.

    • Celtics Fan says:

      Kendrick Perkins’ Injury was the main reason why Celtics lost game 6 and 7 to the Lakers. Their defense was not as great without Perkins even with KG(who is one of the best defensive anchors ever) playing.

    • Chris says:

      Agreed that Aschburner is a bron fan. KD beat bron down when they went head to head for that few minute stretch. Bronbron hung his head and walked away defeated- you know, you saw it! Now to the important stuff. Love Perk, but if OKC goes to the finals against Miami, just leave him home. There is nobody I would rather have than Perk if facing a multitude of teams; Houston, Memphis, Clippers, Portland mainly but some other teams as well. I wanted to choke Brooks 2 years ago in the finals for leaving Perk in there. I actually stopped watching the series after the second game I was so p#$%^%. Maybe Brooks has learned his lesson, we will find out Feb 20th. If Perk starts… . Again, gotta say it, Love Perk, but when you play Miami it just aint that kind of game.

      • LOL says:

        No he didnt he matched him 3 buckets hahaha. Keep tryin tho Haters. FUNNY how the SCORER KD got OUTSCORED by LBJ. GOOD STUFF right there. AND still did it more EFFICIENTLY. Sorry I’ll take LBJS better shot selection over KD dancin pullup jumpers. Wasnt no beatin down of nothing, just 2 of the best guys int he league puttin up similar numbers and thats it.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Genius move by Scott Brooks. This shows how versatile the Thunder are. If the game slows down and becomes more of a halfcourt game, they can utilize Ken Perk for interior defense. However, if the game speeds up, they can go small and run opposing teams out of the building.

        Thunder may want to do this more often in today’s up-and-down game. Perkins is still very valuable when defending certain low-post players, such as Roy Hibbert and David West and Tim Duncan and Lamarcus Aldridge.

        But be ready to flip that switch in a heartbeat if it will give the Thunder more of an edge. Thunder went real small in this game. They didn’t use Stephen Adams (7-foot prospect). A lot of that was because the Heat kept going small. But Jeremy Lamb spreads the floor so well. I told you he was the next Ray Allen. :-)

        Brooks: be ready to do this more often in the future and you may never lose ever again. Ha!

        I love yah, Perk, but if the game speeds up, you’re noticeably a slow runner. He’s like a robot out there. :-)

    • G says:

      Perkins is usefull when OKC is playing good, but when shot’s are not falling they have nothing to fall back to. A good offensive inside player (which Perkins is not) could help them make the final push.

      Gasol in for Perkins and Ibaka @ the 4 would be a nice fit!

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        I wouldn’t want Gasol. He’s past his prime. I’d rather wait and go after Carmelo, Lebron, or Kevin Love.

    • bballjunkie1 says:

      Coaching is biggest part of the championship equation. Watching Brooks last night juggle line ups he looked like Pop, Doc, KC Jones all wrapped into one. Same can’t be said of Spo again 18 point lead then get blown out. Good coaches coach to win, game by game something different may need to be done. Too bad this Miami sqaud could have had a 4peat going. Hats off to KD, Brooks last night. Happy 4 Fish 2.

  42. jake s. says:

    Based on Barkley rules, KD should get it… at least at this point in the season.

  43. @steve says:

    steve is such a lebron fan
    its who wins the game that makes you an MVP
    not to mention, durant’s humility against lebron’s boastfulness
    DURANT for MVP

      • Durant is having a far more better season than LeBron so far, but its only half way thrugh the year and people trying to say Durant is better than LeBron,its so dsrespectful. I mean LeBron won back to back finals mvps and back to back nba mvps, Durant needs the hardware to be talked in lebrons league.

      • Heat says:

        After big game last night and Duran is till only 3rd on Twitter NBA Pulse. That shows skills not compared to popularity. Kobe is second and he is not even playing most of the season! Duran needs to go to a bigger city if he’s really serious about tired of coming in second.

      • LOL says:

        OKC lucky as hell with 16 s BAHAHAHAHA. ONLY Time EVER in OKC history, since they were the Sonics did they hit 16 3′s. And the Heat 3-19 which is very RARELY gonna happen. So this game is nothing more than an anomaly. proved NOTHING as to who the better team is. Sorry OKC fans. D fish isnt hitting 5-5 3s in the Finals and OKC isnt going 16-27 and Heat 3-19 in a 7 game series. You lose.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Yeah, but Thunder would have won regardless of who had the hot-hand shooting-wise. Thunder made a statement: they are the 2014 NBA World Champions. NO ONE will stop them. NO ONE!

        BTW, the Thunder defense had a lot to do with it. Their length bother the Heat noticeably. They were able to use their length to alter the Heat’s shooting and offensive flow. Granted, the Heat were on fire to start the game, but as soon as they got “tired,” the Thunder took over and ran the Heat out of the building.

        Sefolosha had 6 steals. Durant had a clean block on James on one play. Etc.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        And remember: the Thunder did this WITHOUT the mighty Russell Westbrook.

        Holy cow.

        When they get Westbrook back after the All Star break, the Thunder will DOMINATE!

        DOMINATE!!!!!!!!

        YES! YES! YES!
        :-)

      • LOL says:

        Please. Almost ALL of those 3s were wide open a man was 3 or 4 ft away. They got some steals off their length yes. But the 3s were the game. This game was striclty an ANOMALY and y’all know it. LIke i said OKC aint shooting that way in a whole series just the same as the Heat wont shoot that bad for a series. That was the only difference in the game. 3 pointers.

        And LBJ STILL OUTSCORED KD hahahahaha Beat him at his own game and held him 5 points below his streak average of 38. Oh and guess who took the challenge more? LBJ . Thats right.. He checked KD WAY more than KD checked him. Hmmmmmmmmm

        LOL

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Thabo Sefolosha: back on the All NBA Defensive Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). He is 100% and is back to being the elite defender that he is.