Durant goes decoy … and gets iced

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com


VIDEO: The Grizzlies outlast the Thunder in OT in Game 5

OKLAHOMA CITY – This first-round series, so close now to slipping away from the Oklahoma City Thunder, is testing Kevin Durant‘s limits and his patience as it volleys from the strange to the surreal and now to the truly bizarre.

For the first time in NBA history, a playoff series has had four consecutive overtime games. The suffocating Memphis Grizzlies have won three, including Tuesday’s 100-99 thriller in which the game’s most devastating scorer and sure-fire MVP amazingly served as a decoy for the majority of the final six minutes of the fourth quarter.

Then in overtime came the incredible. After Durant made the first of two free throws to close to a one-point deficit with 27.6 seconds left, veteran referee Joey Crawford took the ball from Durant’s hands at the stripe, marched to the scorer’s table and instructed the scoreboard operator to show that both teams were in the bonus on the overheard scoreboard.

“I looked at KD and we were both like, ‘What is Joey doing,’ we had no idea,” Memphis guard Mike Conley said. “But, hey, I guess it worked.”

Durant, an 87.3-percent foul shooter, missed the potential game-tying free throw, and the game ended with that same one-point differential. A few moments later his 3-point attempt to win thudded off the back iron and Serge Ibaka‘s breathtaking put-back was ruled too late after a replay review.

“I was just trying to stay focused and knock the free throw down. Unfortunately, I didn’t,” said Durant, who missed half of his six free throw attempts in the game. “I don’t know what happened. I have to make that free throw.”

Said OKC coach Scott Brooks: “It was an awkward situation, I’ll tell you that.”

But that’s not all that was awkward in a game that game the The No. 7-seed Grizzlies blew a 20-point third-quarter lead, but hung on to take a 3-2 series lead. Mike Miller provided the difference for Memphis with 21 points that included five 3-pointers. Memphis can eliminate the No. 2-seed Thunder at home on Thursday night.

Yet to discover his rhythm this series, Durant buried a deep 3-pointer with 6:46 to go in regulation that gave OKC its first lead of the game, 79-78. The crowd erupted and seemed to sense an elusive Durant scoring binge brewing at just the right time. Only he never got the chance.

Brooks instead pushed Durant to the weakside corner on possession after possession in an attempt to space the floor for Game 4 hero Reggie Jackson and cold-shooting point guard Russell Westbrook.

“Sometimes you have to be a decoy out there. I’m fine with that,” Durant said. “If I want the ball I got to go rebound it and bring it up on the break. I trust my teammates with whatever decisions they make. I just got to do better for them.”

To get a touch in the final minutes of a nip-and-tuck, pivotal playoff game, the league’s four-time scoring champ has to get a defensive rebound and bring it up the floor himself?

“We had some plays where he has to space the floor,” Brooks said of Durant. “We were giving Reggie some opportunities. We did that in the game before and we were able to get into the paint and create easy opportunities. They did a good job of guarding it.”

Durant didn’t get a shot off on 12 consecutive possessions. He touched it only three times. Meanwhile, Caron Butler, Derek Fisher and Westbrook combined to miss five of six 3-point attempts. The one Butler made, he was also fouled and converted the Thunder’s third four-point play of the series, without which, this series wouldn’t be the overtime bonanza that it is.

Durant’s next opportunity came as the clock ticked below one minute to go and he lost it trying to slice into the lane. His next shot finally came with 33.9 seconds left, more than six minutes after his lead-grabbing 3. He missed. Durant took five shots while playing all 12 minute of the fourth quarter.

As confounding as that may be, the Thunder have a laundry list of issues to address if they hope to bring this series back to OKC. Durant, one of the most efficient scorers throughout the season, is staring at the prospect of becoming the first MVP — his winning seems only a formality now — since Dirk Nowitzki (of the 2007 Mavericks) got the award after his team was ousted from the playoffs.

Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen and the Grizzlies’ defense have managed to take Durant out of his comfort zone just as they did in last year’s conference semifinals when Westbrook was injured. Westbrook’s dynamic playmaking ability was supposed to change that this time around.

Instead both have dented the rim far more than worn out the nets. Durant finished 10-for-24 in Game 5 for 26 points. He had just two assists and six turnovers. He’s now 50-for-125 in the series (40 percent) and 12-for-42 from beyond the arc (28.6 percent).

Westbrook delivered a triple-double Sunday that spanned the spectrum of amazing to dreadful. He finished with 30 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. He was 10-for-31 from the floor and 1-for-7 from 3-point range. He made what might have been the play of the game, picking Conley’s pockets and going in for the game-tying dunk with four seconds left, but then was guilty of allowing Conley to blow by him twice early in the OT.

There is little flow to the Thunder offense. Westbrook has too often played recklessly and launched too many shots in the early portion of the shot clock. Durant is being well-defended, but also seems to have lost the killer confidence that defined his historic run this season.

The frustration is mounting and time is running out.

79 Comments

  1. okckd35 says:

    Wow Jeff must be a thunder hater. Not a single one of my comments got posted in either of his thunder bashing articles. Way to keep it pro grizz jeff. Way to go

  2. mee(a)t says:

    This series is Scott Brooks vs. Grizzlies defense. He doesn’t really draw up good plays.

  3. slyguy001 says:

    Grit Grind..

  4. OKC2014 says:

    Looks like someone can’t tell the differences between “OKC2014″ and “okc2014″

    Btw, I gave up OKC and going to backpedal back to my beloved Lakers.

    I am OKC2014 and I am a bandwagon fan.

  5. okc2014 says:

    Hey, someone stole my moniker!!!! I am not a bandwagon fan, and I’m not giving up Westbrook and Durant! They are still the dynamic duo to me. I know they can win one game. I’m nervous about 2 for the win. Kevin Durant will refuse MVP if he doesn’t make it through round 1. He will sink into a deep depression. I’m scared for OKC. Go Thunder!!!!!!!

  6. ism says:

    Scott Brooks, Master of the Clogged Toilet Offense.

    Thank you, Bill Simmons, for this hilarious moniker.

  7. Rob says:

    I still feel that Serge Ibaka should be allowed more shots. It may surprise people to know that he actually shot a higher percentage for midrange than Kevin Durant in the regular season. Needless to say they both shot better than the rest of the OKC roster in some cases much better.

  8. You don't need to know who I am says:

    Would you have a player who shot 31.8% beyond the arc in the regular season and just 18.4% from that distance in the post-season take your three pointers especially down the final stretch? Neither would I, but, it seem Scott Brooks would because they are numbers for one Russell Westbrook.

  9. OKC says:

    what kind of coach makes the league’s scoring champ a decoy??? scott brooks has no idea what he is doing

  10. just a fan says:

    Watching the games I dont understand what OKC needs to do. We can blame westbrook all we want, but the coach wants them pushing the pace and tiring out the grizzlies, while also not allowing their defense to get set. Problem is, the rest of the team looks sluggish. The ball is moving, but no one is getting good looks, and when they are they aren’t taking them.

    Westbrook is cold overall, but hes been starting off good and ending games poorly. However, the 3rd and 4th quarter is usually when durant gets it going. If his shots are just not falling at all, who else is the ball supposed to go to? The problem with durant is not that he is not taking enough shots, but that he cannot create his own opportunities in this suffocating defense. In fact the only player that CAN create a decent shot opportunity is Westbrook, who can’t seem to score on most of his “good shots attempts”.

    Durant can shoot over any defender, and he needs his confidence back. They need to set hard picks for him, he needs to learn how to BOX TONY ALLEN OUT, and he needs to start taking better shots.

    At this point, I dont blame Westbrook for his gameplay at all. Hes trying to speed the game up and play faster, as should the rest of the OKC team. He’s just trying to make up for Durants’ scoring shortcomings in this series, and he can’t seem to live up to the task. by the 4th quarter, Westbrook starts getting tired and his shots stop falling, But he wouldn’t have this problem if Durant scored like he can and did in EVERY OTHER GAME OKC played this year.

  11. Someone Else says:

    Kevin Durant has got to find his rhythm in the rest of this series no matter what it takes! If OKC have Russell Westbrook and Derek Fisher shooting their threes they’re causing their own problems.

    p.s. Is Joshua Greenfarb trying to set a new record for most posts on one article?

  12. Realist2014 says:

    I want to see Durant in the paint. Everyone knows he can shoot lights out. I want to see him catch it deep and draw some defenders and fouls. The jumper isn’t falling…post them up. Make them put you on the line get their bigs in foul trouble. Six free throws isn’t enough for the leagues best scorer.

  13. How come no one (and by no one I mean the officials) did anything about (by do anything I mean blow their whistles) Tayshaun Prince laying on Ibaka’s face while he was shooting the potential game winning put back?

  14. Amy18 says:

    OKC has a chance if ADJUSTMENTs could be made. If risks should be taken , the time is now to gamble at the player rotations

  15. Amy18 says:

    OKC has a chance if ADJUSTMENTs could be made, THey have talented players like lamb, jones. If risks should be taken , the time is now to gamble at the player rotations

  16. Antonio says:

    Westbrook is a good player but KD needs the ball you live and die with your best player but you have to demand it. Lebron really shys away from that last best player last shot stuff as well but he has a buddy like Dwade telling him we need that Westbrook is out for self and it seems as if he does not know what he is doing on the court. I truelly think he believes he is as good as KD….sad because they want win until westbrook leaves or they play the right team they can beat regardless

  17. MB says:

    Every game that is tight down the stretch the ball needs to go to Durant. I don’t care if he isn’t shooting efficiently. HE IS THE MVP THIS YEAR! No reason why they should hide him out in the corner. That is just plain stupid of Scott Brooks. GIVE DURANT THE BALL!!!!!!

  18. Tony C. says:

    Kevin Durant needs the ball. What is Russell Westbrook doing taking more shots than “the man” Durant. Westbrook is a side-kick and shouldn’t be leading the charge down the stretch. Ridiculous. The Thunder actually played better without Westbrook, when Durant stepped his game up.

  19. Raymond Allen says:

    Sad to see my favorite player KD go down in the first round :/ . Everyone except KD35, RJ15 and Ibaka should be traded. Only other players to consider keeping is Lamb and Adams because they will get better.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Nope, OKC was fooling us all along!

      Stephen Adams can guard any big in the league!

      Get ready for OKC vs. Indiana or Brooklyn in the Finals!

  20. Todd says:

    there is obviously a comedian making comments here. The grizzlies get mauled in the low post on every play and the thunder still shoot more free throws. The series is not over by the way; Media creates perception and Memphis gets none. So everyone seems shocked when they win these series; (last year Clippers Thunder year before spurs) Grizzlies are a great team; suprise! There is no shame in losing to the griz.

  21. Chris says:

    Just give the ball to Durant and let him do his thing he is a super star he has to be the one taking shots and closing the game out not Westbrook as much as I love the guy he can’t be doing it!

  22. tim says:

    When is WB going to learn that he is not a 3 point shooter. Even shooting 1 out of 7 and 1 out of 10 he still shoots. How many more opportunity is OKS going to get?? One more game…..He also careless and turned the balls over and over….JOel Crawford never likes KD if you remember going back to the last several playoff. One last thing if KD want to prove himself thats he’s the leader he have to show it., Not by standing around and wait for the mercy of WB. LJ, Kobe….They already proved that….Next year either Brook or WB have to go….Period!!!

  23. OKC2014 says:

    I am going to give up durant and westbrook. I am just a bandwagon fan.

  24. BonnieBear29 says:

    A lot of people blame Westbrook or Scottie Brooks, but let’s be real for a moment: Durant is everything in OKC. Presti and the ownership group will back him over Brooks and Westbrook every time. No one is going to tell him no if he demands the ball. Durant seems like a great teammate but he needs to take a lesson from Jordan and Kobe. No more of this “if I want the ball I got to go rebound it” stuff. He’s the best offensive player in league right now. He needs to demand the ball in crunch time.

  25. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Tell you what: if KD plays like a scoring champion and scores 40+ points in Games 6 and 7, OKC will win the series (at the skin of their teeth).

    However, if not, OKC will probably lose this series.

    Unless they can pull out another secret weapon like Jeremy Lamb (who played great against Memphis in the regular season), OKC could be doomed.

    If Mike Miller is making 3s, why doesn’t Scott Brooks counter with Jeremy Lamb?

    He’s got to use everything he’s got on OKC’s roster to force a Game 7.

    Lamb is no good on the bench the entire game. Get him in there for at least a few minutes each half.

    If OKC loses this Game 6, you want to know that they at least used everything they have on their roster. That they did everything they possibly could to win Game 6 (and possibly 7).

    We got to bring it all together now. Butler surged well in Game 5. Now we need everyone to bring a balanced attack to Games 6 and 7. Reggie Jackson has got to play more like he did in Game 4, and Jeremy Lamb has got to get some kind of playing time.

    You can’t just let Mike Miller light you up when you have a pure shooter like Lamb ready to go!!!

    Man, we need Carmelo Anthony big time.
    :-)

    PS: Also, they may want to play Stephen Adams more at Center; he is a good shot-blocker (I believe he lead all rookies in blocks). It makes no sense to pull Adams out of the game after he blocks a shot helping your team gain possession. And then not put Adams back in the game for rest of the game?

  26. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    I hope ref Joey Crawford didn’t put pine tar on the basketball after he grabbed it out of KD’s hands and went to the scorers table. Yeah … right?

    You could hear part of what he was yelling about: “When I tell you to do something, you do it!”

    What the heck was Joey Crawford so mad about? Because of the way “team fouls” were being displayed up top on the big screen high in the arena? Who cares?

    What … is … going … on?

  27. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Thunder are in huge trouble now. That was a must-win.

    Granted, Memphis got lucky when KD missed a FT after Joey Crawford took the ball out of KD’s hands from some odd reason. Serge had the tip-in, just barely after the buzzer.

    Thunder needs to stop having bad starts to games. It was as if KD didn’t play for real in the 2nd quarter of Game 5. I have no idea why he’s playing like that.

    If Thunder are gonna win Game 6 and 7 in their series, respectively, they MUST play their best for the entire game (from start to finish). That way, they will likely avoid any more OT games.

    KD may need more screens to free him up, but he must score 40+ points in Game 6 to force a Game 7. Elimination games like this — you got to leave it all on the floor for the entire 48 minutes and avoid OT.

  28. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    We need Carmelo Anthony ASAP.

    If you’re not going to play Jeremy Lamb, you must go after Carmelo. I genuinely hope the Thunder does everything they can to sign Carmelo.

    If the Thunder loses the series, it will become that much more obvious they need someone like Carmelo.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Carmelo can more than make up for the loss of James Harden.

      • Rubety says:

        Because the game was over at that time. Even if they call it… they would have to reverse it.

      • Rubety says:

        Sorry, wrong comment. What I meant to say was: Carmelo?? Really? now you will have Durant Carmelo and Westbrook taking shots like there is no tomorrow…. no defense… no rebounds… disaster…

  29. Logiano says:

    Nobody gives Grizz credit for how good they are as a playoff team. Their tight defense is much more effective with the looser officiating and they are surprisingly resilient on offense. Everybody thought they ran over OKC last year because they didn’t have Westbrook.. Now I’m curious what the excuse is. #gng baby

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Thunder dominated Games 6 and 7.

      Westbrook is the reason.

      He had another triple-double in that series.

      Amazing.

      It was as if the Thunder were toying with Memphis the entire series. Once they were on the brink of elimination, the Thunder played for real and shredded Memphis.

      Thunder could have swept this series, if they wanted to.

      But, they better wise up and SWEEP the Clippers, SWEEP the WCF, and possibly SWEEP the 2014 NBA Finals!!

      With Westbrook and Durant healthy and playing at MVP levels, with Serge Ibaka (should have been the DPOY), with Reggie Jackson playing well, and with Caron Butler playing like an All Star again, OKC Thunder wins it all!!

  30. Im Da Next says:

    Durant needs to have that competitive fire that he had in the regular season he was fired up, getting technicals, dunking all over the place. Durant step up or we are out. This is all on you. And Westbrook stop being a ball hog. He just comes up the court and takes a stupid mid range shot or three point shot. I wish we had Harden we would win a championsip if we were smart and let Westbrook go. Reggie Jackson can make up for Westbrook’s slack he is getting better and better each year.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      NO WAY!

      Westbrook had a MONSTER Game 7 (triple double), putting up stats NO ONE has ever put up before in a playoff game.

      Durant and Westbrook are the 2 best NBA players! PERIOD!

      OKC will ensure they stay in OKC for the next decade+.

      I think they should still go after Carmelo Anthony. They would have the chance to break the regular season record for wins. 70 wins+ easy.

  31. Troy says:

    OKC can not get title with Westbrook. He needs to share the ball more and accept who is the goto guy in OKC team. OKC should have kept Harden, and trade Westbrook in first place.
    The day they made that trade, I know OKC will not be as strong as before.
    Harden is a way smarter, and better team player than Westbrook.

    • Zi says:

      James Harden a better team player than Westbrook..? I do not like Westbrook but I do not like James Harden even more..
      To prove my easy point , go to youtube and search up James Harden, Defensive Juggernaut . You’ll understand.

      • Rubety says:

        Agree with Zi and agree with Troy. OKC will never win anything with Durant and Westbrook, but Harden is not a better player than Westbrook… not in this life at least…

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        @Rubety

        WRONG! OKC proved me wrong. They were toying with Memphis the entire time! They blew out Memphis in Games 6 and 7! It didn’t even matter if they had Zach Randolph or not!

        OKC will win it all for the next DECADE PLUS!

  32. Paul&Jack says:

    Now you understand why Kobe is The Black Mamba.
    I kind of like KD but… His softness at the Playoffs shows everything.
    The same for PG.
    Pointing for God after plays don´t makes you a Champion.
    I will never forget Dwight Howard trying to get a smile from Kobe at the Finals…
    Poor travel man.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      You do realize what Black Mamba means, right?

      Black Snake.

      Ha, what a lame nickname!

      He is a snake though.

  33. NIKOS KATSIANIS says:

    OKC is not out, remember that! OKC will prevail in 7. It’s time for Durant to show the reason why he’s the MVP.

  34. flip says:

    final few minutes in a close game in the playoffs, you put the ball in the hands of your best player!!! plain and simple.

  35. Bruno says:

    The thunder seem to be better, when Durant is forced to be the man in crunch time. I’m nostalgic toward the month of february right now. Durant IS clutch, let him be so! He’s just too friendly to demand it so Brooks should order it.

  36. NIKOS KATSIANIS says:

    OKC is not out, remember that! OKC will prevail in 7. It’s time for Durant to show the reason why he’s the MVP.

  37. TheKush says:

    If OKC loses this will be a good lesson for Durrant who needs to learn how to get into the post. I don’t know what play Scott Brooks keeps running for Durant to get him the ball at the three point line but that isn’t going to work. That play only worked in the playoffs when Harden was there because they had to respect all three of them.

    DURANT NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY IN THE LOW POST!

    If Durant had a low post game there is no way Tony Allen could play him. Even if OKC manages to make it out of this series Durant has been exposed.

    This is not westbrooks fault the coach is telling them to run and Westbrook is doing that but nobody is running with him. Durant also is not aggressive enough. When Kobe wants the ball Kobe gets the ball, Jordan was the same LBJ is the same now. Durant doesn’t seem to want OR KNOW HOW to demand the basketball and I think this is because he doesn’t have a RELIABLE post game. Just like LBJ had to learn to play in the post so will Durant.

    He poses little threat if you can keep him shooting contested jump shots DURANT NEEDS A POST GAME! OKC has nobody that can get them easy points. Portland for example has Aldridge, Miami Has LBJ, Spurs have Duncan, Dallas has Dirk, Clippers have Blake, Warriors to a degree have Lee, OKC HAS NOBODY in the low post all I see is jump shot AFTER JUMP SHOT and Westbrook driving to the hole with reckless abandonment trying to create some action! During the regular season teams can’t prepare of OKC but in the playoffs teams can key in on what OKC is lacking so If Durant’s shot is off OKC is vulnerable to lose. If Durant had a post game this would be an easy series!

    In the offseason Durant needs to PUT ON SOME MUSCLE AND develop a POST GAME!

    • Patrick says:

      This comment makes a lot of sense. LBJ really became a dominant force in the league after he developed a post game. KD should do the same. Getting the ball at the 3 point line every time is not going to work. He needs to start working out with Hakeem or something.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Durant and Westbrook CAN post up smaller defenders.

      They just need to play well for the whole 48 minutes; no more terrible starts!

      They may want to run more pick-and-rolls, making them harder to guard or predict with Ibaka, Westbrook, Durant, and, maybe, Jackson.

      They may want to counter Mike Miller with Jeremy Lamb.

    • MFFL says:

      I agree, and this is one of the reasons LBJ is better than him.

    • Game Time says:

      I agree. Durant very rarely scores staring with his back to the basket, and with his skill, height and length he should be killing guys in the post OKC is not out of this thing yet and I see a game 7 coming.

  38. Pepe says:

    We have to give credit to Memphis’s defense. Hats off to Tony Allen for doing his thing. I think that this is more about Memphis turning up their defense than OKC breaking down.

  39. thespectator says:

    i was hopin this series goes to a game 7…going back to memphis, i strongly doubt thats gonna happen…

  40. Check your stats says:

    WOW! OKC is getting screwed on FT attempts? OKC has shot more FTs than the Grizzlies, fuzzy math I guess….

  41. RootandOffspring says:

    yeah I completely feel so angry that OKC is falling apart in this series.
    firstly, wetbrook should learn to be patient at times. he turned the ball over too many times, made bad plays. I wonder if he watches his own tapes…and LEARN from his mistakes.

    For OKC to win this series, they need more than one go to guy. Every member of the team has to be able to put the ball in the basket. Scott has to change the strategy to this. The team scoring ability should be unpredictable. Every team member should be confident to attack the basket and score. Not just one or two guys having the ball. If OKC continue to play this way, they can kiss good bye to this series.

  42. Tom says:

    Brooks is such a terrible coach. Hopefully people will finally realise this unless Durant bails him out again.

  43. Tom says:

    ‘If I want the ball I got to go rebound it and bring it up on the break’ Excuse me?
    What is Brooks thinking? That the Thunder can win games without Durant?
    How do you think the Heat does it, in the final minutes when the game is on the line?
    Lebron demands the ball, thats what great players do. They carry there team.
    I believe Durant is to good a player not to be taking over the game in clutch moments

  44. Marcus says:

    KD has to get the ball in crunch time.

    Westbrook has proved time and time again that he is too reckless and careless, and will make stupid mistakes when the game is on the line. Yes, his one gamble at the end worked and he got a steal and dunk, but more often then not he makes the wrong play.

    Coach Brooks really has to manage the team better, or else they will go back to OKC in a depressing mood on Friday.

  45. Thundah! says:

    Lets not forget all the no calls of the grizz players slapping thunder players arms through out the series yet every bump the thunder do is called, #1 FTA team in the league is getting to line far less then memphis

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Well, they missed the play when Gasol inadvertently elbowed Ibaka’s head. Gasol got away with a foul there.

      Actually, if you watch the replay at the end of that epic Game 5, Prince COULD HAVE been called for a foul on Ibaka’s putback attempt. I mean, Prince was draped all over Serge. Heh. Prince essentially tackled Ibaka in mid-air forcing him on his back, but no foul called.
      :-)

  46. Lovanthe NBA says:

    Joey Crawford, The only referee’s name I know in ALL OF SPORTS. He needs to fade to the background like a generic lego referee. Probably is BFF with Sterling.

    • okckd35 says:

      Serious joey crawford is terrible. Ices durants FT then doesnt even reset the game clock on the final play after reviewing it was off memphis
      Should have been 3.1 on the clock which would have made ibakas put back a game winner. Can we please get rid of joey? That and al the bs fouls in the first 2 minutes of the fourth which allowed memphis FT’s for the last 7 minutes of the game. Won by the refs pure and simple

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Yeah, you know something is up when even the TV announcers have no clue why Crawford took the ball out of KD’s hands and went to the scorer’s table.

      Then, the NBA TV guys (Winer, Scott, and Fox) also have no clue what Joey Crawford was doing.

      But when it’s all said and done, OKC must play better in the first half! They got to win the first half of Game 6 to have a chance to force Game 7.

      KD can’t go 0 – 6 in the 2nd quarter again. C’mon, KD! You’re the best scorer in the game; you got to come out with more fire and intensity and desire.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I hope Joey Crawford DOES NOT referee Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7.

      Let’s get more neutral refs in there to finish the series. Heh.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        However they manage the referee rotation, just make sure Joey Crawford referees any series BUT the OKC/MEMPHIS series.

  47. jdub455 says:

    nuff said but i think they shld crowned the MVP award already to KD coz the next game is the last of OKC’s season… Memphis is just a better team…

    • Game Time says:

      Wait, what logic would it be to give the MVP to KD if he can’t get his team out the 1st round?

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Because it’s a regular season award, like Defensive Player of the Year, which went to Noah (I don’t know why) of the Bulls who have been eliminated in the 1st round.

      • BonnieBear29 says:

        A lot of people blame Westbrook or Scottie Brooks, but let’s be real for a moment: Durant is everything in OKC. No one – not Russell Westbrook or Scott Brooks – is going to tell him no if he demands the ball. Durant seems like a great teammate but he needs to take a lesson from Jordan and Kobe. No more of this “if I want the ball I got to go rebound it” stuff. He’s the best offensive player in league right now. He needs to demand the ball in crunch time.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        @BonnieBear29

        Nah, Durant was toying with Memphis the whole time! Certainly had me fooled and probably had a lot of people thinking OKC was lost.

        NOPE! It was strategy the whole time!

        You know you’re the best NBA team when you can manipulate opponents like this!

        Durant was utterly awesome in Game 6 and 7 (playing like the MVP).

        This whole “decoy” thing … they were just toying with Memphis the whole time!

        They won Games 6 and 7 easily and should win 4 games against the Clippers easily!

  48. realist says:

    Mike Miller the Killer again putting those daggers into OKC when it matters most.. Brooks should lose his job if Thunder lose this series, no question Durant should always have the ball in crunch time!

    • Im Da Next says:

      They should trade or release Westbrook we need a smarter and better point guard or shooting guard. We are missing Harden so much.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Here’s an idea: whenever Mike Miller is the game, OKC should counter with Jeremy Lamb. When they take Miller out, take Lamb out.

      This way: OKC can hope to cancel Miller out.

      That combined with Butler and Jackson’s scoring abilities would make OKC, overall, much harder to stop.

      • Rubety says:

        … and they lived happily ever after…

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        @Rubety

        Yep, they sure did.

        When the time comes (years from now), OKC will ensure they re-sign Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Lamb, Jackson, Butler, Stephen Adams, etc. for the next decade plus!