Going down 2-1 was not that unexpected for the Thunder, but losing because of missed free throws? If you told me Oklahoma City would shoot under 75% from the charity stripe in each of their first three Finals games, I would’ve laughed in your face.For a team that shot over 80% on free throws for the season and gets to the line at an incredible rate, missing free throws is not acceptable.
No player performed particularly well for the Thunder. Kevin Durant led the team with 25 points, but had to sit out due to foul trouble, leading to a Miami Heat run. Westbrook followed with 19 while nobody else had over 10.
LeBron James had a game high 29 points to go along with 14 rebounds, leading the Heat to a 91-85 victory. Dwyane Wade scored 25, yet shot only 8-22 from the field.
I had a problem with Nick Collison playing only 13 minutes, considering how well he played in the first game. The Miami Heat can’t go big, so having a versatile defender like Collison can be a huge advantage.
Anyways, the series stays in Miami for Game 4 to see if the Thunder can tie it up. Opening tip is at 9 ET on Tuesday.
Kevin Durant- B+ 25pts/6reb/0ast/2blk
Even for a bad game, Durant played pretty well. What sticks out most about his stat line is the fact that he only shot four free throws, missing two, even. When the Thunder are getting to the line, they win. The five turnovers and five fouls killed Durant and Oklahoma City. He was unable to step up while the Heat were streaking because he was on the bench.
Russell Westbrook- C 19pts/5reb/4ast/2blk
Russell Westbrook was bound to have a crappy game. Unfortunately it came when everyone else played terribly as well. Shooting 8-18 is the Westbrook that people love to hate, when he keeps on shooting, even when he isn’t making a thing. A mix of bad Westbrook and bad Durant does not bode well of the Thunder.
Kendrick Perkins- B 10pts/2reb/1ast/1blk
Wait, Kendrick Perkins was third on the team in points, and led in rebounds? I was very surprised with Perk’s performance, but I still would rather see Nick Collison play more than him. What Finals experience he has isn’t enough to make-up for this lack of an offensive game.
Serge Ibaka- D 5pts/5reb/0ast/2blk
As a 22 year old playing in his first NBA Finals, Serge Ibaka has flailed under the pressure. He hasn’t done a good job in really any aspect of the game. He’s not blocking shots or hitting jumpers. Five points and five rebounds, is unacceptable for a starting forward on a Finals team.
James Harden- D 9pts/6reb/6ast/2stl
I hate that Harden has been playing so poorly this series. Throughout the playoffs, he has been the reason that the Thunder can close out teams, but he is not playing near that level now. I would assume that it is partially due to him being young and inexperienced in the playoffs, like Serge Ibaka, but he has been clutch in the playoffs so far.