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Postgame: NBA Finals Game 4; OKC at MIA

Gary Mercado June 20th, 2012 (Visited 11611 times) Tags: , ,

What I’m about to say is gonna make me sound like a know it all, but the truth is, even when this guy was going hot, I was never really worried for Miami. And boy was he hot.

43 pts. off 20-32 shooting and playing 45 minutes? That is hot hot hot.

But did I worry? Absolutely not. Let me tell you why.

I had never ever been a fan of teams based on scoring point guards. I never believed in that formula for Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. I never believed in that formula for Allen Iverson and the 76ers (although I really really wanted to). Name a player / team. Steve Francis. Rajon Rondo (when he takes over games). Chris Paul. Tell me who does that and I’ll tell you it’s probably not going to work. Why?

• First, who’s going to play transition defense? – when your PG is in the paint making layups, he is thinking offense. Problem is he needs to think D immediately if the opposing team gets a rebound. I don’t care how athletic you are, that’s far too difficult to do very often.

• Second, it takes away from your main guy. – If Durant was scoring 43 today, then I’d give this game to OKC. That’s what he’s supposed to do. Everything should focus on giving him the ball 1st, Harden 2nd, so that they can get their groove on and do their thing.

• Third, it’s too much to ask teammates to adjust – All players expect every one else to play in a certain way. Centers do this, Forwards do this, Guards do this and so on. If your PG, who has a very specific role, starts playing different and takes up the role of the 2 or 3 guard, everyone else will have to adjust to that, and that’s too difficult to do in a tight series.

Finally, it’s just not the right order of things. A lot of people are probably going to praise Westbrook for playing a monster game today inspite of their loss, but I think that’s just wrong. There are a lot of guys on OKC that can go 45 points. Durant can. Harden can. Even Sefalosha can when pushed. The question is though, who can do thatand put them in the best position to win?At best, Westbrook just played a statement game, which in the end only serves himself.

A guy going for 43 is different from a guy helping his team to win. Westbrook needs to learn that, and play the role given to him. He’s impressive and he can do a ton of things, we all know and acknowledge that. But you gotta leave the big numbers to Durant. He’s the guy you bet on when crunch time comes, the guy with that gives you the biggest chance in the end.

As for MIA, they just did more things right.

3 guys scored for 26, 25 and 25 for MIA today in James, Wade and Chalmers respectively, with 13 for Bosh, and that is just amazing. Whoever still hates James must just really have something stuck permanently up their butt by now, especially after he submitted 12 assists and played 44 minutes today.

And finally, James has stopped those cop – out fade away jumpers and is taking more shots under the hoop. Not only is this a far better percentage, but since he’s a big he gets offensive rebounds off of his own miss for put backs as well. Driving strong is just a win – win for him and I get so frustrated when he opts for jumpers instead. I honestly think that his decision to change his game and prefer layups over jumpers alone will play a big part in their closing it out by Friday. When he shoots jumpers he’s just another player, but when he drives towards the hoop he’s a tank.

Wrapping Up

This has been the best game of the Finals and I’m glad it was as good as it was, because we’re literally only a game or two away from the end of the NBA season. After this we’re going head on into the UAAP / NCAA, and as is usual with the early parts of any competition including the NBA, there is a lot of bad basketball in front of us.

The only thing I look forward to really, is great competition. I honestly couldn’t care less who wins this series. While it’s easy to empathize with James and the absolute hell people have been giving him for not playing up to par last year, you also want Durant, with his humble demeanor and overall ability to win a ring or two. So I just really want to see a good game.

So I want this thing to go 7 games, and whilst I had been siding a bit with MIA these past few games, I’d like know to see OKC pull one out on the road. For them to do this, I’ll stick with what I had previously wrote, namely: Harden has to do 30, Durant has to do 40+, and Westbrook needs to do double figure assists. Stick with those basics and OKC will come back. Otherwise, if Westbrook still takes away from Durant too much, we’ll finally see James get a ring by end of week.

 

 

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