michael-garcia - June 20, 2012
Here we go again, game four of the NBA Finals is about get cracking in Miami. The Heat can put the Thunder in a seriously hard to dig out of hole with a win tonight, or the Thunder can snatch home court advantage back. The pressure truly is on both teams.
That silly war of words between Serge Ibaka and LeBron James is nothing more than that. This is the NBA Finals, these guys don't need extra motivation or 'bulletin board material.' That's nonsense. They know what's on the line.
Miami knows what they need to do to get another win. Attack. The. Basket. They did it last game and came back from a ten point third quarter deficit. How? Because they were aggressive, and that also led to Kevin Durant getting in foul trouble (though one of those calls was terrible).
Miami got to the free throw line a lot in game three, and six of those were gifts from stupid OKC fouls on three point shots. OKC has to be smarter on defense and learn to help better.
On offense, the Thunder need James Harden to pick up his game. He was simply terrible last game and they desperately need his usual contributions. Especially if Durant is out for stretches because of foul trouble. Speaking of foul trouble, it would probably help if OKC coach Scott Brooks DIDN'T pull Russell Westbrook (no matter how he's shooting) out of the game if Durant has to sit. They need two of their big three on the court at all times. That was a real head scratcher.
So, who's going to win?
Miami by 7.