Oklahoma City come up short with free throws.

It was a night where defence was the real winner. Both Miami and OKC upped their defence in Game 3 that saw Miami come through victorious. Miami now lead 2-1 in this series involving two of the most well matched teams the league has seen for a while. Make no mistake, every game so far between these two giants has been decided by 1, maybe 2 possessions. So when Oklahoma shot 62% of their free throws, it’s stunning that they only lost by 6 points considering Miami hit almost 90% of their free throws. This, ultimately was where Game 3 was won and lost.

Kendrick Perkins Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat gets set to attempt a technical free throw attempt in the first half against Kendrick Perkins #5 and James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

    Miami started strong again. The 1st quarter was filled with points in the paint for Miami. they made 10 of 11 shots in the paint and missed 10 of 11 jumpshots. 20 of their 26 first quarter points came from inside. The play by play read, “James layup, James layup, Wade layup, James layup”. I was initially very worried things would crumble for Oklahoma again. However, Oklahoma made many of the shots they missed….check that….they made many of the make-able shots they missed in Game 2. So at the end of the 1st the score was 26-20 Miami.
OKC then sharpened up defensively. Switching between a zone and man-to-man defence, Miami began to struggle getting into the paint more as they started to take more jumpshots. Sefolosha had a wonderful highlight play by stealing the ball of Lebron and sprinting up the other end for an alley-oop. Sefolosha was fantastic again all night defensively. The steal on Wade in the final minute gave OKC a huge chance to win the game.
Derek Fisher also added a lot to the game. He made a three with 5.19 on the clock in the second period. This was the same 3 that he missed in Game 2, the same three that, had he made, Oklahoma would have won Game 2. Not only that but he did something he never accomplished at LA. He played very, very well defensively. Playing full court on Chalmers was genius. It meant that by the time Chalmers had found Lebron or Wade, there were only 10/11 seconds left on the clock. This led to numerous shot clock violations and turnovers for Miami.

   We’ve already covered the free throws as why Oklahoma lost, but there was one other deciding factor.
Kevin Durant’s foul trouble. He lost 8 minutes of playing time in the 3rd quarter after OKC were up 60-53 when he took a seat on the bench. The Heat then went on a 16-7 run and led at the end of the third 69-67.
My opinion? His 4th foul was complete bs. I refuse to believe that it was a foul considering it was near identical to the foul that was not called on Lebron at the end of Game 2, as Durant put up the game tying shot. What is extremely endearing is Durant’s reaction to both the Lebron foul at the end of Game 2 and his foul trouble in Game 3, “I just try to play aggressive on both ends of the floor”, “I just missed the shot”. He makes no comment on the officials decisions, something incredibly rare in sport today.
In contrast, what does Lebron do after he missed a 50 foot buzzer beater in Game 3 at the end of the 2nd? Immediately complains to the ref after no foul is called…

Yes, Miami were the better team again but only thanks to some moo points ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLwYpSCrlHU)
Durant has been in foul trouble before but he wont be every game. Oklahoma will not shoot 62% from the free throw line again. Harden will not finish in single digits again. Both of these teams are so evenly matched that it takes something out of the ordinary to win games. Game 1 was decided by Nick Collison’s offensive rebounding. Game 2 by Battier’s shooting, and Game 3 by rare free throw misses. Both Miami and Oklahoma are so well matched that this Championship will not be won by skill, because that is a given. It will be won by unforced errors and who doesn’t drink their Gatorade.

Some final points for you to mull over and respond to;

  • Did you notice all the empty seats at the beginning of second half? I guess mohitos take a while to make!
  • The technical foul called on Scott Brooks in the 2nd was bs. The ball was deflected out off Haslem but was called Miami ball. Brooks got frustrated and started arguing it should be OKC ball…just as all the OKC players did. The call was immediately reversed and it was an Oklahoma inbound. Yet, the technical foul was given.
    This is the NBA Finals. We all know that every possession counts. So are you really going to call a technical for a coach being passionate on a call that he was right on?! At least Wade missed the free throw.
Advertisements

One response to this post.

  1. I respect that Durant doesn’t really complain about fouls too much, but typically the ones who complain to refs the most are the ones who get the calls. But maybe Durants way will win them over eventually. We’ll see.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: