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NBA Report: And Then It Looked Like A Series…

Words by Phlip

I am done with predictions…

It seems that every time – well, recently at least – I make one and back it with all the world’s worth of common sense, the exact opposite happens…

OKC took game one as we all well expected them to on their home floor, also exploiting the rumored-to-be-fact that Dwyane Wade is ailing and not telling anyone. This had an observed effect on his play in the Boston series and would carry over to games one and two of this one. LeBron James was transcendent, trying to become only the second person to win finals MVP from the losing team if they DIDN’T pull this thing out and an easy choice for it if they did. Meanwhile, the referees continued to make themselves a part of the process by calling the most inexplicable fouls, all while ignoring some brutally obvious ones. Miami “fans” (quotations for effect, naturally) write these assessments off as ‘hating’. Normally, I would not be one to complain about referee favoritism or non-calls, because I am a fan of the Lakers and that usually does not happen to my team. I do, however, know for fact that refs are known for “superstar” calls, where a guy will get a foul called on him for being within arm’s length of the all-star with the ball in his hands. What I also know is that, with that seemingly a ‘rule’ to NBA referees, Kevin Durant is not getting his proper respect as a top-5 talent in the NBA right now, and it is severely damning his team’s chances in this NBA Finals series.

I would go as far as saying that the referees’ Heat-centric whistles are taking a bit away from these Finals. F’rinstance, game 3…
Kevin Durant gets his 4th call on a play where Dwyane Wade was not even TOUCHED on his way to the basket, and has to sit. James Harden’s beard is having a HORRIBLE game, and Russell Westbrook is being Russell Westbrook – that is taking terrible shots, making bad decisions with the ball and turning it over – but the Thunder STILL managed to forge a 10-point lead. Enter Derek Fisher, who coolly knocked down a 3-pointer and was fouled, converting a 4-point play.
Fool’s gold…
When Russ resumed being Russ, coach Brooks sat him down and it stifled the Thunder’s momentum and Miami snuck back in the game at the end of the third.

Things being as they were; Durant apparently in the refs’ doghouse, Harden being ice cold and Westbrook being bad enough in a Point Guard’s role as a facilitator to make Magic Johnson visibly angry for the first time that I can recall seeing created the perfect storm where Miami would actually pull out a game without needing to blow the other team out.
It was at this moment that my thoughts that OKC had a chance were dead in the water, #rodneyking (crap, too soon?).

Right now, the series rests at 2-1 in favor of Miami, who effectively has the advantage of more games at home than away by virtue of having taken one in Oklahoma City. Make no mistake, the fan in me wants to see OKC get it together and pull the series out, thus making the Miami Heat experiment MORE of a failure. Basketball sensibilities override, though. Young teams on the level of OKC and their coach, DO NOT win championships; they cough them up on the cusp of winning them as a lesson to carry into the time when they DO start winning them. One thing, though, and that is if there is any team to buck that trend against this Miami Heat team, this OKC Thunder team is the one to do it.

Either way, and very much in line with my (totally not unreasonable) conspiracy theories, this series is going to seven games. I will decline to say who will win it all now.

Words by Phlip
@CallMePhlip
callmephlip.blogspot.com

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4 comments on “NBA Report: And Then It Looked Like A Series…

  1. markdub7
    June 19, 2012

    I still have hope for OKC as they are still young, healthy, deep, and fearless. The y just don’t have an answer for Lebron, not the protective force-fields that surround him as the biggest star in the league. However, I will note that this is the first time EVER that both of the teams I wanted to see in the finals made it. Contrary to the old saying, “I don’t have a dog in this fight”, I actually have TWO dogs in this one.

    Like

  2. eazy_
    June 19, 2012

    I laugh at the talking head commentary like how OKC was so ready and so mature just 2 games ago. and now they look panicked. how do you jump into a 3 pt shooter not once but twice?!?

    Like

    • Phlip
      June 19, 2012

      The talking head commentary came from the fact that they disproved the old adage that young teams don’t win it all. They dispatched the ONLY three teams to have won the Western Conference championship in the last 13 years, and did so in a manner that suggested that we SHOULD believe in them.
      I still think and hope they can do it, but they’ve picked one hell of a time to decide to be the young team they’d been refusing to be before.

      Like

      • markdub7
        June 19, 2012

        Honestly, I believed they would out-gun Miami. But I guess that Finals experience from last year has prepped the Heat more than I ever expected.

        Like

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