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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  230 responses

Miami Heat One Victory Away from Winning the NBA Championship


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

It took a complete team effort last night, with LeBron James hobbling due to a leg cramp and Russell Westbrook detonating. The Miami Heat needed contributions from several players to push themselves to the brink of winning the NBA championship.

The Heat took a commanding 3-1 series lead, following James’ lead (26 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds), and getting key baskets late from the likes of Mario Chalmers.

Per the AP:

He was effectively done with nearly 3 minutes left, after breaking a tie with one final cold-blooded 3-pointer. He had 25 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds at the time. But unlike in Cleveland, once it became clear somebody else had to lead Miami the rest of the way, there was no shortage of high-priced reinforcements. Dwyane Wade stepping up was no surprise; Mario Chalmers doing the same was only a mild one.

It’s strange to think that the defining moment of the Heat’s season so far might be when teammate Juwan Howard and trainer Jay Sabol went out onto the court to prop up James for the walk back to the bench, because he didn’t look strong enough to make it on his own. Or that the most important few points of James’ first title — no team has ever blown a 3-1 advantage in the finals — will have been scored by Chalmers, either on the nifty driving layup he slipped in with 44 seconds, or the two free throws two possessions later that sealed the win. If James resented any of it, he wasn’t letting on. Ditto for any lingering pain. “He was hurting,” Wade confirmed afterward. “But that’s what it’s about this time of the year. It would hurt more if we lose the ballgame, so it feels a little better if you can win it.”

Two years into their fascinating, endlessly-chronicled basketball experiment, the Miami Heat are at last on the verge of accomplishing what they were assembled to do.

And though the superstars will rightfully get most of the credit, last night was an important reminder of just how critical their supporting cast is to the whole enterprise.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    westbrook was a bo$$ last night, except for the brain fart foul at the end

  • trueballer4life

    its a team game.. i cant stand the talk.., look at the past great team— la lakers magic kareem, james worthy..-larry bird,dennis johnson, kevin mchale, robert parish–bulls- jordan,pippen,rodman,kerr,horace grant etc.., every team has had a great core of playera– PEOPLE JUST HATE MIAMI AND LBJ…..!!

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    If I’m the Heat, tomorrow is my Game 7. No way do I wanna go back to OKC.

  • trueballer4life

    WESTBROOK CANT WILL HIS TEAM TO VICTORY!– HE PLAYED GREAT BUT WILL NOT WIN…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    That Westbrook foul doesn’t happen if KD reacts quickly to the jump ball and if SBrooks was a competent coach.

  • Bravo

    To be honest after the game 2 loss for the Thrunder I knew Miami was gonna win. Look at the series now…..I don’t think OKC making a come back.

    OMG CHRIS BOSH gets a RING!

    Oh LBJ too

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    I now dub Russell Westbrook with the name; Bath Salts. Beautiful highs, but at the end you’ve gone loony and have bitten the people around you.

  • ash

    I agree game 5 is game 7 for Miami. Basketball is a team game. I know Mario Chalmers can make plays as long as he stay agressive. Last year he won a game for Miami, with a game winning 3 pointer. Trust in your teammates. He was the big difference in the win. I hope Miami can get this next win, its very important.

  • MVP23100

    As Bron gets closer to that ring that haters get louder and louder its amazing in all my years watching the league the refs have never been a valid excuse I said this series reminds me of Chicago last year only 5 games but every games close besides gm 1 were the Thunder and Bulls had solid wins

  • tpathi1

    Westbrook will forever be a G for his performance…his teammates, bench and coach need to understand the type of player he is..the foul he committed on chalmers was bc he thought the shot clock reset or something i guarantee that..someone needed to be in his ear before the jump ball to explain the situation to him…and if they were they need to reiterate that point to him too! And for Westbrook to shoot only 3 ft’s the entire game is a joke!!

  • T-Money

    wow the ap is reaching for angles. why would james resent anything? and the defining moment of the season is him being helped off the court? wow wow wow.

  • T-Money

    oh, and russ westbrook: salute, you’re a g among g’s. i think he’s the most explosive player in the league, he can get an open 15-footer on demand – that’s crazy. usually, the defense will give a tightly contested fade away jumper to a scorer and live with that. but with him, in order to keep him from getting to the basket, you have to give him a balanced semi-contested 15-footer! notice on how he doesn’t even need to fade on his pull up because the defender is still backpedaling? it’s insane. also noticed how kd wasn’t mad at russ at all? the game got too physical and kd had issues getting clean looks vs bron and even wade – they were crowding his space. he only pulled up when shane switched on him. that’s exactly why i don’t think kd is unguardable yet: he needs to eat a samwich.

  • Heals

    Never thought either would be able to win 3 games in a row against the other…

  • Coggie13

    @tpathi1 No one should need to tell you the rules of basketball, especially not when its your job. Maybe if it was his rookie campaign no way thats a ciable excuse for mine. He had a brain explosion.

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    Still one win to go Miami. Iam a lebron for to long to expect a championship.
    I am not cheering yet.

    Lets roll Lebron.
    Next game BEAST MODE LEBRON for glory.
    GO HEAT.

  • TheBoy

    Wesbrook the David Stern SPY!

    FUCK U DAVID STERN!

  • tpathi1

    coggie13..basketball is not my job..but i have been watching the nba for a long long time, and honestly i did not know the shot clock gets reset to 5 seconds…sometimes u just got to know your personnel too…westbrook was in such a zone offensively, i don’t see how he was thinking of anything else other than scoring the ball..he also took the responsibility for the ‘brain explosion’ at the press conference..with all that being said i hope that his teammates did really explained the situation to him

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Westbrook was great, particular in the midrange, which set up his drives to the basket. However, people need to remember that Miami is a small team. If they had a 7 foot shot blocker back there, many of Westbrook’s finishes at the rim would have gotten erased.

  • T-Money

    coggie13: mental lapses happen when you’re physically, mentally and emotionally drained like these guys are. that’s what coaches are for, it’s their job to remind players of such things in critical situations. i remember when i was in college, the coach would tell us at the end of games if we had any timeouts left and would tell to guys when they had 4 fouls. he would also tell us by how many points we were down or up.

  • Rolltide

    Kevin durants first foul given was late in the third and westbrooks was early in the first, after both attacked the basket more. Homecookin’ this aint.

  • tpathi1

    cosign everything t-money just said..u think if KD starts weightlifting/ gaining weight that it would ruin his touch? I remember back in the day the bulls and Toni Kukoc had issues with weight gaining/ lifting bc they were scared he would lose his touch

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHOLIDAY05

    co-sign T Money. Miami needs to wrap this thing up TOMORROW! Lebron is wearing down because he’s playing whole games and D-Wade is a walking injury. They need to push thru the wall one more game and get it done because you dont want to go back to OKC with two ailing stars! OKC ran off 4 straight against the Spurs. Momentum is all they need!

  • R32

    Agree Stock Exchange – they have a chance to win the Championship in South Beach, no better way to finish it off! This whole series, Miami has taken no games for granted and its showing. Let’s go Heat!!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    MJ got progressively bigger throught his career and it never affected his shooting touch or his explosiveness/quickness.
    It is vital for KD’s progression that he adds bulk onto his frame because there is no excuse for the tallest guy on the court to grab 2 rebounds in the biggest game so far of his career.

  • WEASAL

    refs were letting battier get away with rape and lebrons will to win is commercial.

  • Lloyd

    Any point even bringing up the crappy officiating? I mean c’mon Russ was in attack mode the whole night and ended up with 3 free throws only? Something doesn’t add up there. And they gotta start calling those moving screens on Battier on offense it’s getting ridiculous. Also, Harden is the reason OKC isn’t winning. That blown lay-up on the fast break was really a momentum changer. I would go as far as to guarantee an OKC win if he had made that.

  • WEASAL

    refs were letting battier get away with some sandusky level stuff.
    Lebrons “will to win” is all commercial

  • WEASAL

    wtf slam wil not post comments dissing the refs or lebron

  • tpathi1

    yes MJ did get bigger, but i am pretty sure he wasn’t in the weight room lifting weights until like 1992, im not positive about that but i believe that was the case with him…I think KD needs to be on theworkout program that KG is on..if he can rebound/ play defense half as well Garnett does, then watch out world, Kevin Durant will be one baaaad man

  • tpathi1

    lol i have no idea why i am watching espn first take this fool skip bayless has the audacity to rank Westbrook’s game a 7/10

  • bike

    KD continues to be efficient but the offense continues to go around him.
    Westbrook’s game may be summarized as athletically brilliant punctuated by brief flashes of epic stupidity.
    This is LeBron’s series. He is controlling the game just like MJ used to do.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Westbrook got mad layups. He was looking for foul calls on jumpshots.
    I thought the refs let a lot of contact go period. They weren’t calling touch fouls unless you were obviously swiping down or reaching. And OKC does that a LOT on defense.
    Has no one else noticed that Harden and Durant prefer to just randomly swipe down to strip the ball. That’s going to get you a foul call a LOT. Westbrook does the same thing.
    And T-Money, my boy and I were saying the same thing about Westbrook’s jumper the other day. He gets a relatively easy shot any time he wants to get it. No one else gets that particularly open jumper anytime they want. Not Bron, not Wade, not Kobe and not Durant. The defender is always having to recover at least two to three steps to close Westbrook out on a jumper at hte free throw line. That is a great shot every time.

  • Ldub

    JTaylor21….youre blaming a lack of recognition from Westbrook on KD and the coach? You have to be aware of your surroundings. Westbrook can do 8 things great in a row. Scoring, dishing, stealing, rebounding etc, but then he will do 3-4 things bad in a row. He scored 11 straight for OKC to keep them in the game late, then fouled Chalmers and turned the ball over. That isnt KD’s fault, nor is he the coaches fault.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It points to Westbrook’s ability to stop on the dime (probably the best in the L) and his ability to finish around the rim against good D plays a role as to why defenders are so reluctant to crowd him. It makes it even more amazing given the way he seems to get to the rim at will despite defenses sagging off him.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I was confused on that jumpball. I thought the Heat would only have .8 seconds left if they caught it. It was a bad foul, such is life.
    Westbrook dropped 43 and was a beast all game. If he made some mistakes, he also carried his squad.

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    When Westbrook’s basketball I.Q catches up to his physical abilities he will be ten times scarier. Not being aware of the clock and that final turnover where the ball bounced off his foot sealed the game for the Heat. Not taking away from his monster performance though.

  • http://www.hoopsworld.com IamYOU

    Offense wins games but Defense wins CHAMPIONSHIPS!
    MIAMI HEAT IS A DEFENSE FIRST TEAM that’s why they’re gonna win this finals.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    “My dad would never let his legs cramp up. That’s why he always be the greatest.” Jeff Jordan, Twitter.

  • Ldub

    Everyone was so quick to say that OKC had the better “team”. Many times people associate better with potential. What they fail to realize, is it simply matters who comes through at the right moment. The Heat are playing as the better “TEAM” in the finals. Aside from KD, Russ and sometimes Harden, no one else is stepping up for OKC. You have the big 3, Battier, Chalmers, Jones, Haslem even Kevin Hart…I mean Norris Cole…are contributing. Hopefully the Heat close it out tomorrow night!

  • http://www.soumdcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Lol @Ldub

  • AB

    @Lloyd.This officiating in this series has been horrible. I hate to see refs make such a impact in a basketball game. Westbrook with all of his brilliance last night shot 3 free throws. Mario Chalmers shot 4. Really?
    I don’t care who you root for. Bad/Missed calls have been a constant plague all series. And I know some of you will still act like this does not play a major role in this series. Trust me, it does. Call a spade a spade folks. This series has been a product of poor officiating.

  • O

    I wonder if the refs will get a championship ring with their name on it too and the number if the game they contributed in…

  • T-Money

    oh word? cats are putting last night’s game on the refs?

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Damn Westbrook…kid got game for real!! What could have been of this guy if OKC have a “real” coach??

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It’s a feminine trait to blame the refs whenever the team you’re rooting for loses and the team you despise wins.

  • AB

    LOL! @JTaylor21 that was pretty good. It’s a feminine trait to call someone a female when they say something you don’t agree with. That time of the month huh?

  • http://Slamonline.com Gab

    It’s taking it a bit far to say the refs are responsible for the outcome of the series, but the entire post season for every series has seen some sus officiating. I can’t say that the refs handed any team the series though. Ultimately the players take and miss shots. They’re the ones who turn the ball over. For all the beasting Westbrook did in the fourth, he actually gave Miami the game with those horrendous last plays.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Lebron controlled the game like Lebron…He treated James harden like a baby on the post repeatedly and James Harden has completely disappeared. Westbrook went beast mode.

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    It seems to me that OKC peaked in the San Antonio series, it’s almost like that was their NBA Finals

  • AQWORD

    ^^^^ word to bike ^^^^ thats right ! most cats were saying Thunder are the better team with the better point guard & when they beat san antonio almost everybody jumped on their tip. Whats up beehachiz ?!

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    It’s funny how those complaining about the refs can only point to Westbrook’s shot attempts but can’t point out any blatantly obvious missed calls on his drives. Further, half of his shot attempts were on jumpers where the guy closing on him was 5 feet away. You don’t get calls on those types of shot attempts. Watch what Westbrook does when he shoots a contested jumper, he kicks his legs out a-la-Reggie-Miller and initiates contact. Lebron got fouled by Collison on a drive, Harden got away with a charge at the buzzer. Calls went both ways. Harden missed 2 wide open threes and a breakaway during crunchtime. How many buckets did KD have in the last 5 minutes? KD lost a 50/50 battle against Battier which lead to that dagger 3. Russ took a bad foul. OKC didn’t make plays to close out the game. Miami did.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    I’ll be happy for Lebron if he wins,I wont be happy for the Lebron apologist and MANY Heat bandwagon fans though. This will give them ammunition for the ridiculous hyperbole’s.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Westbrook put up 31..Durant should have been taking those shots. In the end this is is the only championship the Heat will win and I’m happy with that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    You guys are hilarious. Just say what it is, OKC wasn’t ready for the moment. Plain and simple. They’re an incomplete team with a sh*t bench. Harden’s overrated and obviously, KD wasn’t ready to play “monster” like Russ is. Chris Bosh made a very telling statement about 3 months ago in a local interview, he said that “if we get back to the Finals were going to punch a team in the mouth early and take the momentum ’cause we’ve been there and we won’t be afraid of the moment”. He was pretty prophetic.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    O has been putting just about every Heat win on the refs. Dude bitches more than any commenter here. And he’s been doin it since the Heat beat the Knicks by 33!! in game 1. of the playoffs. Lol, it’s to the point where he’s just a bitch who can’t see things the way they are because he made up his mind a long time ago. The refs are bad both ways. BOTH WAYS. Use your eyes and take your bitch ass emotions out of it.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    O has been putting just about every Heat win on the refs. Dude b*tches more than any commenter here. And he’s been doin it since the Heat beat the Knicks by 33!! in game 1. of the playoffs. Lol, it’s to the point where he’s just a bitch who can’t see things the way they are because he made up his mind a long time ago. The refs are bad both ways. BOTH WAYS. Use your eyes and take your b*tch ass emotions out of it.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    O has been putting just about every Heat win on the refs. Dude b*tches more than any commenter here. And he’s been doin it since the Heat beat the Knicks by 33!! in game 1. of the playoffs. Lol, it’s to the point where he’s just a b*tch who can’t see things the way they are because he made up his mind a long time ago. The refs are bad both ways. BOTH WAYS. Use your eyes and take your b*tch ass emotions out of it.

  • Bola

    It’s fair to say OKC look lost. I doubt they might win this series. There’s still hope, they did it against spurs but i think Heat will not allow 3 losses in a row especially when they don’t have Home advantage. But if there’s one thing i know about OKC. If they loose this series they will definitely win next years championship. Why i like OKC as a team? they learn from their mistakes. They did it when Lakers beat them, when Dallas beat them. If they loose this will bring them down to earth and make them realise they need to do more. And heat fans if you think Lebron and co will carry heat to the finals next year again, sorry to say you are sadly mistaken. Look at Lebron. The man is beat up already, and BULLS will be coming for that revenge.

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    Well I said the Heat would win in 7 and it looks like they actually are going to close out a lot earlier than that. I’m more impressed by Chalmers and Battier than anyone else in the series. As shallow as I thought they were outside of the Big Three those two guys are quieting a lot of haters. I wanted the Thunder to take it all but it’s whatever. I won’t b#tch about it. Bulls fans have got to be the biggest haters in the world and I don’t want another Knick fan following the hater path.

  • Fat Lever

    So I guess it was the ref’s fault OKC blew a 17 point lead in an NBA Finals game? A game they HAD to have. Gotcha.

  • Eric

    Bola, how exactly is Lebron beat up? That’s just wishful thinking on your part.

  • Eric

    The Bulls will be coming for revenge riding Derricks shredded knee?

  • Fat Lever

    IF the Heat win, will Dan Gilbert issue an apology in the only way he knows how, comic sans?

  • bull22

    SLAM has posted all of my anti-lebron comments and over the officiating the last two years. maybe too much cursing in people’s posts?

  • SirGrey
  • http://SLAMONLINE.COM Gab

    Great team win for the Heat. But those hustle plays by Haslem(Keeping the ball inbound and tapping to chalmers for open 3),Battier(After the Jump ball tipping the ball to chalmers) and D-wade(the wild shot from Fischer that was blocked by D-Wade which led to the transition bucket for LJ) were Championship plays something the Thunder don’t understand. Lets Go Heat!!!!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Showtime

    Name should be prophet. i been telling people Russ is just a different animal and he is the same class of drose but people though i was on lsd..Also told folk Russ takes those shot cause he needs too 4 them to just 2 win, Thourout games Kd is just too timid as a chuch mouse, he mostly comes up just in the 4th.They have No offense besides them two if harden has a bad game but they have a better/deeper team yeah right. There structure is built just like the heat with 3 main scores, it just that they shoot jumper instead of driving to basket(beside russ) they don’t want it.!>>!

  • bike

    Ultimately, MIA’s experience is the overall difference maker. Patience, intelligence, total respect for their opponent, coupled with LeBron’s command of these games gives the Heat the edge. It’s still a small edge—OKC has been in every game they lost. Men against boys, really. Absolutely no question LeBron is better than Durant. No doubt the Heat will treat tomorrow’s game like a Game 7.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    They really are getting a pass for blowing a 17-point lead.
    I also think people assume the refs were horrible because OKC kept complaining and pouting about the refs being horrible.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    OKC won’t have 1-2 core players next year. Russ is not the same as Rose, stop. He took 31 shots while having one of the top 4 players on his team.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    I asked this question a few days ago, “Is Durant ‘G’ enough to lead OKC to the title?” http://clicky.me/793y … Jury’s still out. OKC needs to have Westbrook’s daddy give the team a pep talk before Game 5. Dude looks like he could give somebody “fiddy” … not fifty but “fiddy …” make you never want to play basketball again.

  • R32

    Blame the refs all you want, but when it came down to it, OKC didn’t make plays! Harden missed a 3, missed an open layup plus 2 costly turnovers…Westbrook turnover off his foot and foul late game…KD disappearing in the 4th (yes RW was hot)..Fisher and Thabo getting blocked by Wade…Ibaka setting screens out of bound…the list goes on and on. Miami capitalized.

  • T-Money

    redd – kd didn’t want it. russ had to take those shots.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Still putting my money on OKC.

  • http://slamonline.com 19821982

    Haters will be haters. This is a great series to watch no matter who wins. I didn’t expect it to be this one-sided as far as wins, but I saw plenty of people predicting Miami in 5 (yes, I know it’s not over yet). Stop predicting next year – especially if you think a Bulls team with an aging Rip will suddenly get a new spring in its step. MVP cramps up and now you’re saying he’s beat up…

  • tpathi1

    Redd…d rose and westbrook train together in the offseason..where do u think westbrook got all that game from?! IF d rose guards up on westbrook then westbrook would get shut down..the real owner of those moves will know how to stop them

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    It’s whack that all of the second guessing is now headed Durant’s way. Dude is good enough to win a title. Period. If they were playing anyone but Miami that would be apparent. LeBron is just the best player on earth by a sizable margin and has been for a while. This series has not changed anything. The Thunder are still very young. Every team/player (except Magic) has to face failure before success. It’s the way of the NBA.

  • tpathi1

    lakeshow, your money as good as dead..shockexchange i read that article if KD was G enough..he obviously is not yet..he needs to start yelling Harden and treat him the way the Miami big 3 treats supernintendo Chalmers

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    As a Spurs fan though im kicking myself watching this series. We should’ve been there.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Showtime

    @ redd pay attention i didn’t say better i said in the same class. Yea has top scorer but he timid he doesn’t call for the ball or even run under screen to get open , he goes to the freakin top of the key to get denied the ball or dribble step shot @ the 3pt line. he took 31 shoots but made 21 or 22 of them.. so point is muted

  • ron g

    The Thunder are playing right into the Heats gameplan. They want Westbrook to take 25+ shots a game because he doesn’t incorporate anyone else in the offense. Kd and everyone else is standing around watching Russ come down and shoot midrange jumpshots without any passes. He shot great but he has to improve his iq so he can make everyone on the floor a threat. He has his hands on the ball probably 80 % of the game, so his team is heavily dependent on him creating shots for thabo, perk, Ibaka and other role players. I love Russ but they should move him to the 2 and try to find a big pg(kidd, Andre miller) that can solely focus on getting everyone involved on offense

  • http://slamonline Mike Julius

    I’ll give Heat credit, they’re playing great, but if u don’t think the refs are on their side u didn’t watch the game or you’re blind. & LBJ acting injured 2 make it a better story SMH.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Westbrook just had what is probably the best final performance since Duncan/Shaq’s heyday and all people can talk about is how “it’s his fault OKC lost” and him taking 31 shots to KD’s 19. For once can we talk about KD’s lack of an all-around game? The 6-11 man child grabs 2 rebounds (5 less than his 6-3 sidekick), is non-existent on the defensive end and has as many assists as turnovers. It seems like everyone is afraid to call him out because he is humble, the anti-lebron and kisses his mom after every game.
    Before the series started everyone was talking about how it’s KD time to take over the “best player” mantle from LeBron but now everyone is treating him with baby gloves while continuing to place all the blame on the team’s 2nd best player. KD gets a majority of the credit whenever OKC wins, so it’s only fair that he gets a majority of the blame when they come up short.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    I won’t act like I’m not bias, I am, I’m a huge Bulls fan. Nonetheless, I wanted OKC to win so KD+Westbrook would give Rose a chance to still win first. I felt, without bias, that Westbrook barely passed it out except when penetrating. KD in no way is timid, he’d have gone in. 31 SHOTS IS TOO MUCH WHEN KD IS ON YOUR TEAM!

  • Fat Lever

    JTaylor, preach brotha. St. Kevin can do no wrong. I can’t imagine what people will say about him if he’s 28, with 2 finals appearances, 2 finals failures. First they love you, then they hate you.

  • tpathi1

    haha jtaylor u seen after the end of this game when he went to his moms for a hug..she stood up and looked like she was yelling at him or something

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    Rose is an infinitely better passer than Westbrook. Probably always will be. He also knows how to control the game better. Other than that, there is little else to differentiate the two at this point. I do think that Rose will learn to depend less on athleticism than Westbrook. I can’t see Westbrook offering much when his leaping ability and quickness fades.

  • Ldub

    I think the issue is (JTAYLOR)….they see what KD does so well and he does it at a much higher clip that Westbrook. At the pg spot, people have in their minds you have to pass first. I dont necessarily agree with that. But I do see your valid points. KD seemed to kind of vanish in last nights game. Yes he can hit the big shot, but he doesnt get the ball enough. Granted RW was ballin is @$$ off, no question about it. But we dont know what the outcome would have been if KD had the ball. They were both shooting very well. You cant knock what RW was doing, but if KD had those touches, can we honestly say the results wouldnt have been better? I think that RW (in a sense) took the flow from the Thunder. There was no ball movement, it was 1-5. You can only do that for so long. I love westbrooks game but you wont beat any team playing 1 on 5. Ask Rondo and his 44pts. Its definitely NOT RW’s fault they lost (even with the late game mistakes)…nobody else showed up!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rwDluFZQmtQ Max

    Health is a difference between Drose and Westbrook.
    And how can you blame someone who goes 20-32?

  • tpathi1

    ldub..its like that gatorade commercial where phil jackson narrates “you have to win from within!” KD is a grown man..if he wanted the ball more, he would demand the ball more…I don’t kno what the rest of the world is watching..KD seems content at times letting RW do his thing, and I dont blame him especially the way RW was balling last night. The world is all pissed that KD doesnt shoot more, but KD isn’t mad that he is not shooting more, not once has he ever complained about RW being is pg, not once..they lost last night bc miami played too good as a team

  • tpathi1

    at the end of the day regardless of what RW’s true position is..he is EASILY still a TOP 5 PG in the NBA right now. For people to sit around and critique Russell and say that CP3 would be a better fit for the thunder and KD are just wrong..give me RW…RW is the head of the snake, he is the one that gets fired up…he is pretty much the yin (fiery, fierce, competitor) to KD’s yang (calm, cool, collected).

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It’s not about playing great, it’s about playing desperate.
    Miami and OKC have had roughly equal execution. They have roughly equal talent.
    But Miami has played desperate for most of four games. Not better, but more desperate. How often did Wade, Bosh and Bron hit the effing floor in this series? I’m not talking about hustle guys like Haslen, Battier and Chalmers, but your star “prima donna” dudes. Wade is diving for loose balls, Bosh is flying around like crazy for rebounds and loose balls and Bron is just doing Bron things.
    It reminds me of last year when the Mavs were desperate. Dirk didn’t care what it took, he was doing it and he demanded that everyone else follow his lead. Miami could have lost all of the games they won, but they fought like hell to prevent that.
    If they hold on for the series win, which is still a reasonable sized if, I expect OKC and Miami to rematch this next year barring injury. And I expect that series to be very different as far as desperation.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If OKC loses this series, you will see some of the most intense off season training in the history of offseason training on the part of Westbrook, Harden and Durant, in my opinion. If they lose, it will be awesome for the advancement of basketball because they will push every other young player in the League to get significantly better. This I believe.

  • http://slamonline.com 19821982

    The loss magnifies anything on the court that happened last night. If KD had been upset at RW – and basically treated him like Miami does Chalmers – the articles would read OKC imploded, not RW “detonated.” I was extremely surprised about how Miami was able to play KD last night. Even the early first quarter run, it was pretty much all through RW – the only think KD contributed was a wide open dunk off a Westbrook assist. Not sure if Bron and Shane manhandling him was it (it probably was) but I think KD knew he was being taken out of rhythm. I still blame a loss like that on Brooks – not RW. When you single-handedly carry your team into the fourth quarter, you SHOULD have the ball in your hands, even if you end up throwing it away. That’s what everyone’s been yelling at Bron for the past 3 years. Take the damn shot – it would suck for you to turn it over, get blocked, airball erratically, etc – but YOU take the damn shot. KD certainly didn’t help, and Brooks certainly didn’t call squat the last few minutes.

  • http://slamonline.com 19821982

    I kind of randomly said Westbrook was the best scoring PG in the league a while back, and everyone here called me an idiot. Doesn’t matter, the kid can score. Miami still played better.

  • Heals

    Thought Mia winning would be tougher to stomach than it has been thus far. Part of it is as a C’s fan that they earned it with a tough series win, part of it is my annoyance with anti-LBJ crowd and the joy of seeing all those folks just shut the uck up and last part which I didn’t start to feel until recently is that OKC doesn’t deserve this (right now). Their fans are VERY entitled and I can’t imagine what Sonics fans would feel having to watch OKC celebrate a team they’ve only watched a few years…

  • permaculture james

    box score: OKC had only 2 players in double figures (guess who) and MIA had 4. KD had only one 3pt — team only had 3 3pt. I agree (with JVGundy?) that OKC went for a knockout blow with questionable long jumpers late in 1Q trying to get to 25 pt lead rather than staying in the flow. Credit MIA for making OKC pay for that to open the 2Q. MIA passed more. Collison and Chalmers did great. OKC is only using 3 guys off bench: interesting.

  • permaculture james

    LBJ was playing the low post a lot last night: credit the commitment (Hakeem!!) and wisdom that he needed the next step after those maddening years at top of key in CLE. Similarly, KD will need to add another dimension to his game that suits his body (not being a superman like LBJ). I’m not sure what limited Harden this past game — any guesses? — at least he had 10 rebounds.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Notice how every time Collison touched the ball, good things happened?
    Ol’ Brooks wouldn’t keep him on the floor, though…
    Wesbrook.
    Heart.
    Guile.
    Caginess.
    And for the first time all Playoffs, our guy, Durant, shrunk a little bit.
    Great learning experience for the Thunder. They will learn…
    And shout out to Chris Bosh for getting on the floor for the loose ball.
    And LONG… LIVE… THE KING!

  • T-Money

    allen, i get what you’re saying but basketball is heavily-skewed by the star players and who has the best player on the floor matters a lot. kd and lebron are only close if you consider that basketball is just about getting buckets. lebron is playing like the best player in the world that he is this time around. as simplistic as that sounds, i think this trumps everything.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    Anyone thinking that Westbrook taking 32 shots is a good way to win a basketball game is a fool. Monster numbers but you have to take it with a grain of salt, he gets his shots and points by himself with no flow to the offense, much like the rest of the Thunder, in the Spurs series they made the extra pass and executed the hell out of the Spurs, this series they reverted back to selfish basketball, Harden can’t get off, and they are going away from the high pick and roll that was bread and butter against the Spurs. You know who knew the shot clock went back to 5 seconds? JVG and the Heat, bad coaching on the Thunder and poor recognition by Westbrook, dude is amazing but for all is physical attributes he has a lot of work to do on the mental side.

  • T-Money

    Ethan J. Skolnick: LeBron says he has talked to Hakeem 3 times since start of postseason, analyzing post game and “whether I am having fun.”

    dream is basically yoda at this point.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m not arguing that Bron and Durant are so close. I’m saying that from top to bottom, OKC’s roster has similar talent to Miami’s. No team has a glaring talent advantage like say Miami versus Indiana or Boston.
    I agree with you on LeBron’s mindset being the difference. But his entire team is taking it’s cue from him. Bosh, to me, has been a freaking revelation. People aren’t giving him enough credit for how hard he’s battling on the boards. If he wasn’t dropping so many easy passes that he normally catches, Dude would be averaging crazy numbers right now.

  • tpathi1

    If i were the Thunder or rooting for the Thunder, i would only be upset at the coach for the reasons the philosopher mentioned – why wasnt collison in? He went with his starters too long in the third quarter, and then the one guy he subs in is the other guy i would be mad at – James Harden..the guy is young but last time i checked i thought he was like an 85-90% ft shooter? I seen him miss a bunch this series, and on top of all that he made some horrid turnovers where he just throws passes into traffic and he really lost his cool…wade probably told him something along the lines about how his brand of basketball will never win him a ring and i think james harden is believing it right about now

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Again, Westbrook isn’t a point guard.

  • ClydeSays

    I’m no Heat fan, but it seems like they finally figured out how to win & get everyone involved. Lebron is taking it to the rack, Wade is playing with some passion, Bosh is playing tough D. Even the corpse of Battier has shown life in this series.

    As for the Thunder, 20 for 32 are fine percentage numbers for Westbrook. The problem is when he takes that many shots, the offense becomes very predictable and easier to guard. He’s also taking shots away from Durant who shoots at a higher percentage.

  • dc

    durant 2 rebs .when you are the second best basketball player in the world
    u just can t be pushed around like that

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    Oh and Bron has stopped settling for jumpers which I think is the biggest reason the Heat are having the success that they are, instead of trying to find a center or putting Bosh in the post, Bron is giving them the post up threat this team so desperately needed. It has let them play inside out and some of the wide open threes the Heat got yesterday were because of Bron’s post up.

  • bike

    Betting that Durant puts on 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason.

  • http://Slamonline.com 19821982

    Philo, I get it that RW is naturally a 2 Guard, especially with his given attributes and affinity for getting his own, but he plays that position for a Finals Team, I’m just referring to him as such. Neither Monta nor Curry were really distributors either, but they took turns playing that role for GS. It’s like saying there are realistically only 5-7 centers in the league and teams are starting terrible PF’s in the middle. That’s true, but for what it’s worth, He’s the PG. AI wasn’t a PG either, but people referred to him as a shoot first point until they finally decided to play him at the 2. Realistically, Francis was an out of position (and undersized) 2, and so was Ron Harper until he basically breathed the triangle. Ron Harper being kind of a different breed though, because he was capable of (and forced into) taking on the responsibility.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Interesting debate on here … it speaks to the “catch 22″ of leaving college early. Westbrook gets to take care of his family and pursue his dream of pro ball by leaving UCLA early. But his “basketball IQ” has suffered for it. But a good college coach would have made him a much better player (just like Jordan, Magic, Bird, Worthy, et al.). By taking several shots without an entry pass, Westbrook got his, but he froze out his teammates, particularly Durant. It also shows the brilliance of Phil Jackson’s “Triangle Offense” which forces guys to pass, cut, set screens, etc. without taking the individual play of guys like Jordan, Shaq, Pippen or Kobe.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    @19821982:
    No doubt.

  • T-Money

    shock exchange. no offense but that’s a stupid argument. anything he could have learned at ucla, he learned in seattle and okc. you could make the case that one more year at ucla would have made him a better ROOKIE but now? ish don’t matter at all. i’m pretty sure norris cole learned more about basketball in the last 6 months than in 4 years at cleveland state when he was juggling school and ball.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    T-Money,

    You are entitled to your opinion. I was simply trying to give Westbrook the benefit of the doubt. Westbrook should know that not getting his teammates involved will not help OKC win in the playoffs. Last year against Dallas, he took almost 30 shots without an entry pass. Brooks benched him and Westbrook imploded on national T.V. If he still hasn’t gotten by now, either he missed some seasoning in college or he’s “learning diabled.” It’s either one or the other. I chose the former. It appears you chose the latter.

  • Ldub

    STOCK…..so what about Kobe? Garnett? Lebron? Kyrie Irving (who only played 11 games) but I feel will be a better all around player/pg than Westbrook. Problem is…RW has played the same way since he started ballin, and he will be the first to tell you that. He only knows one way. Going hard. People need to stop thinking RW is a traditional PG. I think if he was on the team by himself (w/o KD)…his game would be praised instead of knocked.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    Westbrook is better than a healthy rose right now or is at the very least his equal. Don’t talk to me about shot attempts, The scoring champion is being stifled by the best defense in the world, if he doesn’t shoot they will lose. Russ is a better defender and rebounder than rose and his midrange game is superior. He even initiates contact better. Rose is a better shooter from 3, a slightly better passer is more in control/a better ball handler.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    You can’t make the basketball IQ argument when Westbrook is playing against LeBron who didn’t bother with college at all is widely considered the smartest player on both teams in this series.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Ldub, what about them? If Westbrook wasn’t on a team with KD we wouldn’t be talking about him at all … except maybe how he’s always cryin’ to get traded to a team that wins. If Kobe wasn’t on a team with Shaq (Wilt Chamberlain of his era) or Pau/Bynum (2 skilled 7 footers in a league with 6’8″ centers) we wouldn’t be talking about him either.

    Scott Brooks already benched him in 2011 Dallas series for not moving the rock – which caused him to throw an absolute b*tch fit on national T.V. Curious Ldub, which camp are you in as to why Westbrook doesn’t know certain things I knew in kindergarden? Does he need more seasoning in college or is he “learning disabled?” You can only pick one … as the theme from “Jeopardy” plays in finitum.

  • bike

    Westbrooks brain farts seem to be a personality issue as opposed to something he should have learned. He’s impatient, excitable, and emotional and with the right coach it can be managed. I think Brooks has the right idea by benching him every now and then simply to get him to settle down.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Shock Exchange:
    I could be wrong, but, I don’t think he’s lacking in seasoning, nor do I think he has a learning disability.
    What I do think is, that Russell Westbrook simply has tunnel vision.
    When asked on the microphone about the criticism he receives, we heard him lament on how “it doesn’t matter”, and the like.
    He didn’t even say that he cares what his coaches or players think. Didn’t acknowledge them.
    Tunnel vision.
    One can hear it in his tone when he addressed it.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Yes I can Allenp … I already made it here > http://clicky.me/TheLebronRules … The Dallas Mavericks exploited Lebron’s lack of mid-range game in the 2011 finals – something a good college coach like Bobby Knight would have forced Lebron to develop, albeit kicking and screaming. Lebron has adjusted, improved his mid-range game and post-up game, and cut down on the his three point attempts. Thus, he is now far and away the best player on the planet. It was only after reading “The Lebron Rules” did he accomplish it.

    P.S.
    Legend has it that Jordan wasn’t a good screener. During the ’84 Olympics, Knight would not allow Jordan to shoot until he set a screen first. Eureka! Jordan learned how to set a screen. If Russell Westbrook had played for Knight (or Big John, Dean Smith, etc.) he would have learned how to make an entry pass or he would have been pulling splinters a mile long out of his rear-end.

  • bike

    Shock Exchange
    There are players that could benefit from staying in college to gain some needed maturity. Hard to say if that would have helped Westbrook but he obviously had the talent to come out when he did.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    The Philospher, I get it now. When a 3 year knows all the words to a Lil Wayne song, but can’t tell you when he has to go to the bathroom, it’s called “tunnel vision.”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    @Datkid…moron lol.

  • IGGI

    King James and D.Wade deserve a RING right now!!!

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Shock Exchange:
    Your 5:50 p.m. argument can be made about nearly every player in The League. And Tim Duncan’s career would support your argument.
    And the three year old going to bathroom comment is funny.
    If he hears Lil’ Wayne all day, yes, he will learn it.
    If he’s being trained in tactics in the bathroom properly, he will learn that, too.
    But I digress.
    I see you.
    WE… see you. lol

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    Westbrook’s lack of a basketball I.Q is evident, though college per se wouldn’t have helped that. Coaching is the biggest thing that can improve a basketball I.Q, be it in the league or in college.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Charliewinning, I totally agree with you. Look how it worked out for Paul Westphal and Stan Van Gundy.

  • Heals

    I guess he just “dumbed” his way to 40 then. Damn shame too given Wussel’s been in The L for 10years now. Seriously the guy is totally holding OKC back, they simply can’t compete for titles with this guy at the point…

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Westbrook has a lack of PG IQ. Not basketball iq. He’s just playing out of position. Other than that he is an intelligent player. Just doesn’t grasp or understand pacing and the role the PG position plays in controlling the tempo.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    you’re an idiot redd. and you sound like skip bayless. lol. also I kind of think shock exchange has a point. personally. but then again there are plenty of people who come out of college incomplete w/o certain basic basketball skills. such as Harrison Barnes, Austin Rivers etc etc. and both of those people had incredible college coaches.

  • Heals

    If anything Fisher has made the most “dumb” decisions for OKC in this series while the ball has been in his possession. Harden too, and they have the ball much less than Restbrook and often vs Mia’s 2nd unit. If Wussel isn’t good/smart enough for OKC to win this series then there’s only 2 other guards that could DWill and CP3, otherwise anybody else you swap for him takes more off the table than they bring to it…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    You know… if you said to me that at some point in this series JUWAN HOWARD would ‘carry’ the Heat I wouldn’t have been that surprised….

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    I agree that he doesn’t fully understand the position yet, but him being unaware of things like time left on the clock has nothing to do with him playing out of position. But I’m not saying the guy can’t or won’t improve in that department.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    …carrying LeBron… basically the same thing.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    cosign heals. but that’s Dfish. Idk about Harden though he’s just struggled period.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Weyes, Charlie that one mistake was bad. Which showed a lack of awareness. Not intelligence. If he was aware of the shot clock he would have been intelligent enough not to foul. There is a difference.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Charliewinning is sexy ignore the troll above me

  • BostonBaller

    I still hate the 2-3-2 format…..Darn, I didn’t care who won it all as long as it was a tight 7 game series. DARN IT ALL !!! lol

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    It was air-headed. If one doesn’t have the sense to be aware of such a thing you can definitely say it was unintelligent. An intelligent basketball decision would be to pay attention to such details in all moments, but most especially crucial moments. I’m not saying the kid is dumb, but proper awareness of your situation is absolutely part of basketball intelligence. It dictates decisions.

  • BostonBaller

    I’m no longer amazed at the poor overall defense played by most players against stars. If you know the ref is going to call a foul anyway, then you might as well make a “real” effort to stop or slow someone down. I’m also still annoyed at high priced players complaining about non calls when they get so many calls in the first place. I laugh when guys over act when they clearly weren’t fouled then complain to the ref.

  • BostonBaller

    I’m no longer amazed at the poor overall defense played by most players against stars. If you know the ref is going to call a foul anyway, then you might as well make a “real” effort to stop or slow someone down. I’m also still annoyed at high priced players complaining about non calls when they get so many calls in the first place. I laugh when guys over act when they clearly weren’t fouled then complain to the ref.

  • Heals

    I’m just of the mind that if that play comes along with the 11 pts in a row I take all day. Wussel plays like he just stuck a fork in a light socket, throw in the roll he was, the situation and I’m sure dude was just geeked out his mind and shht like that happens. He’ll be better for it…

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    He was aware of everything but the shot clock. A small, admittedly bad bad mistake, but not enough of a mistake to say his basketball IQ is his issue.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Oh ok. Well anyways Westbrook will learn eventually or he’ll just join the AIs & Steve Francis(es?).

  • the man down under

    how long did the time outs go for when LeBron was down?!?! A twent second timeout is 20 SECONDS please why should the heat get longer just so LeBron can stretch out….

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Depends on his coach and their focus on his development (imo). He is only 22 or 23, plenty of time to learn the position. I don’t think he’ll ever have “PG instincts” though

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    If game deciding mistakes aren’t big what is? I guess it just depends on your criteria for big or small. I’d say it was pretty huge given what was going on. A crucial game in the finals, that’s big to me. I still had faith the Thunder could make something happen up until that foul. Y’all are free to disagree.

  • cuseburg

    How you gonna bash on him for taking 32 shots if he makes 20? And didn’t seem to me like he was freezing his teammates out, i saw him feed Harden for quite a few shots and gave Durant some good looks too. If Durant makes 1 more shot and Harden hits even a decent amount of his the Thunder win. Even if his shot attempts were taking others’ away, it doesn’t really matter cause he hit 20 of them. You can’t really expect any other player to have those type of shooting numbers on the same night.

  • http://blackamericaweb.com charliewinning

    I guess time is the only thing that will tell whether or not any of us are right about his basketball I.Q.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I said it’s a huge mistake. But it isn’t evidence of his lack of basketball IQ. Intelligence and Awareness are different. At least to me it is (although they are connected – for example, he had the intelligence to foul given the situation, but not the awareness to take note of the actual shot clock) Should he have been aware of the time on the clock? Yes. Definitely. But just because he made that mistake, I am not questioning his intelligence. Idk, I am not saying I’m right and your wrong, just that from what I’ve seen, Westbrook is not a dumb player, more lacking discipline than anything else.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I had no idea that the shotclock resets to 5 seconds when there’s a jumpball with 0.8 left either. This is why I blame Scott Brooks more than I do Russell Westbrook… It’s your job as the coach to make sure your players know what’s going on. He should have done something–screamed, anything–to let his players know what to do in case they lost the tip-off.

  • Ash

    Westbook, Durant or any one person can beat a team. As fans we have become delusional, we think one person can beat a team. What we are seeing it takes a team to win a championship. Last year Mavs won because they were a team. As far as Westbrook, his greatest lesson will be life. College can only teach you so much about the game of basketball.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Just because YOU had no idea doesn’t mean anything. He’s a pro hooper, you’re a blog commentator. He should’ve known, he’s a professional & that’s where the hooping IQ comes in.

  • MUBWAR

    i have been a basketball fan for 12 years and I didn’t know that rule existed. if a jump ball happens under 5 sec the shot clock goes back to 5s. Hey but Russel is paid mad money to those rules. he had to learn it the hard way i guess.

  • BallsDeep

    @Lakeshow. Kudos for believing.I have listened to the games on espn.com radio, and they’re so heartbreaking I can’t bring myself to watch them. I need time to recuperate. I am so thoroughly dissapointed in the Thunder. They are not playing at all the SAS series. At that point, I believe they were unbeatable in that they were clicking like last years Mavs, team wise. But they haven’t brought that to the finals at all. Harden has dissapeared and Miami just wants it more. OKC are acting like they’re happy just being there, like the the 2002/2003 Nets or the 2006 Cavs. I hope Brooks can do some major adjustments and OKC can compete for four quarters (hopefully 12)and bring the rain like they should be able to. I still don’t see Chicago as being a viable threat to the Heat next year with their current line-up even with a healthy Rose and a 55-60 win season… but that’s another story. The Heat own the East for a while at least. The sad but simple fact is LBJ is dictating the game and KD is not. He has been praised for his teams success the whole way, and he kisses his mum. KD needs to take the blame for the losses. Blowing that lead last game just killed the momentum that could have swung the series. That, and Harden doing sweet eff ay. Ibaka, Perkins ahhhh. Perk especially, he’s been here before. Tell em’ Perk.
    Go OKC in 7!!!

  • Bola

    SLAM WHAT THE HELL POST MY COMMENT.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rwDluFZQmtQ Max

    Don’t forget Rose will not play alot of games before the playoffs next year.

  • BostonBaller

    Do any of us know for a fact that Brooks or his coaching staff (who actually keeps track of those game time rules) didn’t remind the guys of the time situation? A teams coaching staff is constantly telling and yelling game time situations and time to the team and reminding them of fouls etc etc. Just because RW committed that foul at a bad time does not put into question his hoop IQ, knowledge of the game or anything else…Most of us who have actually balled and done so past Y leagues have done something on the court that has made people go WHAT THE… but the real deal is when a player constantly does those things…IMO

  • L Dribble

    “Do any of us know for a fact that Brooks or his coaching staff (who actually keeps track of those game time rules) didn’t remind the guys of the time situation?” From NBA.com: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knew the rule, immediately holding out five fingers and yelling at his team. The Thunder, apparently, were unaware of what happens to the clock in that situation, with some players thinking it was turned off entirely. “I’m sure a lot of players didn’t even know that rule,” Wade said. “When we were told, it’s like, `OK, this is great, this is a bonus for us.’

    http://www.nba.com/2012/news/06/20/finals-notebook.ap/index.html

  • http://www.dota-albania.com Legjendat

    People, don’t take things for granted. I’m glad we are leading 3-1, BUT it is NOT over yet. OKC beat SAS 4 times in a row, they certainly can beat Miami 3 times in a row. We MUST finish the series tonight, or else I see OKC pulling the biggest upset on Miami and doing what no team has ever done in the history of the NBA, get back from a 3-1 deficit. OKC lives OFF the momentum, if they win one in Miami, their crowd will be crazy and Miami will be dead tired, LeBron having his craps and Wade not handling this season’s condensed schedule. SO pray we win tonight!

  • DreDay

    Kudos to LBJ and Co. if they win tonight!! Just want to get it out of the way now. Cause in real life i’m going to be SALT!!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shock Exchange
    Michael Jordan played for Dean Smith, one of the greatest college coaches of all time.
    And when he came out of college, his weaknesses were mid range shooting, ball handling and a lack of consistent defense.
    They lost to Dallas because the same jumper LeBron had been draining for three rounds deserted him and his coach didn’t have the stature to tell him to get on the block, and LeBron didn’t have the game to take advantage of smaller players on the block.
    You are assigning way, WAY too much credit to college. It’s not backed up by reality at all.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Boston Baller
    Harden said they didn’t provide them with that information.

  • kobe

    Lets hope rose comes back rose. it would be a shame if he had an arenas type of acl come back

  • AQWORD

    Hear that ? It’s da fat beeehach clearing her throat like Fatman Scoop.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    AllenP you are exactly right. Society assigns way too much to college … making people go to law school and actually pass a profiency exam before they represent someone in a court of law … the nerve of this society. HS is not the “proving ground” for the NBA. A diamond is made from centuries of heat, light, pressure … heat, light, pressure. If you skip a step, the best you could ever be is a cubic zirconia. But let me guess “Shock Exchange you are assigning way too much to centuries of heat, light and pressure.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shock
    That’s a horrible argument.
    We’re not talking about a law degree. We’re talking about the ability to play basketball at a high level.
    Is it your opinion that college coaches are better prepared to instruct players on the skills they need to develop to succeed at the pro level than professional coaches?
    Is it your opinion that college basketball teams are concerned as much with individual player development as professional teams?
    Is it your opinion that colleges have the same level of investment in their players that professional teams have?
    Is it your opinion that that players have more time to concentrate on basketball in college than in the NBA?
    In my opinion it’s obvious that if you want to have a career as a basketball player the best place to receive expert training with people who are invested in your success is in the NBA. The best place to protect yourself from injury is in the NBA. There is no benefit to your development as a basketball player that is gained in college that could not also be gained in the NBA, in my opinion.
    There is no proof that time spent in college has a large impact on professional success or skill level. In fact, studying NBA history those players who did not spend four years in college have had far more productive careers than those who have.
    Your sarcasm is misplaced, and shows poor logical reasoning.

  • OTB

    “If Kobe wasn’t on a team with Shaq (Wilt Chamberlain of his era) or Pau/Bynum (2 skilled 7 footers in a league with 6’8″ centers) we wouldn’t be talking about him either”. I don’t even think YOU believe what you are saying this point.

  • d

    WE WOUILD STILL TALK ABOUT 81

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    AllenP, I never said players should “spend four years in college.” You are obviously twisting my words. For those players who had already dominated the college ranks (Magic, Isiah, Jordan, Worthy, et al.), no they should not have remained in college. “There is no proof that time spent in college has a large impact on professional success or skill level” – that comment is the equivalent of saying “the sky is not blue.” If you are referring to the NBA post-expansion then maybe. But before the NBA became watered down with “apprentices,” that comment would not warrant a response from me. I could go on and on with data points to back up my argument, but if I have to explain the “obvious” to you, then showing you facts won’t have any impact.

    Lastly, your comment that “We’re not talking about a law degree. We’re talking about the ability to play basketball at a high level …” says it all. I am perturbed by the disrespect pro basketball gets. It is not something you go out in the street and just learn. You have to be trained in it. It is similar to (i) Spike Lee’s argument about “new Jack” filmmakers in the ’90s who never attended film school or (ii) to what people down south refer to “Jack-legged preachers” – preachers who can “move the crowd” but were never formally trained with the “word” in divinity school. Russell Westbrook can run and jump with the best of them, but not understanding the “science of basketball” is the piece he is missing – I think that was the source of the original debate and that’s what caused Magic to “go in” on Russ.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    When you are in college you ate learning/playing the same exact sport you are in the NBA except you are spending that time also learning and testing in classes. By skipping college, and going to a team with a good coaching staff then you are spending all your time playing and learning basketball. The reason high school kids that have gone straight to the NBA typically have more success than players that spend ANY time in college is because they are typically the most prepared players to be professionals from a talent stand point, and because they are enabled to focus on basketball and nothing else. The guys that benefit from college are those that are either immature and need to learn responsibility while being watched over and the guys who are not physically prepared for the grind of the NBA. Going to college is not why some guys come prepared with things like a mid-range jump shot. Bobby Knight would likely have spent almost no time with LeBron on his mid range game, you know why? Because Bobby Knights job is to win college games, not prepare his players for the NBA. So likely, LeBron would have left college with a better understanding of playing down low and would have been better with footwork. But that does not mean college would have been better for his development. There is no proof anywhere a BASKETBALL player benefits more from college than they do by making the jump. None. You can use pre-expansion if you want, but that would leave you with Moses Malone vs The Field. And for the most part, Moses wins. Sorry but your argument sounds logical, but it isn’t. College doesn’t benefit an NBa ready basketball player anymore than the NBA does. Infact, if you go by the percentages of just McDonalds All Americans, going straight to the NBA from high school yields All-Star players at a mUch much much higher rate than college.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    OTB, Unlike other players of his era (A.I., Vince Carter), Kobe has had the good fortune of playing on teams with “exceptionally more talent” than everybody else. In my mind he is nothing more than a “glorified Robert Horry.” Except Robert Horry knew how to play his role … he didn’t try to be “the man” when he played with Hakeem, Shaq, Robinson and Duncan.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    smh. Nevermind. Obviously you are just ignorant.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    AllenP,nbk, The NBA has gone through pains to invoke an age limit to force kids to go play in college. After experimenting with it, they are now contemplating raising it to age 20 to force kids to play at least two years in college. Explain that. Despite all your “hypotheticals” and “opinions” not based on empirical evidence, the NBA’s behavior flies in the face of all your “musings.”

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    nbk, Are the executives of the NBA “ignorant” too. They don’t want any cubic zirconias in their league.

    Your “ignorant” comment is subjective. Meet me on a basketball court and I would give you “fiddy” … not fifty, but “fiddy,” make you never wanna pick up a basketball again. And that is not subjective.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So, exactly how much time do players have to spend in college?
    You say four isn’t the limit. Is it three?
    Like I said, all data shows that players who leave college early have better careers than players who stay four years when you compare the total groups.
    You are arguing that college is the best place to be trained to play professional basketball.
    I’m arguing that you are wrong.
    My proof is that the coaches, assistants and staff members in the pros know what they want in players. They have better facilities, more time and more expertise. And, as an added bonus for the players, they can be paid while they learn.
    You have yet to offer a single bit of proof that explains why you learn more about basketball in college than in the NBA.
    But it’s cool, I’m used to cats insulting people with little proof on this site.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    They are forcing kids to go to college because it gives them free marketing on incoming talent, leaves jobs for veteran players, gives teams more time to scout. Basically it enables the NBA business to make more money. The players association is against the age limit. Explain that. (I’ll do it for you, their argument is that it doesn’t benefit any player to be forced to go to college).

  • kid23

    look what happen to the Celtics in 09 nba final, when they had the lakers 3 to 1 lead. Lakers came back and won the series in 7 games. OKC could do the same.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shock
    The NBA created an age limit because they would prefer if players developed their talents for free in the NCAA and created a built in fanbase before they came to the League.
    It was a strictly a business decision. They could stop making guesses about future performance based on potential and force players to play longer in college. It wasn’t about getting players better, but more about weeding out those players with issues that weren’t always obvious at first. Plus, if a player gets injured in college, it means the NBA can get a discount on their services.
    As for the basketball court thing, you’re right. You would likely give me fifty.
    It’s a good thing we’re having a discussion based on logic and reason.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Good one shock exchange, what you think you would do to me a person you know nothing about on a basketball court really proves you know what your talkig about. Why don’t you defend your argument? My 1:19 comment pretty much pokes a whole in every point you made, why don’t you use your ability to drop “fiddy” and make a counter argument? Bruh.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    AllenP, so in your mind the NBA is now a “workshop program” or an “apprenticeship?” That’s all you needed to say. I get you now. I am sure the fans paying top dollar to see “professionals” play basketball would love to hear that.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    nbk, so we are learning knew words today. First there was “ignorant.” Then you admitted that you are a “person that knows nothing about a basketball court.” I think the definition of that is “redundant.”

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    And you can’t even read? That’s cute.

  • http://slamonline.com 19821982

    This was actually an interesting argument before the insults started. First time I’ve seen an argument here escalate to “meet me on the basketball court” though. That was refreshing.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    OTB, d, we would still be talking about how after Shaq left for Miami, “Robert Horry, Jr.” was throwing Bynum under the bus and crying about leaving L.A. When Pau, another 7 footer came and tipped the scales in L.A.’s favor again, it was “all good.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The NBA is in the business of providing fans with high level basketball.
    Apparently, you believe that college is the best place for NBA talent to develop and hone their skills.
    Since everyone knows that even with four years in college most players still need an “apprenticeship” before they ready to reach their full potential, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.
    All players, regardless of their time in college, need time develop. Not even Tim Duncan came into the League playing at full potential. Neither did Michael, Magic or Bird.
    Your argument is shoddy man. You still haven’t said how long players must play in college. You haven’t said how you can guarantee that players will receive quality instruction in college.
    Hell, you mentioned Bobby Knight when Bobby Knight’s best recruit left school after two years and became and Hall of Famer. What are you really saying?

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    That’s it! You’ve gotten by dander up. I take the time to drop knowledge on here and what do I get? Back talk. As an “olive branch” was going to give you an autographed copy of my new book coming out in July, but I’ve just struck you off my list Allenp. See what you accomplished?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    What’s the name of the book?
    “How too annoy and anger using the word “fiddy”?

  • Heals

    @kid, they were up 3-2 heading back to LA after winning Gm5 in Bos. The stat has been thrown around alot lately, but I thought no team has ever come back from 3-1 in the Finals…

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    It doesn’t matter Allenp, you and nbk are off the list. Don’t worry 19821982, I got you.

  • tpathi1

    shock exchange..even tho i would like to believe you that these NBA owners want the age limit raised because of the education these kids can get in college on and off the bball court…in my opinion thats simply not the reason they want the age limit raised..if anything they want the age limit raised so they can have proof from more than one source of the potential players work habits/ tendencies etc…the way its set up now most of these owners rely on their GM and staff to make their draft picks..i am not billionaire but if i was, i would definately feel uncomfortable signing some 19 yr old kid to 20 million dollar contracts or what have u..the owners are all about the money…they want their lion share of it no matter what and would get away with paying their players less (all of them) if they could…besides all that from the players stand point, these young guns have seen some great ball players in the past 10-15 years come straight to the NBA..if their dreams and goals are to make it to the league then they are following in the footsteps..and who is say these players wont play overseas like brandon jennings did if they really want to get paid anyways..last i checked i don’t think brandon jennings draft stock dropped when he came into the league

  • Heals

    Prime example of bk and Ap’s argument; AvyB on my C’s. Top ranked High Schooler goes to Tex (uggghhh Rick Barnes) and his stock/ability takes a huge hit. He lands with the C’s at the end of the 1st round. The organization then cultivates his talent with veterans, the D-league, an awesome coach and WELL structured front office. AB’s now ready for a 10 year career as a defensive stopper that hits corner 3′s…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^I’ll trade you a Snack Pack™ for one?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Would the thunder be better off if they had Derrick Rose instead of Russell Westbrook?

  • tpathi1

    Teddy-the-bear, derrick rose is the best basketball player in the universe…ofcourse they would be better with him than Russell Westbrook!

  • http://slamonline.com 19821982

    LOL at ™. And Teddy, I think they’d be a completely different team with DRose – but remember, the Bulls live off of defense, a hallmark of Thibodeau’s. Under Brooks, Rose would probably play similar to RW, he’d be second option to KD (a lot of pg’s would) as well. But better off is a different discussion, better playmaking skills only help if the rest of the team knows how to cut, how to set picks, how to attack mismatches. OKC often looks like their scheme is to attack whenever someone catches the ball.

  • http://www.slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    Can I be off of your list too Shock Exchange? Your book sounds terrible.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rwDluFZQmtQ Max

    *Pow pow pow

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    tpathi1 I think you made my point. NBA execs and owners want to ensure the kids can play or at least meet a certain level of proficiency before they come into the league. For every Brandon Jennings, there are several others (no need to call anybody out) who entered the NBA straight from high school who couldn’t start for most college teams. I assumed my comments about college ball yesterday were “common knowledge.” I guess not.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    I don’t understand why were even discussing going to college relating to basketball IQ on this topic. Russ went to college and is still severely underdeveloped in the “science” of basketball. I want all those that argue that a good college coach does not prepare a player to play in the NBA to point out 3 players that jumped from HS and made an immediate impact, I pick 3 because exceptions to the rule are 1.LeBron and 2.Moses Malone, anyone else you try to put on the list is a fallacy, no other straight outta HS player won Rookie of the Year, lets not forget KG and Kobe’s rookie years werent that great neither was Kemp’s. Now I don’t advocate an age minimum, I think if these players can earn a spot on the team and get that paycheck they should be allowed too, there are plenty of career “apprentices” on every roster. And in the link LDUB posted Russ is quoted as saying he forgot that the clock got reset, so it was a breakdown mentally, and as much flak as SPO gets he was right on top of it, letting his team know.

  • bobbyD

    Let’s not forget that increasing the age limit restricts potential career earnings for players. Rookie wage scale lasts for three years right? So, players will be 23 or 24 before getting an unrestricted contract. Would Westbrook be a better point guard if he stayed in college for another year or two? Probably not……

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rwDluFZQmtQ Max

    Shutup, Dwight got a double double with 2 blocks in his rookie year.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The argument that college benefits a player is baseless. It benefits the league and the pockets of the owners. It’s very very simple. Nobody has ever made the argument it benefits the players to risk their career in the MBA in college. It’s just an ignorant point to argue. Full-time basketball players (who actually take their career seriously) will always develop faster than those that spend half their time studying. The argument for college has and always will revolve around education and a career after basketball, because that’s the only benefit. Arguing otherwise is completely ignorant. If your book revolves around that topic then the only people that will buy it are family and friends and critics (assuming its even big enough to be criticized, which I doubt). Other than that it will cost more to publish and distribute than it will make. Unless it is taken as satire. And I don’t want your book, firewood is much more efficient.

  • Allenp

    Amare Stoudamire had an immediate impact. Shawn Kemp too.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    nope. they’d be basically the same. maybe slightly better offensively. but a little worse defensively from the pg spot. I think it evens out tho.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    If by “immediate impact” you mean in his 2nd year.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    nbk, Shakespeare would say “thy protesteth too much” so you’re back on the list. Here are the results:

    On the list: nbk, Max, Shutup, 19821982, tpathi1

    Off the list: Allenp, AlbertBarr

    On the fence: Lakeshow

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    I think college helps the mental aspect of the game more than anything, a player isnt going to me more athletic by attending a university, but he will learn how to deal with life in a semi-controlled situation. College is a microcosm of life, the right system will teach a player how to understand the game and how to deal with the pressures of life as well. Kemp and Stoudemires rookie numbers werent that great 13-8 and 6.5-4 arent spectacular, I tried to warn you against using Kemp as an example; and Dwight avg 12-10 not exactly stalwart numbers not bad but not great either.By impact I meant a game changer not an addition on a box score.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Just look at the age a guy is when they become an all-star + the % of each that actually become all-stars. It’s not relatively close which players develop faster and have more success. And you could make the “the high school
    Guys are obviously more talented those that have to go to college argument, but you can filter the statistics however you want (McDonalds All Americans that went to college vs those that didn’t or lottery picks, any stipulation you want) the high school to NBA players have and always have had far more success. And from a younger age. There is not one fact in existence that supports college for player development over the NBA. Plus, college ball is a totally different style than the NBA. And again, coaches are paid to win games, not prepare the less than 2% of their players that actually do get drafted for their professional careers. And I was serious about using your book as firewood. I would even open it of that’s the subject. I have been following the NBA religiously literally my entire walking and talking life. There is nothing you could write in a book about this subject that I haven’t already heard and seen proved wrong.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Wait, does one want to be “on” this list or off of it?
    Few more questions:
    Is there any bonuses to being in between these lists?
    Do I get a sticker for participating?
    I appreciate you taking the time to clear this up, Thank you.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Sorry for all the typos, commenting from my phone while holding a baby isn’t conducive to proof reading.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Lakeshow, you sense of humor “ceases” to amaze me. You’re on the fence but don’t push it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMo_HcRBnUY LakeShow

    Click my name.
    That will end the cease in comedy.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    lmaoooo at lakeshow

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    SLAM Poll: Which book would you much rather buy: “In-depth Game Analysis” by Reggie Miller or ” NCAA: Where Real Basketballers are Made” by Shock Exchange.

  • tpathi1

    If i were commissioner i would put in a rule to have 20 be the minimum age for anyone to enter the NBA draft. As a commissioner i think that it is necessary to be the ultimate ambassador for your sport; the fact of the matter is for every LBJ, KG or Kobe or what have you, there are probably 100 other kids just getting outta hs in America alone that think that they belong in the league and those 100 other players definately do not belong in the league. From an owners perspective, they have to weigh the risk of drafting a potential superstar vs. bust; its easier for them to weed out the busts by seeing how these players play in college. I think i have a high risk tolerance, so if i was an owner, i would probably be combating with the commissioner to lower the age requirement back to 18 or 19 and take my chances drafting a hs player, but as commissioner you should do what is right, even when it seems wrong i guess

  • http://slamonline.com Brion

    Love me some Buscemi,I celebrate his entire catalog.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lol @ Lakeshow

  • http://www.slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    LOL. I love that scene from Billy Madison. Classic.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    the only people that need this book of yours Shock are the guys declaring for the draft at the golden height of 6’10 when they really come in at 6’7 1/2…. this book gives them that extra 2 inches…

  • Heals

    Do you LS, do you. Interesting this convo broke out during a year when almost every player who could’ve entered last years draft, but decided to go back for 1 more year of polishing (or to avoid the lockout) has had their stock drop since last year. Barnes, Sullinger, the Baylor boys, etc…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Nick Tha Quik… I would rather have to sit through all 41 home games for the Washington Wizards next season…..

    : /

  • John

    Miami is going to lose this one tonight is the thunders game and we are heading back to Oklahoma!

  • Bola

    I wonder why Slam aint posting my comments.

  • Bola

    DEAR SLAM, IF YOU THINK YOU ARE THE MONOPOLY OF BASKETBALL FORUMS AND STUFF. you are sadly mistaken. their other website where i can have a chat with fellow basketball lovers. If you guys keep blocking my comments. about 6 of them. Well you have just a lost a fan/customer. THANK YOU AND GOOD DAY.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    @ Dacre Harsh words my man. Just when Andre Blatch is on the verge of being a legit 20/10/5 guy.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Bola, are you cursing? Or spelling a random word you don’t think it cussing but others do? I have been similarly frustrated and didn’t realize the word I couldn’t use was c0ck

  • http://www.nba.com danfields

    congrats to the heat. as much as they are jerks as good they play ball. well deserved

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    LONG… LIVE… THE KING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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