I had stated in a previous article that if Kevin Durant’s shooting numbers didn’t improve, I didn’t see how the Thunder could expect to escape the series. And now, after a 10-for-24 (41.7%) shooting performance, plus some questionable decision-making by Scott Brooks, the Thunder are now a potential bad 48 minutes away from being one of the biggest disappointments of the 2014 NBA postseason.
It’s not just the fact that Durant was used mainly as a decoy to space the floor for Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson towards the end of the game, it’s also how Westbrook rushed way too many of his shots, and the entire offense looked rushed as a result. Westbrook needs to slow his roll and look for open teammates. If none are available, create a shot. But don’t sit here and rush your shot selection. You have a full 24 seconds to select a shot. Use some of that time! It’s not rocket science!
Plus, there’s a reason Charles Barkley criticized Brooks’ decision to go for 3 at game’s end instead of driving the lane with 2.6 seconds remaining. A 2-pointer would have won the game. Instead, we got a contested 3-ball, and now the Thunder are 1 loss away from elimination.
Yes, some will point to Joey Crawford’s inexplicable interruption of Durant’s 2nd free throw, but MVP’s shouldn’t have their game thrown off by little things like that.
And in a playoff-record 4 straight OT games, the Thunder have amassed a 1-3 record, after going 3-1 against this same team in the regular season.
I don’t even feel like going into numbers. I’m so disappointed with how the Thunder have performed to this point. It’s almost like the team from the regular season isn’t the one that showed up to the playoffs. Tonight’s 7pm CST matchup on TNT may very well be the last time we see them play this season. Although all hope is not lost. Back-to-back victories will move the Thunder to the next round, but they’ve lost all room for error at this point. Can they get it done? We’ll find out later this evening.