Links with Blurbs

Here are some links from guys I read with blurbs that truly breakdown Oklahoma City’s breakdown.

Jeff Fogle, Hoopdata: I’d feel like it’s piling on to go through all of Westbrook’s poor shooting spots again. I just wish this was part of the mainstream coverage. If an NFL quarterback kept having a horrible completion percentage in a series of big games, it would be mentioned. Heaven forbid AROD goes hitless in a couple of playoff games. Westbrook was 0 for 10 outside of 9 feet tonight. In what’s supposed to be a jumpshooter’s range of 16-23 feet, he’s 15 of his last 56 going back a dozen playoff games. FIFTEEN OF FIFTY-SIX! He’s 8 of his last 35 on treys, and OKC needs to keep up with Dallas from behind the arc.

John Hollinger, ESPN.comNot only did they punt the game; they almost certainly kicked away any chance of winning the series, too. Monday’s 112-105 overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals put the Thunder down 3-1 with two of the final three games in Dallas — a scenario only two teams in history have come back from (Boston in 1968 and Houston in 1995).

Berry Tramal, The Oklahoman:  In the last five minutes of regulation, Dallas outscored the Thunder 17-2. In the last 41 seconds of overtime, the Mavs outscored OKC 7-0. The Mavs played smart and possessed. The Thunder played reckless and stupid. Bad shots. Turnovers. Idiotic fouls. What-was-he-thinking decisions. A despondent Kevin Durant claimed youth had nothing to do with it.“This is basketball, man,” Durant said. “Our youth has nothing to do with what we were doing on the floor. We’ve showed we can play on this level.”Better hope he’s wrong. Youth means you can grow out of this kind of choke. If youth has nothing to do with it, a game like this could scar the franchise.The Thunder lost its edge, then lost its mind.

Tim Cowlishaw, The Dallas Morning News: In all, Oklahoma City outshot Dallas from the field and had an almost absurd 55-33 edge in rebounds. For Dallas to win despite those deficiencies, it could only happen with defense.The Thunder committed 26 turnovers to the Mavericks’ 13. Dallas had three players — Kidd, Shawn Marion and Jason Terry — with four steals.

Johnny Ludden, Yahoo! Sports:  Nowitzki has emerged from all those losses a tougher, better player. Durant will eventually realize this. All the great ones take their lumps. Michael Jordan pounded his head against the Detroit Pistons. On Tim Duncan’s way to four titles, he was embarrassingly swept by the Los Angeles Lakers, lost another series to the Lakers with Derek Fisher’s .4 miracle and fell to the Mavs and Nowitzki in an epic Game 7. Even Bryant suffered two lean, embarrassing seasons when the Lakers rebuilt around him.The Mavericks are a motley collection of veterans united by their past playoff misery, from their coach on down. Rick Carlisle took the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals only to fall short each time. Jason Kidd lost consecutive NBA Finals with the New Jersey Nets and has forever struggled to get back.

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