The Thunder got up for the big moment Sunday night, controlling their game against the Heat from the onset. People will try to put too much into or take away too much from the Thunder win. My take though is that this game, as well as the game from late last season, tell me that OKC actually matches up very well against Miami. While a series win is not a foregone conclusion, I have far more confidence in the Thunder's ability to compete against Miami than the defensively dominant Bulls team. We will find out more about the Bulls in a week.
Mayberry notes that Russell Westbrook played a strong game, despite being laden with foul trouble and not shooting particularly well. If you look at the stat sheet you might conclude that Westbrook was marginalized, but by watching the flow of the game and how Westbrook kept the game moving forward, you can see that he is still improving at the one thing a point guard must be above all else - in control.
"Woops, sorry about the heel print on your face, D-Wade." - Yung Hawg
Young notes that in this game, OKC showed the world that they can make some pretty athletic plays, too.
Schuhmann does a great job here looking at a lot of the plays that we've discussed in this space, examining how the Thunder have improved in a number of areas, especially in late-game situations.
The Thunder signed Derek Fisher to a $2.3 million deal, which pro-rated for this season will pay out about $1.9 million. The team effectively used up its mid-level exception for Fisher.
The Classical takes on the social, political, and sports dimensions regarding the Trayvon Martin murder.
Beckley Mason gives his perspective on what it meant to have LeBron James speak publicly about the Martin murder, one of the rare occasions where LeBron has taken a political stand on something.
The NBPA has spoken out about the case, and calls for the chief of police to be removed from his position.
Levy notes that in the Thunder's game against the Timberwolves, the two teams combined to shoot either at the rim or behind the 3-point arc 74% of the time. Gotta love those 'defense optional' games.
What I like most about this story is that LeBron led his team in something that was entirely non-basketball-related.
Even his own box score agrees.