The Thunder dropped their second game in a row, and it was the second game where they were out-executed down the stretch. The losses will mean little in a month, because even if OKC falls to the 2nd seed they still would not meet the Spurs until the WCF. The team is at the point now where it is better to take a loss and learn a lesson than to coast and be unprepared. There is no doubt that in a few weeks, with the likes of potential foes like the Spurs, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Rockets on the horizon, that the Thunder are going to need to be ready to execute when it matters most.
Durant had nine turnovers by himself. He admitted that a few times it was because he threw a "soft pass." In fact, OKC has a tendency to do that quite a bit, making it far too easy for unforced play to result in a turnover.
James points out a crucial element when it comes to crunch time play. When you absolutely HAVE to get a quality shot, every aspect of the play matters. And on Kevin Durant's 3-point attempt to try and tie the game, neither he nor Serge Ibaka set up a screen as well as they could have. Those little things are the difference between a contested 28 footer and a wide open normal 3-pointer.
Seven games of Thunder-Heat sure sounds enticing, but there are 14 other teams that might have a say in the matter. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
I'll put this thought out there - sometimes it is better for a player's playoff motivation to lose this award. See: Olajuwon, Hakeem.
Last night was a remarkable display of meaningful basketball. Sheridan has the run-down.