The Thunder now get to wait to see who they will face in this year's NBA Finals. Last night, the Miami Heat, full strong once again, took out the Celtics in Game 6 in Boston. Was that win a referendum on how this series will play out, now that it shifts back to Miami for a Game 7? Or is there something left in the old legs and wizened minds of the Celtics veterans?
It may surprise you to hear it, but Kevin Durant was the Thunder's best rebounder this season. He is not as wide as Kendrick Perkins or as physically strong as Serge Ibaka, but he has been swallowing up defensive rebounds consistently for an extended period of time, and it has played huge dividends in solving OKC's riddle about giving up too many offensive rebounds.
Young takes a stab at who he would rather see in the Finals this year.
Has Durant transcended to another level of performance? I think you can point to his early struggles in the 1st round this season against Dallas and see marked improvement game by game as for how his performances are much more level. He is less likely to have a stinker of a game, and when called upon, he can elevate his performance to carry his team (like in Game 4).
Shoals once popularized the phrase 'Thunder U' to describe how the Thunder's nucleus was almost like a college team. They have now retained that close-knit collegiality while combining it with grown up instincts and perseverance.
Listen to Mason, Harper and the gang talk about OKC's win as well as a new kids movie coming out this summer.
The Grantland staff pontificates as for what it means for the Thunder to have completely reversed the narrative that we all thought we had heading into these playoffs.
LeBron James played one of those transcendent games last night in order to even the ECF series at 3-3. Even now, I'm sure some people will think he has come up small in the series.
Why do some players seem to choke more than others? This piece argues that it might be because they care about winning too much. If you listen to Durant talk about attempting game winners, KD adds some color to that conversation. He has said that he started hitting game winners more consistently when he stopped caring so much about whether they went in.