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OKC Loud Links: Opportunity Passed By

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I have a plenitude of links for you today, but I am going to take the unprecedented step and state that you may not want to read any of them.

Mavs Have Been to This Rodeo, And It Showed | NewsOK

Tramel is tough but fair. The Thunder guys claim that youth had nothing to do with it, which is an apt statement for a youth to make. Here is Tramel's money quote:

"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."

Simply Heartbreaking | Daily Thunder

Young writes about the melt-down in its most base form - when you grow to love something, you are inevitably setting yourself up for heartache. Last night's loss cuts deep.

Post Game Four Quotes | Mavs Moneyball

As bad as Kevin Durant played down the stretch, it is important for us to note, and interestingly Mavs coach Rick Carlisle WANTS us to note, that it did not happen in a vacuum. 

"We're game planning like crazy for Durant. We're chasing him, we're double-teaming him out to half court a lot of the time. He's receiving a lot of attention. We got our hands on some balls and those deflections, they just showed how much we wanted to hang in and give ourselves a chance to win."

Coming Up Short | Basketball Prospectus

Pelton writes that James Harden fouled out with 4:33 to play, and the Thunder never got another good look at the rim thereafter.

Game Four Loss a Painful One for Durant | NewsOK

The greatest players are born great, but then made greater through a refinement by fire. Sometimes the young man has to be left to deal with his limitations, because it is the only way he can learn how to overcome them.

More links after the jump.

Did Durant Blow the Final Possession? | NBA Playbook

Ordinarily I would dedicate an entire post to Pruiti's work, but well, this one is kind of hard to delve deeper into. The kid panicked. 

Thunder Learning Lessons the Hard Way | ProBasketballTalk

In a sense, the Thunder franchise has undertaken something very risky. They have made the decision to aspire to be a champion. Most teams only pay lip service to this; very few take the endeavor seriously. Teams that aspire to reach the top don't get to skip the lessons, hard as they may be. Just ask Dirk Nowitzki.

Thunder Show Age in Collapse | Sports Illustrated

The distance between the Mavericks and Thunder seems impossibly large, and it is in a sense. It is the collective knowledge of long-time veterans who have been rebuffed numerous times in the playoffs. What OKC does not yet realize though is that Dallas is giving them the stones to step on in order to continue the journey.

Thunder's Painful Loss Part of Process | ESPN

"No team in the past 15 years had blown a 15-point lead with five minutes left in a playoff game. Until Monday night."

Thanks, Hollinger.

Advanced Playoff Box Score | Arturo Galleti

Maybe looking at numbers will make the outcome not sting as much.

A Maverick Miracle! | Hoopdata

This post is kind of like peeling off the fresh scab on your day-old wound. Yeah, it hurts, but sometimes we still feel the need to do it anyway. And then your mom yells at you, "why would you do that? It will just make it bleed again!" And all you can utter is, "I just wanted to see the wound again."

Jason Kidd Continues to Amaze at 38 | Washington Post

Count me one of the many who have been thoroughly impressed by Jason Kidd, but for a reason I never anticipated - his defense. His cerebral and positional work against both Russell Westbrook and Durant has been remarkable and, in the case of defending Durant in the 4th quarter, series-altering.

Epic Meltdown Am Awful Chapter in Thunder's Maturation Scale |

In which Blinebury possibly inadvertently summons the spirit of Donald Rumsfeld. It was bad, but I still don't think it rises to the level of the Trail Blazers collapse in 2000.