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OKC Loud Links: Game Four Is the Game Most Likely to Predict Who Wins Game Four

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Game Four of the NBA Finals is tonight, and hopefully we have learned that each game is its own organism and not necessarily the linchpin.  Adjustments get made from game to game and very little in the form of momentum ever really gets carried forward. Unless of course your last name is "Barea."

Game Four Preview | Peninsula is Mightier 

Head over to SB Nation's Heat blog to get their insights on how the Heat will need to play tonight to put a stranglehold on the Finals.

How the Heat Have Redefined Sports Hate | Sports Central

Although this article seems a bit dated, I have to ask...even if all of his assertions are true, is this phenomenon necessarily a bad thing? If the Heat win the Finals, I'll be disappointed because I'm rooting for the Mavericks, but as far as my interest in the NBA goes, it will only increase because then in the coming year all I will be thinking about is how other teams can beat the Heat in every game they play. From a marketing standpoint, that's kind of awesome. To put it another way, in pro wrestling, there is a reason why the bad guy wins so often.

Game Four Preview | HoopsWorld

They break down the individual match-ups for tonight's game. I think they're hitting on something with Mike Bibby, and I think the Mavericks are missing a huge opportunity by not attacking him harder on defense.

NBA Finals: Comparing Heat to Thunder | NewsOK

Tramel compares the Heat's defensive effort against the Mavs to the Thunder's. While almost across the board they've had better success, I don't think it is substantial. On top of that, special kudos to Shawn Marion, who has had a remarkable run in these playoffs.

Dirk Can't Beat Big Three By Himself | NY Post

Obviousness aside, the thing is, the Dallas defense has been so good that it doesn't even take that much. In Game Two, Marion's additional offense was enough. But in Games One and Three, there was practically no help at all and the Mavs lost by two.

More links after the jump.

Nowitzki Calls Out Teammate | ESPN

Jason Terry has not performed well enough for the Mavs to win. We know that. He knows that. Dirk certainly knows that. And yet somehow this is a controversy. 

Terry Never Stops Talking |

Jason Terry dwells in a rarefied air that few can approach, and yet somehow it makes him a little bit better than he would be otherwise.

LeBron Receiving Criticism When He Should Be Receiving Praise | CBS Sports

The lens through which the media views LeBron James continues to evolve. I can only imagine how bemused he must be, although I tip my cap to him for pushing back against the antics of one Mr. Doyel

About the Free Throw Disparity | ESPN

Count me among the many that think that no set of statistical analysis will matter one bit as to how Mavs or Heat fans will view the refs. Even so, the missed Mario Chalmers call was pretty glaring. 

Barea is Feeling the Heat |

Jose Barea has been one of the primary scapegoats so far this series. We saw him thrive against the Thunder, and all of those pockets and open shots he had in abundance in that series have shriveled up. It is a different game when the defense is willing to push back, and Barea needs to figure out how to have a net positive effect.

The Heat's Place in the Community | Ball Don't Lie

Dwyer writes that, despite all the commentary that can be levied against the Heat, all he really wants is more games. I agree.

Seven Minutes of WOW | ESPN

This is a great look at the lives of the men and women (and dogs) that perform during NBA's halftimes. It kind of reminds me of the tellings of pro wrestlers, who describe their lives as ones being constantly on the road, often tired, frequently in pain, and yet when the lights go on, if they're not on their A-game everybody in the crowd lets them know it. 

Is the Thunder's Building Design More Honorable Than the Heat's? | Daily Thunder

Young writes about how much perception matters to us, the fans, and how fickle we can be when all is said and done. Winning is winning. If you win, then everything else can be rationalized.

Cole Aldrich Entertains Campers | KU Sports

Cole Aldrich has begun his off-season by spending some time at Bill Self's summer basketball camp.  He is also apparently paid in cheeseburgers.

Decision on Whether to Turn Pro Harder Than Ever | NewsOK

Rohde writes that with the looming lockout, college underclassmen are facing a difficult decision. If they turn pro and a lockout kills part of the season, they will be watching their former teammates playing before they themselves ever see a pro court.