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.
Thunder Kick the Heat | Daily Thunder
"Woops, sorry about the heel print on your face, D-Wade." - Yung Hawg
Durant & Thunder Send a Heat Warning Shot | CBS Sports
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.
Derek Fisher Deal Worth Pro-Rated $1.9 Million | ESPN
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.
Perkins Gets the Death Stare from Wade | Ball Don't Lie
Dwyane Wade, passive predator. Perhaps both men were thinking about this play from last season.
Three Short Essays About Trayvon, LeBron, Hoodies, & Hope | The Classical
The Classical takes on the social, political, and sports dimensions regarding the Trayvon Martin murder.
On LeBron's Trayvon Martin Tweet | HoopSpeak
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 Speaks Out on the Trayvon Martin Case | Ball Don't Lie
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.
LeBron Steps Up to Pay Respects to Servicemen | NewsOK
What I like most about this story is that LeBron led his team in something that was entirely non-basketball-related.
What's Up With the Clippers? | Wages of Wins
The Clippers are going through a mid-season swoon of their own, just like the Thunder have post-All Star break. Is the Chris Paul experiment working?
Even his own box score agrees.