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OKC Loud Links: Game 2 Tonight

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Game 2 commences this evening, and pressure mounts on the Thunder to maintain their home court advantage. Game 1 was close, despite what the final score indicated, and a few ideal or errant adjustments from either side could have easily tipped the scales in the other direction.

Practice Report: Moving On | Daily Thunder

Here is some great stuff regarding player interviews in between games. LeBron & Westbrook get into it over who started the dorky glasses trend, and Durant explains how he views his role in the offense. The thing that rankled me the most though was Dwyane Wade's commentary. I did love though how Derek Fisher had a perfect answer for Chris Bosh's contention that OKC's crowd is 'average.'

LeBron Playing Great, Looks Miserable | NewsOK

The crown is heavy, especially when it is hand-crafted.

Thunder Family Values | Grantland

Simmons takes a closer look at what makes the Thunder organization so unique in the NBA. People (us included) have written ad nauseum about the 'Thunder model' and whether it can be replicated, but how about this as some food for thought. What if the Thunder model goes way beyond the basketball court, but encompasses the OKC demographic as well?

Thunder Offense Rolls | Sports Illustrated

Lowe has been writing on this topic for the entire playoffs - the Thunder offense is not only performing at historic levels, but actually jumps higher and higher as the game goes along. What I have found in watching them though is that their offense is a direct byproduct of their defensive intensity. The more they concentrate on their defense, the better their offense becomes.

Why Did Heat Abandon Their Traps? | Grantland

Pruiti analyzes the Heat defense from Game 1 and argues that the thing that was working well in the 1st half- Miami's high trapping staple, disappeared in the 2nd half. To be sure, OKC knows how to exploit that aggressive trap, but the secret does take the ball out of Durant & Westbrook's hands. OKC's bigs need to be ready to step up when the opportunities come.

Wade & Spoelstra on the Heat Hot Seat? | BBall Breakdown

Coach Nick takes a look at the Heat struggles from game 1. He raises the question as to why Chris Bosh isn't being used more out of the post instead of the perimeter. While I haven't been watching a ton of Heat games this season, I believe that this shift was by design - the Heat turned their offense inside out by posting LeBron and using Bosh on the perimeter. Can they revert it mid-stream?

Heat Need More Aggression in Game 2 | Peninsula is Mightier

Dwork argues that the Heat made a mistake of using LeBron James in too many switch situations on defense. Instead, his job should be to guard Durant at all times. I am inclined to agree, which puts even more pressure on Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

Durant's Free Throw Dance | HoopSpeak

We've had the opportunity to watch the shimmy-shake hundreds of times each season, but what does it all mean?

Bad Sports Rhetoric Vol. 1 | SB Nation

Spencer Hall writes a great piece that looks at how the "narrative" often unfolds in the media. I swear, this post is like an inner-road map to Skip Bayless' psyche.

Scotty Brooks Rolls Like Jay-Z | SB Nation

Actually, it's kind of the opposite. Although I have to say Brooks' choice of automobiles is a little less surprising than the revelation that then-Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy used to drive around in a 5 year old Honda Civic.

David Stern to Jim Rome: "Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife Yet?" | SB Nation

Jim Rome tried to get cute with David Stern over the NBA's draft lottery. It is also cute when people think they have some leverage over Stern that they try to exert.

Quantifying a Dream | Basketball Prospectus

What happens when you apply advanced metrics to the 1992 original Dream Team? You can probably guess.

5 Reasons to Hate OKC | Miami New Times

Kind of pathetic, honestly. But hey, what are you gonna do?

Days of Our NBA Lives | Ball Don't Lie

Where Nazr Mohammed pokes fun at the NCAA, always a good target for ridicule.