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OKC Loud Links: Game 4 Tonight

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If these 2012 NBA Finals are considered a referendum on LeBron James, then surely tonight's Game 4 is a referendum on whether the Thunder will be able to survive. Win tonight, everything changes. Lose tonight, and Miami is playing for the title on Thursday.

Practice Report: Rebounding | Daily Thunder

Kevin Durant remains defiant, and that is probably the best hope we have for a Thunder win tonight.

Why The Thunder Aren't Ready | BBall Breakdown

The post title aside (since he basically said the same thing about OKC vs the Spurs), Coach Nick does a good job once again tries to figure out how the Thunder are shooting themselves in the foot. I can't disagree with that sentiment, but my hope now rests on OKC's ability to figure things out on the fly.

Poise on the Floor | Hardwood Paroxysm

Here is a fun round table discussion on some of the many wonderful talking points that have emanated from these Finals. I'm pretty sure that their brains have a meltdown by the end.

Heat Defense Up to the Task in Game 3 | Sports Illustrated

The Heat are once again playing remarkable defense, and the Thunder point totals have gone from 105 to 96 to 85. So either OKC is going to figure out a better way to get the ball in the hands of its scorers, or else the Thunder are going to be scoring 76 points tonight.

Fathers Day Resonates With Scott Brooks | Fox

This is a great story about Bill Stricker, who came to be the father-figure in Scott Brooks' life that became a major influence in how Brooks earned his right to play in the NBA. Whatever you think of Brooks the coach, this article lets you know that Brooks the man is a good guy and has modeled his life after another good guy.

For LeBron, Greed is Good | WSJ

LeBron James' shot attempts have been up in this series. That's probably a good thing, because it seems like nobody else on his team can consistently make a basket.

Thunder Caring Too Much? | ESPN

Abbott argues that the Thunder's free throw struggles may be because in the isolated moments of the game, the pressure really is effecting them. You can outwork a defender for an offensive rebound, but you cannot overexert yourself when you're facing 2 free throws with the game on the line.

Brooks, Westbrook Working Out the Kinks | Sports Illustrated

Hey, here's an idea. Instead of wondering when Russell Westbrook is going to figure out how to "pass first," how about a little speculation and analysis on how Brooks can put Westbrook in a better position to unleash his talents and score more easily?

OKC Needs a 'Great' Westbrook in Game 4 | CBS Sports

Leave it to Shane Battier to really peg the idea that is Russell Westbrook. Of course, given that he is riding the LeBron James roller coaster, he probably has a better idea than most what it's like for a star player to receive such scrutiny.

What Does a Draft Pick Get You? | 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The smartest guys in the room do a great job here updating their analysis of draft pick value, as the Pacers get ready to figure out what to do on draft night.

Tyson Chandler Loves Wearing Capes | The Basketball Jones

At last we have a perfect answer for Russell Westbrook's post-game shirt selection.

Shane Battier Wears Purple Pants | The Basketball Jones

Ok, or maybe this is the answer.

NBA Committee to Discuss Post-Game Flopping Analysis | Ball Don't Lie

I like this idea in theory, but the problem is that once the officials are out of the singular moment of the game, what should be subjective suddenly receives ex poste objective analysis. I think this strategy will have some bumpy roads ahead if they go forward with it.

Durant Playing With Heavy Heart | Washington Post

Durant's uncle has been diagnosed with a deteriorating illness and his time on earth may be short.