Game 4 of the NBA Finals did not end the way that we had hoped. The Thunder had their chances once again, and just like in Games 2 and 3 the Heat were able to win all the critical battles while the Thunder came up just short. We are left with even more 'what-if's.'
28 points on 9-19 shooting, 2 REB, 3 AST, 2 ST, 3 TO
43 points on 20-32 shooting, 7 REB, 5 AST, 1 ST, 3 TO
||Russell Westbrook played like an absolute champion tonight. I don't care about his careless turnovers. If he wasn't in the game, we wouldn't have even been competitive. Having this guy play every single game over the last few years has been an absolute swoon for this team. The only thing I'd blame him for is some lackluster defense on Wade, which allowed Wade to get to the post more than in previous games this series.|
||I really wish there was a grade that was halfway between an A+ and an A, because that's where I think Westbrook's Game 4 resided. We can't give him the highest grade possible because he did commit two very careless turnovers in the 4th quarter and his lapse in judgment following a jump ball all but ended the Thunder's chances to tie the game. That said, I feel like an 'A' does not give Westbrook's game justice because for the most part he WAS the Thunder's entire offense. Westbrook's 17 points in the 4th quarter alone rallied the Thunder to a tie game when everything else seemed to be slipping away. For a long stretch, he was the only player who seemed to have the requisite hunger to win a game that his team had to have. As we predicted/hoped, Westbrook finally had his coming-out game, and unfortunately it seems like the only way Westbrook can have a game that should win people to his cause would inevitably end with such a mental mistake.|
8 points on 2-10 shooting, 10 REB, 2 AST, 1 ST, 4 TO
More grades after the jump.
4 points on 2-4 shooting, 7 REB, 2 AST, 1 ST, 1 BL, 1 TO
0 points on 0-1 shooting, 1 ST
4 points on 2-5 shooting, 3 REB
||This guy has the size to take care of Battier or Haslem in the post. But every time he gets the ball on the block, he makes no headway whatsoever. He's still playing like he has that weight he lost over the last off-season, but his body needs to adjust to a more Ibaka or Collison-like offensive game. And his rebounding is still lackluster. But he didn't really kill us in any way.|
||Kendrick Perkins was miffed after watching his team lose its early lead, and for brief spurs Perkins still gets his work done on the court. However, for every minute Perkins is out there, it means Collison, the only consistent big man producer, is not. Perk still has the fight in him though, and he will make sure his team does not go quietly into the good night.|
5 points on 2-7 shooting, 2 REB
6 points on 3-4 shooting, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 BL