We have reached the end of the line. There would be no more close calls, arguable referee fouls, or missed free throws. The Heat exploded past the Thunder in Game 5 and concluded the series with the most dominant close-out game since the 2008 Finals.
32 points on 13-24 shooting, 11 REB, 3 AST, 2 ST, 1 BL, 7 TO
19 points on 4-20 shooting, 4 REB, 6 AST, 2 ST, 2 TO
19 points on 5-11 shooting, 4 REB, 5 AST, 2 ST, 3 TO
More grades after the jump.
9 points on 3-9 shooting, 4 REB, 2 BL, 0 TO
11 points on 4-7 shooting, 4 REB, 3 AST, 0 TO
2 points on 1-4 shooting, 4 REB, 1 ST, 1 TO
|Kendrick Perkins concluded his 3rd Finals appearance with a whimper, where the Heat offense repeatedly pummeled the OKC interior. Perkins struggled mightily against the quicker Chris Bosh, who took Perkins off the dribble and straight to the rack on several occasions. Nobody was stopping the Heat offense on this night, but a little more defensive focus couldn't have hurt.|
0 points in only 9 minutes
|Thabo Sefolosha finished his Finals experience by logging only 9 minutes in a game where the key facet of the Heat's win was their perimeter game. I don't suppose a long and agile perimeter defender could have helped out in that regard? Nah, better to keep Fisher in there.|
2 points on 1-3 shooting, 4 REB, 1 AST
Royal Ivey, Lazar Hayward, Cole Aldrich, and Daequan Cook finished out the game when Brooks finally pulled his starters off the floor. As Royal Ivey alluded to in an exclusive interview with WTLC, they just wanted to finish the game with dignity by playing hard, and that's what they did. In fact the greatest disservice toward the Heat that the end-of-bench subs could have done is to NOT take the final moments seriously. Fortunately, everyone played hard to the end.
Scott Brooks had his team in the proper mindset early on, and that is something worth recognizing. Even though they were being out-shot on the floor the entire half, his team managed to maintain its intensity and always kept the game within arm's length. However, once the 3rd quarter massacre got underway, it was clear that Brooks had no plan in place for how to deal with a huge deficit. Rational thought might say that the best way to catch up is by getting to the free throw line a bunch of times, since the shots are unguarded and the clock is stopped. And yet, after the Heat run, the Thunder only attempted 4 free throws the rest of the game. There was no plan in place, and every Thunder player acted as such.
All that said, Brooks is still a coach that had his players end the moment with dignity, and for that he deserves praise.