How Derrick Rose’s injury ultimately impacted the NBA playoffs

Derrick Rose torn ACL

Now that Miami has clinched the NBA Finals with a decisive Game 5 victory, we can most accurately assess what impact Derrick Rose’s knee injury may have had in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.  Think back nearly two months ago, when Chicago (50-16) was the NBA’s top seed—holding the tiebreaker over San Antonio thanks to a head-to-head victory—with its star point guard seemingly back at full strength.  With minutes remaining in Game 1 against Philadelphia, Rose landed awkwardly and tore his ACL, ending his season and the Bulls’ chances at a title.

But would his presence have changed anything?  Would a healthy Rose have helped Chicago topple Boston and then Miami in the East?  Could the Bulls have handled the Thunder and actually taken home the title for themselves? [Read more…]

NBA Finals: Lack of execution late leaves Thunder in 3-1 hole vs. Heat

With the game once again knotted up late in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City choked.

Despite the league’s best player—the only guy who has shown the ability to slow down Kevin Durant, by the way—checking in and out of play with a leg cramp, the Thunder failed to execute on both ends of the floor, falling into a 3-1 hole in the NBA Finals with a third consecutive loss.

But unlike Games 2 and 3, where suspect refereeing helped the Heat slip away with two victories, OKC has only itself to blame for coughing up a crucial Game 4.

[Read more…]

Thunder pass Final test, erase 18-point deficit to oust Spurs

Could there have been a more perfect way for the darling Oklahoma City Thunder—an energetic bunch of youngsters who for years were described as “waiting their turn”—to make their first trip to the NBA Finals?

Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder have simply climbed the Western Conference ladder step by step.  After missing the playoffs in 2009, they lost to the eventual champion Lakers in Round 1 in 2010 before falling to eventual champion Dallas in the Western Conference Finals in 2011.  In 2012, they dominated the NBA’s last two champs in the Mavericks and Lakers, and have now dealt the league’s top-seeded Spurs, once winners of 20 straight, four consecutive losses en route to the NBA Finals. [Read more…]

NBA Playoffs: Kevin Durant is a “closer”

Kevin Durant

I have said this many times and will continue to say it until people realize it: Kevin Durant is the best BASKETBALL player on this planet. Not only is he 6’10, long, and lanky, but he can score, rebound, take over and close games. There is a big difference between him and 3-time MVP LeBron James: Durant lives in the gym. There is no denying James’ talent, but I am taking a gym-rat over a gifted-athlete ten times out of ten.

[Read more…]

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Dynamic Duo

oklahoma city thunder

Before the series, the question was whether the Denver Nuggets’ balance or the Oklahoma City Thunder’s star power would prevail.

Score one for the stars.

Durant scored a career-high 41 points, Russell Westbrook added 31, and the Oklahoma City Thunder had just enough to topple the stubborn Denver Nuggets 107-103 Sunday night at the Oklahoma City Arena. Durant scored 25 on 9-for-13 shooting in the second half, and at one point scored or assisted on 22 of 25 Thunder points.

“It feels good,” Durant said. “Last year in the playoffs, I didn’t shoot the way I wanted to, but this is a new season.”
[Read more…]

Thunder 118, Timberwolves 117; A Microcosm of the T’Wolves Season

Brett Cloutier-


Kevin Love and Michael Beasley carry the Timberwolves.

An opposing player has a career game against the Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves lose a game in which they have endless chances to win.

Luke Ridnour takes an idiotic shot during crunch time.

Sound familiar?

Those four headlines have been seen on a nightly basis for the 2010-11 Minnesota Timberwolves. Like clockwork Wednesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was no different. [Read more…]