I had yesterday’s entire diary done up half an hour after the game, high on adrenalin after watching one of the best playoff basketball games I’d ever seen. Then we had a power outage at my place so I wasn’t able to put it up until I got to uni this morning
Needless to say, I was mad that I couldn’t get the post up – but that does not diminish the sheer brilliance of Game 4 of the OKC-Memphis series. I had a hunch that this series was gonna be a beauty and it has not disappointed so far. I think OKC will win it in seven – Memphis needed Game 4 more – but the Grizz have still been pretty amazing. The fact that their series gained far more attention today than a LeBron James special says a lot.
3 Points – LeBron James
As I mentioned earlier, today we got a LeBron special. 35 points and 14 rebounds tell part of the story, but it doesn’t show just how dominant he was this game.
I know I quote Bill Simmons a lot, but in his 2011 Trade Value column he was completely right on LeBron when he called him underrated. It’s easy to forget after the whole Decision saga and last year’s playoff flameout that he may just be the most naturally brilliant basketball player to ever play the game. When he’s in the frame of mind to do so, he can take over a game like no other player. Yesterday he was.
2 Points – Russell Westbrook. On stats alone, Westbrook deserves the 3 points – a 40 point game in the playoffs is pretty damn impressive – but, as we’ve learnt in recent times, Russell Westbrook getting his doesn’t often bode well for the Thunder.
Robd has already written on the subject, as have plenty of other writers far more qualified and less stoned than I am, so I won’t rehash their points. But if the Thunder plan to win any time soon with this nucleus, Kevin Durant and Scotty Brooks have got to put Westbrook in his place. There is no reason why he should be taking game-winners instead of Durant or going 15/33 from the field.
That said, his overall performance was too good to ignore.
1 Point – James Harden 49 minutes off the bench?!? I know it was a triple OT game, but dude…Anyway, Harden acquitted himself pretty well in those 49 minutes, with 19 points that included – most impressively of all – going 10/10 from the FT line. I had to give him the last point after that. I always show props to dudes who had a mad night making FTs, given how horrible I’ve always been with them.