Perhaps we were expecting too much from the young Oklahoma City Thunder in only their second playoff appearance or perhaps they just ran into the wrong player at the wrong time.
We knew how good Dirk Nowitzki was before these playoffs started. We didn’t know he was about to rip off a playoff run of legendary proportions, that is going to change how he is viewed historically. If Dirk finishes what he started, you can expect plenty of people to start rearranging their all time top 20, 15, and maybe even 10 player list…that is how much of a monster Dirk has been in these playoffs.
It almost feels like destiny that the Mavericks will get another shot at the Miami Heat (sorry, Chicago is done) to right the wrongs from 2006, when the NBA Finals MVP should have been the referees, not Dwayne Wade. Let’s hope this year’s Finals aren’t decided by the whistle…
As for the Thunder, the young pups clearly weren’t ready for the big stage yet, particularly Russell Westbrook who was the x-factor coming into this series and simply didn’t come through. Oklahoma City won a single game this series and in that game Westbrook didn’t see the floor in the fourth quarter. He spent way too much time missing shots and way too little time running the offense, while making sure Kevin Durant and James Harden were getting enough touches.
Last night was a perfect example, 28 shots is too many, especially when they are coupled with only 5 assists and 3 turnovers. Westbrook is an immense talent and hopefully this year’s playoffs will serve as a valuable lesson to him because with a nucleus of himself, Durant, and Harden this team should be right back to contending for a title next year.