NBA Finals Game Five – Miami vs Oklahoma
Oklahoma are playing for the playoff lives. Down 3-1 and facing elimination if they lose tonight.
I would like to see James Harden start tonight. He has struggled with his shot throughout most of the series and I think inserting him into the starting unit might give him a jolt of life. They need Harden playing at high level to have any chance of coming back in this series.
I was disappointed by how much Scotty Brooks tried to hide Kevin Durant defensively in game four. I thought that caused his team a lot of problems matchup wise on the defensive end. They need Durant to be, at the very minimum, the secondary defender on LeBron James. They cannot afford to put James Harden on LeBron James for extended periods. Too big, too strong for Harden to defend.
I was also disappointed by how shot-orientated Durant was on the night. He needs to do a lot more work in terms of defense/rebounding. He can’t always be looking to only one end of the floor to impact the game. He needs to get stuck in and find other ways to help his team win games. Especially when his team goes small with Durant at the PF position. His rebounding has been unacceptable.
Oklahoma have been out-rebounded in the past three games. That has been a massive blow for them. Need to turn that around tonight. I’d love to see Durant lead the way with a big rebounding night. If he does that, leads (with effort plays), the rest of the team will follow.
- LeBron kicks off the game with a thunderous slam off a Thunder turnover.
- Terrific weakside shot-block by Ibaka on Bosh’s layup attempt following the pump fake and drive to get himself to the rim. Oh, a second block a few possessions later as he swats Mario Chalmers’ layup from behind off the dribble penetration. Ibaka very active early. Caused a loose ball foul on Miami going for an offensive rebound. Then pulled down an offensive board on the next possession but missed the follow. Trying to lead. Show the way with effort plays.
- Wade splits the PnR with Perk on him, slices his way into the paint, finds Battier in the left wing on the kickout, three pointer on the way, no good.
- Lovely pass by Westbrook on the dribble penetration to Serge Ibaka for the two handed slam. The game is tied 4-4 after three and a half minutes.
- Durant with his second difficult shot-attempt. Both catches happening 20-22 feet from the basket and turning into an isolation and contested jump shot. He has made 1 of 2 in those sequences.
- Chalmers off the dribble penetration, wiggles down the baseline and kicks it up to the top of the key where Battier is and Battier drains the three. Turnover Oklahoma (Battier steal on Westbrook’s drive and kick), Miami fastbreak, Chalmers to Wade, layup.
- Nice drive and kick by Westbrook late in the shot-clock to Durant open on the right wing, miss, Perk and Ibaka both have inside position, get the rebound, nope, fumble, off Miami. They’ll keep possession.
- Wade just picked up his 2nd foul five minutes into the game. Westbrook makes two FTs. Miami leads 11-10 with 6:40 to play in the first quarter. Wade will stay in the game. Expect to see him switch onto Thabo now to avoid picking up a third.
- Lovely baseline cut by LeBron from the weakside, posted up deep in the paint, Thabo lost track of him and couldn’t contest it, Chalmers finds LeBron, layup plus the foul. Easy bucket.
- Harden with the drive, beats Wade, gets inside, forces the help, finds Perk hugging the baseline, layup, nope, blocked. I like Harden coming in here for Thabo. Forces Wade to defend a scoring threat.
- Miami come back running the other way, early pick by Bosh, blows by the help, no team defense / interior defense set, LeBron goes straight to the rim, scores. Timeout.
- Perkins has gotten abused on a couple of occasions already. Bosh has blown by him two times + weak pick and roll defense. Oklahoma need to take him out and bring in some more quickness. Stay big with Collison or go smaller with one of Thabo/Cook/Fisher.
- Durant posts up in the high post left wing, spin move baseline, one dribble, dunk. Nice move. Next possession, same setup, this time Durant takes a fadeaway from 20 feet falling into the corner, misses.
- Wade gets Ibaka in the switch, dances with the ball, takes a pull up fallaway jumper on the baseline, hits it. Well contested.
- Westbrook feeds it inside to Perkins off the dribble drive. Perk had ducked in and gotten good position inside, deep position, makes the catch, fumbles it, then hits the jump hook. On the other end, Bosh blows him off the left elbow, layup.
- Ibaka with another offensive rebound. Misses the putback but secures the foul. Ibaka has given his team great effort tonight possession-creation wise.
- Miami lead 20-15 with four minute sto play in the first
- Ah, this is ridiculous, Bosh baseline, shot fake, Perk bites (for the third time), Bosh blows by him going baseline, dunk. Timeout Oklahoma. Collison comes in … for Ibaka. Perk stays out there. I really dislike how Perk has started this game.
- James Harden knifes down the lane and hits a driving layup
- Mike Miller responds with a three pointer out of the right corner. Nice quick passing by Miami to swing the ball from left to right.
- Oh, Nick Collison loses his man going baseline, beats him to the offensive rebound and taps it up an in. Oklahoma getting great effort on the boards from Ibaka + Collison. Very active.
- An unnecessary switch between Westbrook and Fisher lets Mike Miller wiggle free and he knocks down another three pointer. Miami lead 28-19.
- Durant catches it on the right wing, quick move, drives middle, draws the foul on the running jumper. Hits the jumper. Makes the FT. Six point game.
- Oklahoma – Collison, Durant, Harden, Fisher, Westbrook
- Miami – Haslem, LeBron, Battier, Miller, Cole
- James Harden bulls over Norris Cole and gets called for an offensive foul. Nails a three pointer on the other end, Norris Cole that is. 9 point lead again. Two big plays by Norris Cole.
- Norris Cole and Mike Miller giving them a lift off the bench.
- Wow, amazing how much Miami are shrinking the floor on James Harden’s dribble. Denying him dribble lanes. Eventually, Harden swings the ball to the right corner, Durant attacks immediately, goes to the rim, beats his man easily who was far off him worrying about Harden’s dribble drive, gets to the rim, slam dunk.
- Westbrook makes a three point play to begin the quarter. A weakside cut. Collison with the pass out of the left corner. Layup plus the foul. Miami leads 31-29.
- Haslem misses a short hook on one end but draws a charge on Durant on the other end.
- Wade trapped in the corner, gets rid of it to Haslem on the baseline, Miller moves to strong side to give a passing angle and some shooting space, Haslem finds him, left open, Miller drains it! Third triple for Miller.
- Fisher responds on the other end. Three pointer. Westbrook made a dribble move towards the paint, Wade helped down, Westbrook passed it out to Fisher, Fisher nailed it.
Miami have looked the much better side so far. Not liking Oklahoma’s chances here. They are hanging in there though.
- Cole driving to the basket, takes a wild out of control shot, misses, Wade explodes down the middle of the paint and puts it back home on the offensive rebound. Miami lead 36-32.
- Durant pulls down his 4th rebound, pushes it up, moves it to Fisher left wing, Collison pick, one dribble behind it, shoots, hits it.
- Mike Miller with the pump fake (defender bites), one dribble left and pulls up from 20 feet right wing, misses.
- Durant posts up right box, Miami’s defenders showing on the help but fully going in on it, Durant continues to back down, turns middle, fallaway, LeBron gets a touch on it, misses the shot.
- Miami’s defense has been very very good here.
- Miami lead 39-34 at the 8 minute mark
- Why did Collison double there? Durant was on LeBron, LeBron posting up 22 feet from the basket, Collison doubles on the catch, leaves the paint wide open for Bosh to cut down from the FT line, easy pass, Bosh catches it and scores easily. Bad double team. Timeout (guessing Brooks felt the same way).
- Durant takes a baseline jumper from 21 feet, rolls in and out. Unlucky.
- Harden back on James, LeBron dribbling towards him, moves into a back-to-the-basket move, but quickly spins out of it and loses Harden in the confusion, layup. Too easy.
- I hate Harden defending LeBron
- Bah, confusion there, nobody picked up Chalmers, he literally dribbled the ball up-court and nobody was even 10 feet within him by the time he got to the three point line so he just walked into a three and knocked it down.
- Miami lead 46-36 as we near the midway point in the second
- Nice drive and dump by Harden to Perk, again, Perk blocked again. Two layups Perk has blown that Harden has created for him. Bosh blocked Perk there. Miami come up the other end, LeBron drive, to Wade, kicked out to Battier, three pointer? Nope, offensive rebound LeBron, to Bosh, short jumper from 10 feet in the paint, good! Crowd goes wild!
- Timeout Thunder. Down 12.
- Why was Ibaka sitting so long? He came out around the 5 minute mark in the first and didn’t come in until a few moments ago (6:40 mark). He will have been sitting on the bench for almost half this game assuming he finishes out the half. That is unacceptable. Ibaka needs 35+ minutes a night in this series. Not 25-28mpg.
- Miami on a 14-4 run over the last 4 minutes
The Heat’s defense has done an excellent job tonight. Forcing Oklahoma into a lot of tough contested shots. Helping well off of OKC’s isolation and PnR plays. Making it difficult for OKC’s stars to score in one-on-one situations.
The Thunder need more ball movement and quicker attacks. It’s sticking to it’s stars fingers too long and allowing Miami’s defense to setup against them. Too much dribbling.
- Westbrook dribbles it off the foot of Bosh, ball flies to halfcourt, it’s a scrum, four five players dive on it and Wade is whistled for the loose ball foul. His third foul. He’ll sit. Next possession, Westbrook drives and bulls over the help defender, Battier takes the charge, turnover.
- LeBron drive and kick to Mike Miller in the left corner who knocks down a three pointer. The Heat’s offense grinded to a halt there but LeBron, who was over-dribbling, created something out of nothing as the shot clock ticked down.
- Harden doubled on the pick and roll, he swings it to Durant on the weakside where OKC have numbers, Durant drives instead of passes, runs into trouble, turnover, Miami running the other way, Chalmers ahead to LeBron, layup. 19-4 run Miami. A 51-36 lead, 15 point game.
- Westbrook fumbles the ball before passing, offense breaks down, Harden gets it late in the shot clock, one-on-one with Miller, drives, beats him, draws the foul. Harden makes both.
- Mike Miller tells Spoelstra to send Cole back to the bench. He wants to stay on the floor. Coach complies.
- Turnover Miami, fastbreak, Harden to the basket, fouled by Miller (4th foul). Good job by Harden.
- LeBron responds with a pair of FTs. Three minutes to play in the first half.
- Westbrook fouled on a jumper which rolls in and out. Third or fourth time they have had a shot pop in and out on the rim. Westbrook makes both. The score is 55-42 Miami.
- Battier off the dribble with a layup. His second basket.
- Westbrook trying to create against Bosh in a switch, gets nowhere, passes it back out, Durant a step behind the arc, takes and makes the three pointer. 12 point game. Two minutes.
- Perk called for a moving screen. Turnover. And timeout.
- Bosh with the quick drive on Ibaka, goes baseline, bumped, foul. Bosh looking dangerous offensively tonight.
- LeBron and Bosh PnR, gets the switch with Ibaka, tries to drive on him, misses the runner, rebound OKC, Durant pushes it, finds Ibaka, layup. 10 point game.
- They get the switch again, LeBron drives again, pump fake, pivot, fallaway jumper, hits it. On the other end, Durant right wing, drives baseline, pull up from 11 feet, goes glass, hits it.
- 45 seconds – another switch, LeBron gives it up, gets it back, fakes the three, Ibaka bites, LeBron drives, kicks it to Battier in the left corner, misses the triple. Rebound Oklahoma. They keep it for the final shot, dribble down to 4 seconds before starting their offense (dumb), Westbrook loses it, Ibaka gets it, puts up a jumper above the right elbow, misses.
Good job to cut the lead to 10 late in the first half n 15 points. Hanging in there.
That said, Oklahoma have a lot to improve in the second half to have any chance of winning this ball-game. Their offense is stagnant. Too much one-on-one against a terrific Heat defense. Taking a lot of low to medium percentage shots. On the other end, they are giving Miami too much penetration. Getting beat too easily. Conceding too many high percentage shots.
I’d love to see Oklahoma leave Perk on the bench to start the second half. He is playing awfully. They need more quickness and energy. Go small with Ibaka at center with Harden replacing Perk.
- Miami lead 59-49
- Durant gets Bosh on a switch running off a screen on the right wing, catches it up top, gets a clearout, faces up, jab step, takes the three, knocks it down. 7 point game.
- LeBron nice drive and kick to Chalmers for the wide-open three on the left wing, misses, rebound tapped out, Durant has it, dribbles upcourt, slows down and waits for Ibaka to fill the lane, bounce pass, fouled. FTs, Ibaka makes two. Five point game.
- Oklahoma trap in the backcourt, Miami pass it ahead, leave Bosh open on the baseline, slam dunk.
- Westbrook misses a three pointer badly but they get a lucky bounce as it falls in Ibaka’s hands, two handed slam dunk.
- Lob pass by Wade to LeBron, off target, LeBron gets it but needs to go back up, blocked by Durant from behind. Turnover. Another turnover, Miami come back, LeBron to Chalmers, three point shot, good. Eight point lead.
- Oh, terrific effort by Wade to run down and block Thabo Sefolosha’s corner three. On the other end, LeBron drive and kick, Battier right corner three, hits it! Timeout Oklahoma.
Does anyone else feel this is kind of anti-climatic for a title clinching game? It doesn’t feel like it has that importance. That intensity and emotion. Maybe it’s just ESPN.
I think back to the beginning of the series when I had high hopes for this matchup. I thought it was going to be a tough 6-7 game series (with Oklahoma winning). Now Game Five, down double digits, Miami playing very well and Oklahoma struggling, looking good for a game five clincher. It’s been disappointing.
Well, at least there is a good chance these two teams meet again in the Finals in the future. Hopefully, we’ll get that wonderful competitive long series in the future.
- Westbrook with a tough contested lefty layup off the drive. Good contest by Bosh and Wade.
- Still plenty of time left for Oklahoma to turn this around. It’ll be an uphill battle though.
- Chalmers answers back on the other end.
- LeBron pulls down his 7th rebound. He also has 7 dimes and 15 points. He has been the best player on the court again tonight.
- Turnover, a dribble drive by LeBron, pass to a cutting Wade, too hard, fumble, fastbreak, lob pass, dunk. Next possession, Miami miss again, Oklahoma push it hard again, nothing on on the initial probing, they move it back up top, Durant takes the catch, dribbles in, pull up jumper, hits it. Timeout Miami.
- Miami lead 69-62 with 7:20 left in the third
- A little pushing from Chalmers and Durant after the timeout.
- Nice ball movement from Miami. Everyone touching the ball. Moving it crisply. Battier gets a three pointer from the right corner late in the shot clock. 10 point lead again.
- Westbrook gets to the foul line again. Battier went for another charge. Late. Makes one of two.
- LeBron posts up, doubled, Bosh cuts down the lane from the top of the key, pass, layup plus the foul. Nice play Bosh and pass from LeBron.
- Perk just got whistled for his fifth foul. He’ll sit. Good news for OKC; bad news for Miami.
- Ibaka faces up and takes a 14 footer over Bosh, misses.
- Miami lead 75-63 with 5:30 to play
- Oklahoma showing hard on the PnR, Bosh steps back, Wade threads the needle, Bosh cuts, one dribble, Harden fouls. Bosh makes two FTs. 14 point game. 17 points for Bosh.
- Another tough drive by Westbrook but he doesn’t get the friendly bounce. He’s had a couple of terrific strong drives here in the third. Very aggressive, playing through contact.
- Turnover, Miami fastbreak, Fisher fouls to stop the layup. Looking for a flagrant … and they get it. Wow, bad call. A 10-1 run after the FTs over the last two minutes. Still Miami ball. Wade fouled at the rim as he goes up for the lob pass. Misses the first, makes the second. Fisher again with the foul. Good foul to deny the dunk.
- 80-63 Miami
- Miami’s pick and roll defense has been terrific. Great job there defending Harden in two PnRs. Very little movement for OKC though.
- Wade dribbling himself into trouble and into the corner, jumps up and throws it back up top, LeBron just beginning to cut from the top of the key, knifes down the paint, layup. Timeout OKC.
- 82-63 Miami
Oklahoma are not coming back from this. Miami are playing too well.
I am going to end the game log here. I’ll bring it back if Oklahoma make a run and look like they can make a game of this. Otherwise, this is it.
Feels a lot like Boston’s game six victory over LA in 2008.
Congratulations to the Miami Heat. The 2012 NBA Champions.