Ballin: Both the Thunder and the Heat had their big threes show up, with Oklahoma City’s scoring 80 and Miami’s pouring in 73 points. However, the Heat won because they were the team that had a big game from one of their reserves, as Shane Battier continued his wilderness exploration with another 17 point outing, including 5-of-7 threes. When the stars play to a stalemate, it’s the team that gets the extra contribution that wins.

Not so much: On the other hand, the non-Durant/Westbrook/Harden Thunder went for 16 points on 5-20 shooting. Not good enough.

Swallowed, sorrowed: This is a real tough no-call on the biggest possession of the game.

Looks like a couple of fouls to me, one on the shoulder and one on the leg. But I can see how a no-call happens, given the fouls occurred on the middlemost parts of Durant’s body, which could have been shielded from an official’s view. However, considering how fast he shot the ball and the quick of a flip Durant tossed up, you have to assume he thought he was fouled and wanted to get a shot up so he could go to the line. Let ‘em play though, I guess.

Tracking: Fourth quarter points through two Finals games — Kevin Durant has 33, LeBron James has 13.

More rough stuff: And here’s another tough call that didn’t go the Thunder’s way.

Again, you can see both sides of the call. If you’re a Thunder fan, you definitely see Kevin Durant blocking the shot before Serge Ibaka cleans things up, pulling off the rare yet beautiful double block off the backboard. If you’re a Heat fan, you see Kevin Durant not getting a clean block and Chris Bosh finishing the shot attempt, only to have the ball goaltended off the glass from behind. Refereeing is hard.

Welcome: After no blocks in Game 1, following a 45-game streak with at least one block mind you, Serge Ibaka swatted away five Heat attempts last night, not counting that goaltending directly above this sentence. When you consider the Heat went 18-28 at the rim during Game 2, you can see how having a shotblocker is going to be very important this series. Not to mention, most of his blocks looked awesome.

Head on: Sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good.

Great shooting night for Battier, but his biggest shot came on a buzzer-beating desperation heave from two steps beyond (way far) the top of the key (not Battier’s preferred shot). Go figure.

En garde: I would contend that there is no NBA big man who likes doing guard stuff more than Chris Bosh. Maybe it’s because he’s so committed to his role that he relishes getting do things like handle the ball, shoot threes as the shot clock is running down or bring the ball up the court. Maybe it’s something else. Whatever the case, you can tell he loves it, as evidenced by last night’s Euro step and-one.

Other things: Thabo Sefolosha didn’t give the Thunder much last night, plus he missed ANOTHER dunk, only this time he wasn’t bailed out by a whistle. Starting to think this guy’s hands are three inches long … Huge, clutch bank shot from LeBron late in the fourth. Looked so easy … Russell Westbrook is just ripping off entire looks now … Kevin Durant’s dunks continue to look awesome, like he is somehow able to slam it through from the floor … They say a series doesn’t start until a road team wins, so let’s get this thing going

Comments (23)

  1. Ripping off an entire outfit from some model is dumb, but isn’t this the fault of Westbrook’s stylist? Don’t all of these guys have style consultants or something?

    • Here’s a thought, though : how about we not care about what the dude is wearing? This is the NBA Finals.

  2. “I would contend that there is no NBA big man who likes doing guard stuff more than Chris Bosh”. I’m paging Lamar right now.

  3. That Durant play was so frustrating. It felt ordained for Durant to hit the game winning three at the buzzer, giving OKC the lead for the first time.


  4. In the abstract, that may have been a foul. But Lebron just tapped KD, and I bet it didn’t affect his shot at all. KD just missed a shot I think he makes 8/10 times. Good no call I thought, consistent with how the refs have been calling games. There usually has to be significant contact to warrant a foul.

    • Granted KD should have made that shot, but Lebron hooked his right arm, hit his left arm and followed through to the right leg. He also pulled back Westbrook’s left arm while Russell was going for the rebound. Former ref Steve Javie said that if the ref would have been in the right position, he would have been able to see the contact. This is the same ref that made the questionable goaltending call. Bad night for him.

      • I agree. I was watching the replay and wondering why he was in the corner and closer to the basket. The ref taking the ball out should be able to watch the corner so he shouldn’t have been there. Also, without the elbow and forearm to the body, KD would have been able to take it all the way to the rim. Part of me thinks Durant pulled up cause he thought he was getting the call.

        • Doesn’t he get the foul and a better chance at a lay-up if he just pushes through, though? I thought he should have just taken it the after the contact instead of waiting to get bailed by the ref. It’s not like LeBron held him.

  5. Just a note: For an old-time ACC guy like myself, it’s hard not to remember Battier raining about a bajillion threes down from the top of the key in college. K ran him as a trailer on the secondary break most of the time, so his spot (at least in college) was at the top of the key. Doesn’t explain the bank, but at least there’s some history there.

  6. Foul on KD: No doubt. Also, did Lebron travel after the rebound? If not, he BARELY kept that pivot foot down.

    Goaltend; Bad call.

    As a Spurs fan, I will shed no tears for the Thunder not getting some calls in their building.

  7. Enough of the ripping on refs/blaming refs for the Thunder loss. Get over it.

  8. Is this “The Making Excuses for the Thunder Jones” now?

    • It’s starting to look more like the “Defend the Heat Jones”…

      The missed calls definitely affected the game, but you have to also blame the Thunder for putting the game in their hands in the first place. It’s just like MMA or boxing – the judges don’t always get it right, so it’s up to you to not let them decide the fight.

      • Even though Kevin Durant shouldn’t have been in the game because of that absolutely ridiculous blocking call on Shane Battier?

      • I agree. The Thunder didn’t put themselves in a good position from their poor first quarter and they just couldn’t make the momentum swing shot (when they were around 8-10 points down) until the end of the game.

        I think the officiating has been horrible for both sides. I know that a call in the second quarter doesn’t affect the whole game and so many different outcomes could have happended from that point, but if they don’t call that goaltend (which also prevented a Thunder fast break opportunity), we could of had a 96-96 game, Thunder ball, with 12 seconds left instead.

        • Ultimately one call doesn’t really change anything. It’s an entire game that needs to be played. Just because the goaltend is called has no meaning on the final score. Even if you have all those correct calls, what about as Dwangus said, what if Durant was called for a charge instead of Battier being called for a block. Wouldn’t the game be entirely different then?

  9. The no call is to me, not near as heinous as many others throughout the match (on both sides) and is also well in line with the long-established tendency of refs to swallow whistles in the final minutes, and the goaltending call is so tough to make I can understand blowing it. I thought the refs were awful but the fact that everybody is referring to these two examples as if the Heat got vastly favorable officiating (when to me it evened out) is bizarre to me. The Thunder got into the penalty on iffy touch calls nearly as soon as the second half started and I thought Durant should’ve gotten his sixth foul on a charge on Battier that was called a block.

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