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  1. NBA finals Game 4 pregame notes: Brooks says Durant can’t worry about fouls

    Jun 19, 2012, 8:02 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant reacts after not getting a foul call against the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter during Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City

    Kevin Durant is not a player prone to foul trouble — he tends to dish out fouls to the unfortunate souls tasked with covering him, not get in trouble himself. But in the last two games Durant has been in foul trouble and it has dramatically impacted Oklahoma City’s offense and execution. Thunder coach Scott…

  2. Video: LeBron vs. Durant in NBA finals. What a show.

    Jun 19, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    We all know these NBA finals are a whole lot more than LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant. Much more. But that is one fun part, and they do spend time guarding one another. Great job by NBA.com on their “phantom” videos putting together some highlights of this matchup. You get the feeling Game 4 is…

  3. NBA finals Game 4 shootaround notes: Everyone talking Ibaka, LeBron’s defense

    Jun 19, 2012, 2:03 PM EST

    Miami Heat LeBron James during practice

    Serge Ibaka made headlines — and sounded pretty foolish — when he said Monday that LeBron James is not a good defender and couldn’t cover Kevin Durant one-on-one. Because so many people can. So LeBron, what do you think of that? “I don’t really care what he says, he’s stupid,” James said, then saying every…

  4. Tim Grover trying to get Dwyane Wade right during finals

    Jun 19, 2012, 1:06 PM EST

    Dwyane Wade (C) of the Miami Heat passes

    You know Tim Grover as the guy who made his name as Michael Jordan’s personal trainer. Now he’s kind of an NBA fitness guru and countless elite players make the pilgrimage to his Chicago gym to work out. Dwayne Wade is one of those guys, and right now he could use the help — clearly…

  5. NBA finals Game 4: Five things the Thunder need to do to win

    Jun 19, 2012, 11:58 AM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder Westbrook reacts with Durant and Harden as they lose to the Miami Heat during Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami

    Miami has made its statement. Nobody ever questioned their talent, the questions were how LeBron James would deal with being back on the biggest stage, and secondly, would they bring consistent effort that they had lacked all playoffs? LeBron has been the series MVP so far and for two games in a row the Heat…

  6. Serge Ibaka: “LeBron is not a good defender.”

    Jun 19, 2012, 8:59 AM EST

    LeBron James (L) of the Miami Heat defen

    Serge, when you’re down 2-1 in the NBA finals, you may not want to rattle the cage of the opponent’s best player. But Ibaka did that and sounded like he is watching a different game than the rest of us in a quote via Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld. “LeBron is not a good defender. He…

  7. Our annual reminder to fans: The referees are not deciding the finals

    Jun 19, 2012, 8:32 AM EST

    Referee Crawford calls a technical foul on Oklahoma City Thunder Brooks in the first half during Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami.

    Every year it is part of the narrative of the NBA finals — fans the team coming out on the bottom are convinced that their heroes would win if it were not for the referees clearly having it in for their team and David Stern trying to determine the outcome. You can count on it…

  8. PBT Extra: Talking Harden, LeBron, and Heat-Thunder Game 4

    Jun 18, 2012, 9:44 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Three

    Today in PBT Extra Tiffany and I talk about how the Thunder have looked inexperienced for the first time these playoffs, how LeBron James looks more comfortable and what all that means for Game 4. I expect a more desperate Thunder team come Tuesday night, they know they can’t go down 3-1. But this has…

  9. Miami Heat just fine winning more ugly games

    Jun 18, 2012, 3:42 PM EST

    LeBron james (L) of the Miami Heat defen

    If you’re going to win a championship in any sport, you’re going to have to grind out some ugly wins. Football teams are going to have to run the ball and eat some clock. Hockey playoffs are all grind. And in the NBA, you are going to have to grind out a win with defense…

  10. Video: Micro-movie of NBA finals Game 3

    Jun 18, 2012, 2:30 PM EST

    Miami Heat Wade jumps to the basket on top of Oklahoma City Thunder Harden during Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami

    This has been a fantastic finals — add up the scores from the three games and the Thunder are actually ahead by 1 point. This has been a close series but right now the Heat are the ones up 2-1 because they have been able to win ugly. This has been a series made for…

  11. Brooks coaching part of Thunder’s problems vs. Heat

    Jun 18, 2012, 1:09 PM EST

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    Let’s be clear about this up front — Oklahoma City is not down 2-1 in the NBA finals because of Scott Brooks alone. First and foremost Miami has brought its best defensive focus and intensity for two games now, and when they do they can even slow the Thunder. Plus, Miami has that LeBron James…

  12. Video: Durant says finals far from over, Wade talks experience

    Jun 18, 2012, 11:04 AM EST

    Kevin Durant

    Here are a few a few highlights from Sunday night’s post-game press conferences after Game 3, in case you didn’t stay up to the middle of the night to watch them get replayed on NBA TV. And if you didn’t what’s wrong with you? Where are your priorities? Kevin Durant says exactly what you’d expect…

  13. Wade on LeBron: “He’s just a total different player”

    Jun 18, 2012, 10:03 AM EST

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat goes to t

    LeBron James was the best player on the floor in the fourth quarter of Game 3 — eight points on four shots, plus he got to the line for five free throws. He steadied his team down the stretch. He and the Heat looked like the experienced team, the veterans, while the young Thunder were…

  14. Kevin Durant to Dwyane Wade: “You’re too small”

    Jun 18, 2012, 8:02 AM EST

    Kevin Durant (R) of the Oklahoma City Th

    It is one key to winning in the NBA — exploit your mismatches. Against Kevin Durant, pretty much the other 449 guys in the league are a mismatch. Including Dwyane Wade. At one point in the second half Wade got switched on Durant defensively. That’s a size mismatch. Durant recognized it and scored over him.…

  15. Video: Kevin Durant throws down huge dunk

    Jun 18, 2012, 12:26 AM EST

    Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunde

    Kevin Durant just keeps doing it this series — he puts up 25 points on 19 shots in Game 3 and we feel like he was off his game a little. He’s that good. He wasn’t off it on this play — a catch at the three-point line, one dribble all the way to the…

  16. NBA finals Game 3: Heat grind out win with assist from Thunder

    Jun 17, 2012, 11:46 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Three

    The Miami Heat attacked from the opening tip and they owned the paint. But that wasn’t enough — the Oklahoma City Thunder adjusted, taking away the inside game and looked like they were going to take the game away on the road. And then the Thunder imploded. Oklahoma City fouled 3-point shooters. They missed free throws.…

  17. NBA finals Game 3: No slow start by Thunder, 47-46 Heat at the half

    Jun 17, 2012, 9:31 PM EST

    2012 NBA Finals - Game Three

    This time, there was no slow start by the Thunder. In Game 3 they got down 10-4 but came back with James Harden early and the result was a close first half, with the Heat leading much of the way but never coming close to pulling away. It is 47-46 Heat at the half of…

  18. NBA finals Game 3: Thunder sticking with same starters

    Jun 17, 2012, 3:35 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks reacts in the first quarter during Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals against the Miami Heat in Oklahoma City

    It’s good not to make a move out of panic. Even in the NBA finals, you don’t want to overreact to one loss. But if things aren’t working – for example, you’ve gotten off to slow starts in two consecutive games because your two big man starting lineup is a bad matchup — you need…

  19. Time to get off Russell Westbrook’s back, it’s not his fault

    Jun 16, 2012, 3:22 AM EST

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    Whenever the Thunder lose, like they did in Game 2 Thursday night, the blame falls quickly on Russell Westbrook. He started 1-7 shooting with just one assist as the Thunder fell behind 18-2 to open the game. A hole they could never get out of. If he would just stop taking shots away from Durant,…

  20. Video: Micro-Movie of Heat-Thunder NBA finals Game 2

    Jun 15, 2012, 4:25 PM EST

    NBA.com is doing a fantastic job with these — it’s not jut a highlight package, there are behind-the-scenes video, shots from off-day practices, really interesting stuff. And it doesn’t take much to make these games interesting. This has been a blisteringly fun series. I can’t wait for Game 3.

  21. NBA finals Game 2 draws biggest ratings since 2004

    Jun 15, 2012, 12:06 PM EST

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    Through two games, this is shaping up to be an epic NBA finals. And people are tuning in — for the second straight contest Game 2 drew the largest Game 2 audience since 2004. That is to say, the biggest ratings since the Shaq/Kobe Lakers. Game 2 drew an overnight rating of 11.8 according to…

  22. Video: Coaches, Durant, Wade talk about dramatic Game 2

    Jun 15, 2012, 9:46 AM EST

    The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade speaks afte

    What I enjoy most about Dwyane Wade‘s post-game press conferences these playoffs is how the wrap on his finger always matches the color of his shirt. I’m not kidding. Does it every game. Here is the video of Erik Spoelstra, Scott Brooks, Kevin Durant and Wade talking about Game 2, a 100-96 Miami win that…

  23. Video: Big plays from LeBron, Durant down stretch of Game 2

    Jun 15, 2012, 8:56 AM EST

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    We already showed you the controversial one, but LeBron James and Kevin Durant were involved in some other huge plays down the stretch that made Game 2 one wild and entertaining finish. In his post game press conference Thunder coach Scott Brooks was almost just shaking his head at LeBron’s bank shot. Durant’s three was…

  24. NBA finals Game 2: Thunder must break the slow start habit

    Jun 15, 2012, 3:48 AM EST

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    Oklahoma City was even or ahead of Miami for 36 minutes of Game 2. Seriously. The second quarter of Game 2 was tied, the Thunder and Heat each scored 28. The Thunder won the third quarter by a point and then owned the fourth quarter 29-22. Miami only won one quarter, the first one. But…

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