The Oklahoma City Thunder got screwed in Game 2.
While the Thunder hardly played their best basketball, falling behind by as many as 17, their ability to make a comeback to, at the very least, force overtime was ripped out of their hands.
Down by seven, Oklahoma City scored five quick points to break within two. On a potentially game-tying possession, Kevin Durant went up for the fall away, and missed. LeBron James subsequently hit two free throws to seal Oklahoma City’s fate.
But here’s the catch, Durant drew contact on James just moments before, yet nothing was called. The reasoning behind the no-call simply doesn’t matter, the fact is it cost the Thunder a chance go up 2-0. But Oklahoma City cannot afford to harp on that.
Though the Thunder’s latest loss is undoubtedly disappointing, they need to rise above the adversity and prepare for Game 3, and beyond. The Miami Heat aren’t known to lament a loss, regardless of the circumstances, and Oklahoma City must follow suit.
It’s not going to be easy, to put this distraction to bed, especially amid a report that states the Thunder will consider moving James Harden prior to the NBA draft, yet it must be done.
The Thunder can simply ill afford to victimize themselves moving forward. They pride themselves on a penchant for making improbable comebacks, but in Game 2, the danger of constantly playing catch-up was exposed, and they must deal with it.
Sure, the referees could have, in fact, screwed the Thunder out of a win, but they must ensure they’re not in a position for that to even happen. They must take control of the game early on, not just in the second half or the fourth quarter.
And they must do so now, because before they know it, the Heat could be up 2-1 with two consecutive home games left to play. Considering Miami is just as dangerous at home as Oklahoma City, that’s a serious problem.
One that the Thunder must avoid if they wish to claim this year’s NBA title.
Dan Favale is an avid basketball analyst and firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His work can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.