SportsNation Blog Archives Serge Ibaka
Clippers, Thunder scuffle
Serge Ibaka and Blake Griffin have a bit of a history, so it's no surprise that an innocuous bit of contact between the two turned into a dust-up during the Clippers' win over the Thunder on Wednesday night. As scuffles go, it wasn't terribly vicious -- the worst that happened was Ibaka bringing his hand back like he was going to throw a punch but never actually throwing said punch -- but it did result in ejections for Ibaka and Matt Barnes and a technical foul for Griffin. Barnes actually tweeted during the third quarter after being ejected, but we can't repeat what he said.
Kevin Durant cried after the Thunder lost the NBA Finals, and for good reason: Despite his best efforts, Oklahoma City simply couldn't challenge the Heat beyond five games. It's got to be a huge disappointment for Durant, but let's not forget that he and the rest of the Thunder's core are all quite young, which bodes well for their future as contenders. Are they at the level where they can be perennial threats to win the Finals, or do they need to consider making some changes?
A return trip?
Neither the Heat nor the Thunder is on track to lose any of their superstars in the near future.
If a few things had gone differently, the Thunder still might be playing in these Finals, which suggests they should consider standing pat.
Russell Westbrook was feast or famine in the Finals. Would Kevin Durant be more effective with a different point guard?
The list of teams that have come back to win their series after going down 3-1 in the NBA finals is short. Actually, it's nonexistent. That's probably not what the Thunder want to be thinking about after losing Game 4, especially considering the awkward fashion in which they fumbled the game away. Russell Westbrook had a costly and bizarre foul after an otherwise stellar performance, James Harden was a non-factor, and Kevin Durant started looking an awful lot like a guy who can only score. There's a first time for everything, but history is against the Thunder as they gear up for Game 5.
Russell Westbrook was unstoppable for most of the game, but seemed to think that the shot-clock had reset when he fouled Mario Chalmers with only seconds remaining.
Harden a factor?
James Harden was supposed to be the Thunder's secret weapon in these playoffs, but last night, he managed a mere eight points in 37 minutes.
LeBron James seemed to be hurting after a hard fall late in the fourth quarter, but the Heat may have just been careful with their superstar.
Thunder fans will no doubt not be happy if their team loses, especially in this fashion, but we know another fanbase that does not want to see LeBron James win a title.