When things are going wrong, it’s easy to blame people. So after last night’s heart-breaking and possibly series-ending loss to the Miami Heat, it’s easy for Thunder fans to blame the people who were there at the end.
Russell Westbrook played a brilliant 3 and a half quarters, but late in the game found himself making crucial mistakes. A late turnover and a baffling foul left fans with a bad taste in their mouths. So even after his 43 points, Westbrook lost a game that essentially eliminated his team from the playoffs, but is he to blame?
Nobody will say that it’s Westbrook’s fault his team lost, because that would be ludicrous after the monstrous numbers he put up. However, late in the game he seemed out of sorts, and it cost Oklahoma City.
So if Westbrook’s not to blame, whose fault is it? The foul that sealed the deal for Miami could certainly be blamed on Thunder coach Scott Brooks. It’s his job to keep Westbrook aware of the clock and his surroundings, but people ignore the fact that a late foul isn’t what wins or loses a game. It’s a game, and you need to play 48 minutes of good basketball if you want to win a championship. And for 48 minutes, nobody played a great game for the Thunder. Westbrook played 44 minutes of genius basketball, but struggled for the last four. Kevin Durant played a solid game, and his stat line of 28 points looks nice, but watching the game you saw that he wasn’t in his rhythm. So when you look at it, there really isn’t anybody to blame, but at the same time everybody is to blame. The Thunder were the worse team last night, and blaming their loss on an individual is a cop out.