Do not press the panic button just yet OKC. Yes, you did lose to the Miami Heat in South Beach to put you in a 2-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. However, you were down 2-0 to the San Antonio Spurs, who were on a 20 game winning streak, before you won 4 straight games to clinch a berth to the NBA Finals.
Give credit where credit is due, the Miami Heat took advantage of Durant sitting the final minutes of the third quarter as well as closing out the game, something they have had trouble doing. Yet, the Thunder gave Game 3 away. Too many rushed shots and too many turnovers were the deciding factors that let the Heat take Game 3. But what is astounding is that Kevin Durant, only scored 4 points in the 4th quarter and the Heat still needed the final seconds to seal the victory. Russell Westbrook missed an open three pointer, James Harden missed an open shot, Durant was in foul trouble, the list goes on of things that were critical in Oklahoma City losing this game. But the Heat still needed the final seconds to seal the victory.
That is not comforting, that is worrisome if you are a Miami Heat fan because no question Miami won Game 2, but with Durant not performing in the 4th quarter, and arguably LeBron James' best game of the series, the Heat still needed precious seconds to take the victory. This shows how costly the mistakes by the Thunder were, but it also shows how they can stay in a game even with a dismal performance.
Don't count on Durant to have a repeat performance and don't expect the Thunder to have a repeat performance of Game 3. This is a resilient team and they proved it against the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio had a commanding 2-0 lead and many said the Thunder were done. 4 games later, Oklahoma City hoisted the Western Conference Championship. Thunder are down 2-1, they can make up the deficit but they cannot have a repeat performance of Game 3, otherwise the likelihood of Miami being victorious in the NBA Finals will become more apparent with a 3-1 lead. Westbrook has to continue to be aggressive, but smarter with the ball. Durant has to just play better defense and protect himself from foul trouble, slow the ball down early and then speed up the game in the 4th quarter, where the fresh legs of the Thunder can overpower the Heat.
This series is far from over and will be very interesting with a Thunder win in Game 4. Just be smarter with the ball, don't always rush the ball, and remember the Alamo, and by that, I mean the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs.