Thunder vow to bully LeBron James in the paint to win Game 4.
MIAMI—If anyone feels that the Oklahoma City Thunder is taking their current 2-1 deficit as casually as they took their 2-0 deficit in the Western Conference Finals against an aging Spurs team, they should think again.
Their current state of comments that appear in the New York Post point to a team that understands that if they fall behind 3-1 they may not play another game on their home court this season.
To keep that from happening, they have put it out there that they will physically attempt to take the Heat out.
The Thunder’s prized bench player James Harden had an abysmal Game 3 yet seems to have the solutions as to what the Thunder must do.
“We were physical last game, but I think we can take it to another level as far as bumping them off their cuts. They’re cutting through the lane too easy and getting easy layups. [In Game 3], they had 20 points in the paint in the first quarter. We can’t allow that to happen.”
“This is a Game 7 for us,” Harden said.
Center Kendrick Perkins has to play the bully role for the Thunder to pull this off and he stated that he and his squad are ready to focus on putting league MVP LeBron James off his game.
“Our goal is to play more physical, “Perkins said. “I thought we started bumping him off his spots. We weren’t letting him set up shop where he wanted to.
We can’t let LeBron do what he wants to do. He’s a great player, but we have to take on the challenge and just play more physical. We can’t take this opportunity for granted. We’ve got to approach every game like it’s our last.
If they lose tonight, they will take one giant step towards it indeed being their last although James doesn’t care how the Heat win as long as they do.
“I don’t give a damn how we get four [victories]. We can win, 32-”‘31. It doesn’t matter. We can win any type of game. We can win a gritty game, a high-paced game, but we take every game as its own.
We don’t go into a game saying this is what type of a game it’s going to be. We are going into a game saying this is how we’re going to play.”
With so much on the line, the keys to Game 4 are much like they were in Game 3. Although now we must add that this one might just come down to which leader steps up the most.
Cue the music for an epic battle between James and Kevin Durant. If we are going to see it, tonight will be that night.