Kevin Durant is not a player prone to foul trouble — he tends to dish out fouls to the unfortunate souls tasked with covering him, not get in trouble himself.
But in the last two games Durant has been in foul trouble and it has dramatically impacted Oklahoma City’s offense and execution. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said before Game 4 his star player can’t let those fouls get into his head.
“You can’t worry about fouls, you really can’t,” Brooks said. “He had two games in a row where he has gotten into foul trouble. If he gets a third game, we’ve just got to deal with it. That’s what great players do….
“But he has to still be aggressive. We want Kevin to get to the free throw line himself. We feel that he is one of the best attack guys in the league.”
A few other notes from pregame in the AmericanAirlines Arena.
• Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s pregame mantra was the Heat “have to play to our identity.”
“I’d like us to come out with the same aggressive mentality,” as Game 3, Spoelstra said. “We didn’t necessarily do things smoothly, but the mentality is what we need. Defensively we want to continue to be aggressive.”
• Brooks largely danced around the question of Serge Ibaka saying LeBron James can’t guard Durant one-on-one.
“One of the things I did mention is both guys are very hard to guard. I don’t think anybody can guard the two best offensive players in the game one-on-one. You need a solid defender and you need a very good team defense behind it.
• We’ll see if that means we get more Thabo Sefolosha on LeBron in this one.
• To answer the most important question you have pregame, white towels are the giveaway.
• Spoelstra on the atmosphere in Miami and the AAA arena right now: “It’s electric in here. We don’t want to take it for granted, but it’s a great moment when your community gets behind you.”