Tag: Oklahoma City Miami

Miami Heat's James celebrates near the end of Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Miami

NBA finals: Television ratings, clearing out my reporter’s notebook


I had a ton of notes I took at points in Miami during the NBA finals and all of it didn’t get into posts. So I’m closing out my notebook with bullet points to put a little bow on the NBA finals.

• People like to watch stars. LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the Heat vs. the Thunder — these finals drew the highest television ratings since 2004, the last year of the Shaq/Kobe Lakers. Game 5 drew a 12.8 rating, tied with last year’s series. For the entire series it was an 10.1 rating, which beats last year through five games and ties it overall (Game 6 was the highest rated last year, the longer a series goes the higher the ratings get for games).

• The Oklahoma City Thunder were very impressive in how they handled defeat — they were mature and said they needed to work this summer and come back better. You know they will. If they can bring this team back healthy and be able to sub in Eric Maynor (the injured backup point guard, who is a massive improvement over Derek Fisher) they are the biggest threat to a Heat repeat.

• That attitude comes from the top and coach Scott Brooks, watch the video of him telling his team right before the end “they beat us fair and square” and to go out and shake the Heat’s hands. That’s class. (via Ball Don’t Lie)

• Any more questions about how important Chris Bosh is the Heat?

• LeBron James became the 10th player to win the league MVP and the finals MVP in the same season. Michael Jordan did it four times.

• President Barak Obama did call the Heat to congratulate them.

• I thought Bosh pretty much summed up what the Heat players said whenever you asked them about the general perceptions of this team:

“We don’t care. We don’t care because we know how everything changes so fast,” Bosh said. “Any time, if indeed it does change and everybody says, I knew you guys were going to do it and this is it, we’re going to be like, no, we’re going to remember the times when it was tough when we were down and everybody was kicking us.”

• I was especially happy to see a personal favorite guy in the league — Ronny Turaif — get a ring.

• Miami becomes the first team ever to trail in three playoff series (2-1 to the Pacers, 3-2 to the Celtics and 1-0 to the Thunder) and come back to win the title.

• The Heat’s post-party in South Beach racked up a $200,000 bar bill, sounds pretty wild and included LeBron rapping with LMAFO (follow this link to see the video, but be warned there is some adult language).

Video: NBA micro-movie Game 5 — Thunder vs. Heat

The Miami Heat celebrate their victory i

Thunder fans, you may want to avert your eyes. This wasn’t a pretty ending to your season.

But it was a real coronation of the Miami Heat as champions that turned into a rout and a 12-minute fourth quarter party leading up to the win. Miami could do no wrong — LeBron James recorded a triple double but when he kicked the ball out the injured Mike Miller was knocked down threes like he was a decade younger. Miami turned up their defensive pressure, turned that into transition opportunities and there was nothing the Thunder could do.

For Heat fans, it was a thing of beauty. For the Thunder, it’s fuel for next year.

Video: Kevin Durant cries after losing in NBA finals

Kevin Durant

He’s going to take heat for this from some of you. The same way Chris Bosh did last year. It’s not manly to cry. He is a mama’s boy.

You say that and you would be wrong.

What we want from our stars is for them to care. To care about the team, to care about winning, to not just be playing for the money and the fame, but with passion.

Kevin Durant is showing you how much he cared. How much he wanted this. It hurts and if you are a Thunder fan — a basketball fan — you should be proud of him. He’s going to learn from this and the Thunder will be back.

Thunder, coach Scott Brooks still fighting over new contract

Scott Brooks

The NBA finals were not Scott Brooks finest hour. He lived with players that were struggling — Kendrick Perkins — while leaving players impacting the game more on the bench. He didn’t stick with his rotations. Perkins even called him out.

But Brooks is part of the family, the young coach that has grown up with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. They are not going to let him go, right? Right?

Not so fast, warns Marc Stein at ESPN. The two sides have been talking for months now and there is no deal in place.

Scotty Brooks’ contract as OKC coach ends when June ends. The widespread assumption persists that Brooks and the Thunder will hammer out a new deal now that they no longer have a deep playoff run to manage, but sources close to the process continue to caution that A) extension talks have been slow-moving for weeks now and B) concern is rising within the organization that the sides are not nearly as destined to reach an agreement as everyone else around the league presumes.

Sources told ESPN.com this week that the Thunder have offered Brooks an annual salary “north of $4 million.” But those same sources maintain that the length of the deal is the primary holdup. Brooks is said to be seeking a guaranteed four-year deal; sources say OKC prefers a two- or three-year deal.

For all his flaws, he is a guy who just coached a young team all the way to the NBA finals. He’s a guy that made adjustment in the conference finals that Gregg Popovich couldn’t match. He’s a guy Durant and Westbrook like and trust. Keeping him seems a no-brainer.

Are you going to try and introduce a new coach, a new system, a new everything on a team that just went to the NBA finals? It’s hard to imagine a deal not getting done.

But it’s out there. Stranger things have happened. And the Thunder have already started to formulate a Plan B, just in case.

Video: Miami Heat rain down threes on Thunder

Miami Heat's Miller shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder's Westbrook during the first quarter in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami

It has always been the fear of other teams facing the Miami Heat — with two of the best dribble penetration guys in the league in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, if they their shooters started knocking down threes they were going to be unbeatable.

As evidence, we present you every three from the Heat’s title-clinching 121-106 Game 5 win Thursday night.

Not that the Thunder did a terrible job contesting. Note that the Heat had fantastic ball movement. Note that Mike Miller really isn’t this good anymore but was for a night.

Scott Brooks nightmare will look a lot like this video.