My colleagues over at the Wages of Wins seem to have the Finals pretty well covered, and in any case at this point there isn't a lot of analysis I can add that hasn't already been said lots of times. Despite this, I'm going to let a few random thoughts fly.
- Durant is really great, James is better. The Heat, however, have a problem in that LeBron is the Heat's best POWER Forward, so it's hard to field lineups where James can defend Durant without creating other bad defensive matchups for the Heat. This will continue until/if Bosh steps up and plays like his post-redeem-team self.
- Westbrook shoots too many shots. Interestingly, this piece by Dean Oliver and Alok Pattini manages to miss the whole point by starting with the assumption that he takes too many shots away from Durant. Nice qualification, there, but Durant gets plenty of shots, about 25 per 48 minutes. Isn't it obvious that the Thunder would not have won so many games if Durant were the only guy he could pass to instead of shooting all those shots? Westbrook plays with Harden and Ibaka as well, and should be using his quickness to get both of them more shots rather than to hoist up bad ones himself. Which brings me to...
Harden is essentially as good as Wade. He's absolutely murderous in the pick and roll, and great at getting to the line. The Thunder should be doing everything in their power to get Harden more opportunities.
Raw Stats Min WP48 Wins PTS DRB ORB REB AST TO BLK STL PF Wade 1625 .247 8.4 32.0 4.8 2.2 7.0 6.6 3.8 1.9 2.4 3.2 Harden 1946 .263 10.6 25.8 5.5 0.7 6.2 5.6 3.4 0.4 1.5 3.7 Average SG 1229 .099 2.5 20.2 4.5 1.1 5.5 4.2 2.7 0.4 1.5 3.1
Shooting Efficiency FG% 2FG% 3FG% FT% eFG% TS% FGA 3FGA PPS FTA Wade 49.7% 51.3% 26.8% 79.1% 50.6% 55.9% 24.7 1.7 1.29 8.8 Harden 49.1% 57.9% 39.0% 84.6% 58.2% 66.0% 15.5 7.2 1.66 9.1 Average SG 42.7% 46.2% 35.5% 79.7% 48.5% 52.5% 17.4 5.7 1.16 4.2
The fact that Harden and Durant are on this team is precisely why I said in February that I would rather pay a guy like Chalmers $5 million than a guy like Westbrook $17 million. Part of my argument was that Harden would command $10 million. Hahahahahahaha. At this point Harden is going to shove $10 million offers right in his paper shredder. Next year, when Harden wants THE MAXIMUM to sign an extension, this Westbrook contract is going to look bad
These finals have been pretty entertaining so far, and it will be run to see if the Heat can keep the home advantage and prove Arturo right. It's hard to win 3 in a row against a team this good, even at home, so I have never quite understood why the 2/3/2 format is considered "better" for the away team than 2/2/1/1/1.