clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Playoffs 2012, Thunder Vs. Lakers: Gloomy Reactions To Oklahoma City Beatdown

The Oklahoma City Thunder whipped the Los Angeles Lakers. It wasn't really all that close. And when you break the game down, it's really hard to feel positive if you're a Laker fan. It was total dominance in every aspect, and you really have to be impressed with the performance of the Thunder, who showed no rust in outplaying the Lakers in every facet of the game.

Russell Westbrook was virtually unstoppable, and Kevin Durant provided the second punch when Westbrook deferred. James Harden provided the third scoring punch, and Thabo Sefolosha gave Kobe Bryant a very tough time on the perimeter.

Dexter Fishmore of Silver Screen and Roll was not terribly upbeat about the result, and had a pretty dour outlook concerning the remainder of the series. He especially harped on the inability for the Lakers to force turnovers on one of the most sloppy ball-handling teams in the league.

As a team the Thunder committed only four turnovers the entire game. All season long I've been bitching about how the Lakers never force turnovers, and there's really not much more to say about it at this point. They don't have enough disruptive defenders to take opponents out of their sets and generate easy looks in transition. Kobe and Metta World Peace can get their hands on the ball occasionally but no one else ever does. To get away with that your team has to be impeccable in its positional defense, making every shot difficult, and as we saw in their farcical attempts to stay in front of James Harden and various other Thunders, that's not really what Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions do. OKC won't always be as sharp as they were in Game One, but the Lakers are ill-suited to exploit the Thunder's tendency to get loose with the ball.

Darius Soriano of Forum Blue and Gold had similar thoughts in his post-game recap, and primarily expressed concern with how easily Russell Westbrook had his way with the Lakers.

Westbrook found open space coming off screens, got into a groove on his mid-range jumper, and punished the Lakers with shots that you may want him taking but when he gets hot he’s more than capable of burying. Bynum and the other Lakers’ bigs played below the screen or allowed Russ to split the double off the pick and that set him free to take shots in a flow.