There’s always a scapegoat that folks focus on when a team blows its title chances. In this 2012 NBA Final, it clearly is the play of JAMES HARDEN. OKC’s Sixth Man award winner has become the Thunder’s missing offensive weapon as they now face elimination in Game 5 in Miami thanks in part to this mmmmisssed llllayyy-uppp late in Game 4…
During the first three rounds of the playoffs, Harden has averaged 17.6 points including shooting 60% from three in the WCF. However in the last two Finals games in Miami, All Beard, No Buckets is an atrocious 4-for-20 from the field including 1-for-9 from three-point distance while only averaging 8.5 points.
Granted, it may be a bit unfair to point the total blame at Harden, what with similar disappearing acts from Ibaka and Perkins in this series but Ibaka’s and Perkins’ minutes have been greatly reduced due to Miami’s small, quick line-up. Harden has been on the floor for most of the game although you’d never know it.
Rumors have been circulating that Harden has been in South Beach party mode while in Miami as some folks point to that as having something to do with his struggles.
I don’t know if that factors into his poor play but there’s no doubt it’s in Harden’s head. Later in the game after he blew the lay up, Harden had an open jumper that Miami was daring him to shoot. Harden hesitated and missed the shot.
Harden’s struggles in Miami’s arena date back to his Arizona State days in college and if he is thinking about that—an indications are he is—no wonder his jumpshot is shot to ish.
Along with OKC’s chances at the title.