2012 NBA Finals: Quotes Before Game Four
The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder will square off tonight in Miami for game four of the NBA finals. The Heat have won the last two games and currently lead the series 2-1.
The Thunder will enter game four with a must-win attitude.
James Harden, the Thunder’s sixth man, said:
“It’s a Game 7 for us. We win this game tomorrow and tie it up, 2-2, and it’s the best of three with two games left in Oklahoma City. We’ll take that.”
The biggest story before game four came from comments made by Serge Ibaka about Lebron James’ defense.
“LeBron is not a good defender… He can play defense for two to three minutes but not 48 minutes. LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-on-one. They’re playing good defense like a team.”
Lebron James, who was named to the NBA’s all defensive team, brushed off Ibaka’s comments.
“I don’t really care what he says, he’s stupid… Everyone says something to me every series, then (the media) tries to get a quote. It’s stupid. For me as a defender, I just try to make plays and try to keep my body in front of a great player… First of all, I’m not playing 48 minutes, and Kevin’s not playing 48 minutes. I’m not guarding him for 48 minutes. When I’m on him, I’m just trying to make it tough for him to make shots, which he’s going to make.”
The other big story line following the Thunder’s game three loss was the finishing power of Kevin Durant. Durant, who missed a game tying shot at the end of game three (some say he was fouled) said that he isn’t worried about that shot and that he’ll keep shooting in the fourth quarter of game four.
” I’m going to shoot until my arm falls off in the fourth. That’s what I do. I don’t care if I miss it or if I make it. I believe in myself. I really don’t care what people say on the outside or how many points I post in the fourth or what big players have done in the past. All I do is worry about myself. I’m going to keep doing what I do. I’ve got 100 percent confidence in myself that I can do it, and when the fourth quarter comes around next time, I’m going to be as aggressive as I can.”
The Big 3 of Miami have been to the NBA Finals twice in the last two years. This year, the team is trying to quiet their critics after they folded in 2011. Dwyane Wade said that the team, and especially Lebron James, have matured a lot since last season.
“He’s a totally different player,’ Dwyane Wade said. ‘Obviously up until The Finals last year he was having an amazing playoffs. He had a game (Game 3 of the Finals) where he struggled and he kind of let that get into his mind a little bit, and he was thinking too much. Now he’s playing, he’s on attack, and being very aggressive. When he puts his head down to go to the rim, you have no other choice but to foul him or he’s going to finish…. He’s playing aggressive, and that’s the difference obviously from last year to this year, and the difference in our team.’”
Chris Bosh reiterated that sentiment, saying that the Miami Heat are trying to erase the pain of the 2011 NBA Finals.
“Every day we remind ourselves. We think of that pain we experienced last year. We carry that pain with us.”
OKC’s Big Three have their first chance to prove themselves in the NBA Finals. Russell Westbrook, who had a mediocre game three, said that the team just has to keep playing their game.
“I’m not making no adjustments. Regardless of what anybody says or regardless of what you guys say about how I play, it doesn’t matter. You know, I’m going to play my game regardless of what happens. I’m going to go out and give 110 percent, and try to find a way to help us win the game.”
Derek Fisher, who is Westbrook’s backup, said that Westbrook is right to trust his instincts.
“We all have to, I think, play a smarter game than what we played in particular in Game 2. But Russell is a phenomenal talent, and he just has to trust his instincts, play his game. But that same focus goes for all of us, Russell, Kevin, James. If there’s two people covering you, somebody else is open, make the pass, and that guy will make the play.”
The 2012 NBA Finals continue tonight at 8 p.m. CST. Who do you think will win game four?