The last two games of both conference final were mirror images with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls each snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In games 4 & 5 the eventual losers held commanding leads, only to have their offenses desert them and see their opponents score on nearly every possession.
Although the heartbreaking losses were due to team breakdowns, as well as defeats to superior squads (the youth of the Thunder & the Bulls were magnified in late game situations), there are two individuals who have a difficult time escaping a great deal of blame.
This space has criticized OKC’s Russell Westbrook for lack of a point guard mentality (which is tough because he was thrown into the position without the requisite seasoning). The culprit on the Bulls’ side has to be the $80 million man, Carlos Boozer. A defensive liability, he played far below par on the offensive end.
Players, coaches, executives (especially those who made the deal) and fans all witnessed live what TNT’s Steve Kerr said during last night’s telecast:
“Everything’s exposed in the playoffs.”