Alright let's take a minute to talk about the Thunder blowing a chance at the series. I know it's a bit delayed but my computer's keyboard and mouse decided to stop working so we're getting it in when we can. It's all everyone is talking about and quite honestly the blame is going on the wrong person.
The person who fucked up the most down the stretch for the Thunder? Billy Donovan.
I know everyone is seeing this play and asking 'why not just throw it to Steven Adams.' Well, I'll break it down for you:
First, this is a designed play call. That's why SGA isn't looking at Steven Adams and why Adams isn't thinking about a seal. If Donovan drew up this as a secondary option, you get the seal and likely looking for the pass. Yes, there is helpside defense over the top. Covington is getting ready to cheat down but SGA is a skilled enough passer to put it where Adams needed it. That said, the design of the play was to get it to a guard and use Adams as a space eater. Makes no sense to not have him as the secondary option with the safety coming down hill being the third option.
That's not even the worst part of what Donovan did. It starts with the play breaking down around the 18 second mark before SGA made the pass to Lu Dort. That ball needs to be in Chris Paul's hands. The moment the play is breaking down and Paul stumbles to give it up, call timeout. There's plenty of time! You could have the ball for the win. Donovan completely shits himself here in not calling a timeout and instead having SGA and Lu Dort try to win you the series? I know Dort had 30, but I'm sorry. That's Chris Paul's game. Let him create, give him another chance. Use Dort in a side screen after a timeout.
Then there's the fact that after the off the ball foul on Harden and anyone could shoot a free throw, the Thunder sent Gallo to the line instead of Chris Paul. Gallo is a great free throw shooter, but Paul is better. Paul also is way more composed at the line than Gallo, who you could tell was off. That free throw was so stiff, no movement. Cost you a point.
Yes, Paul shouldn't have short armed that midrange jumper in the scramble. Yes, Adams should have dove to the rim on the second inbounds. Yes, Adams should have sealed and SGA should have looked there. But Billy Donovan blew that game. It was a hell of a series too and the Thunder are by far the best story in the NBA this season. But Donovan, for as great as he was at Florida and as great did this season, absolutely choked with the series on the line.