Thunder: Time to get physical
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle intimated that Nick Collison was getting a little too physical with Dirk Nowitzki in this series. He’s got to be kidding.
If anything, the Thunder hasn’t gotten physical enough. In fact, here’s the easy answer for why OKC got off to such a horrid start in Game 3 (27-10 after one quarter, 35-12 after 14 minutes): total lack of defensive aggression.
In the first quarter, Dallas did not shoot a foul shot. The Thunder committed just three fouls in the period. Two offensive fouls, and a lazy, reacharound foul by Russell Westbrook that didn’t have a lot to do with trying to play defense.
That’s it. And that’s quite appropriate, too. You’ve got to get close to somebody before you can foul them.
The Thunder eventually got a little more physical, though it took awhile. Five fouls in the second quarter (none offensive), then just two in the third quarter. Through three quarters, the Thunder had committed just 10 fouls, only eight of them on defense. Discounting intentional fouls in the final minute, the Thunder committed four in the fourth quarter.
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