NBA Finals: Did Kevin Durant celebrate too soon?

Thunder led by six points with 14.6 seconds left, which would have been plenty of time for San Antonio to come back.
By John Rohde Published: June 8, 2012
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The last two teams to win 25 games or less and advance to the NBA Finals in three years or less? One of them will be OKC's next opponent.

The 2006-07 Boston Celtics finished 24-58 and the following season set an NBA record for a one-year turnaround by finishing 66-16 and capped by winning the 2008 NBA championship with Kendrick Perkins as their 23-year-old center.

Two years later, the Celtics went 50-32 and advanced to the Finals, where they lost 4-3 to the Los Angeles Lakers.

In 2007-08, the Miami Heat finished 15-67 and three years later advanced to the 2011 Finals, where it lost 4-2 to the Dallas Mavericks.

DEAFENING EXPERIENCE

Before Game 6, Brooks was asked if he thought Chesapeake Energy Arena could possibly be any louder with his team about to play for a spot in the NBA Finals.

“I didn't think it could, but it did,” Brooks said. “When Perk got the dunk (with 24.3 seconds left), that place, I've never been in a building that was louder. You could just tell there was so much excitement because they knew we were going to the NBA Finals.

“They (fans) deserve a lot of credit. They stuck with us and cheered us on. It wasn't always good basketball. Even this year we had some times it wasn't always good basketball, but they've always cheered us on, always stuck by our side. Our players love it. Our players appreciate what they do. They know that it's a combination of everybody that going to put the time in to experience this.

“(The slogan) ‘Team-is-one' is so important, we don't just throw that out there.”

Brooks then shared a formula that included the arena's capacity (18,203) and the number of players on the roster (15).

“18,203 plus 15 is one,” Brooks said.

UNDER PRESSURE

Another round in the playoffs brings another round of pressure to those who advance, and the NBA Finals is pro basketball's biggest stage.

“You have to go through it,” Brooks said. “No question, it's another level of intensity. Both teams are going to find it extremely hard to get the championship. If it is a problem, it's a great problem to have. I don't see it as a problem. Our guys, they've grown up with type of excitement around the game.”


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