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Thunder notebook: Experience in Western Conference Finals clincher gave OKC confidence

NBA FINALS — The Thunder beat the Miami Heat 105-94 in Game 1 Tuesday, and Serge Ibaka said the series-clinching win over San Antonio last week gave the team confidence.
by Ryan Aber Published: June 13, 2012

“It's basketball.”

At the same time, Brooks acknowledged the difference Tuesday from any other game he'd ever coached.

“It's not an exhibition game,” Brooks said. “It's not any other game.

“We know that. We understand where we are.”


NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said before the game that having the National Basketball Players Association President, the Thunder's Derek Fisher, still alive in the Finals has slowed up in ironing out the so called “B list” issues in the new collective bargaining agreement.

“He's still actively engaged in the season; that's part of the hold up as well, but we hope to turn to something once the season ends,” Silver said.

Silver said he recently spoke with NBPA executive director Bill Hunter about the issues.

“We agreed once the season was over, we would reconvene and continue discussing those issues,” Silver said.

Silver said of the issues left to settle, the age issue would not be implemented for next season. Other issued could be immediately implemented as they are settled, though.


NBA Commissioner David Stern said the block-charge/flop issue would be on the agenda when the league's competition committee meets June 18.

“Flopping almost doesn't do it justice,” Stern said. “Trickery. Deceit. Designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits. We will be looking at that. We'll be looking at a number of things that make it easier for us to say to our fans what we all know to be true — our referees want to get everything right.”

Stern said expanded replay could be one remedy.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti is on the committee.


LeBron James, when asked about how to avoid giving up 56 points in the paint to the Thunder in Game 2.

“Not give up 56 points in the paint.”


The Thunder has shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of their last four playoff games. ... Since the current NBA playoff format was established in 1984, the winner of Game 1 has won the NBA Finals 20 times and lost eight. Last season, Miami won Game 1 against Dallas before losing the series in six games. All time in the NBA Finals, Game 1 winners are 47-18. ... The June 12 start date is the second-latest start in NBA Finals history, behind only the 1999 series between San Antonio and New York that started June 16.

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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