Oklahoma City Thunder

Yes, Paul George Was Fouled…But Here’s What Really Went Wrong In Game 6

M. Hofeld


One of my biggest pet peeves in sports is that when Team A loses a game the fan base for Team A goes directly to the way that the game was officiated to explain the loss. That said, I firmly believe that Oklahoma City was hosed out of an opportunity for Paul George to shoot free throws in the closing seconds of Game 6 in Salt Lake City on Friday night.

As the Tweet above states, the league’s Last Two Minutes Report supported the official’s decision to swallow their whistle because George initiated the contact. In my best John McEnroe voice, “You cannot be serious!!!” Situations like that happen every night in the NBA and nine out of ten times we see that call go to the shooter. Not this time though, and it was shameful.

Now, with that out of the way, Paul George’s final shot was a long way away from being the dagger that ended Oklahoma City’s season. There were multiple other things that went wrong for the Thunder in Game Six and each of them were more harmful than a missed foul call.

The Final Minute Was Just Awful

Before I jump in here too far, kudos to Oklahoma City for just destroying Utah on the boards over the final minute of the game. That said, the reason they were able to secure so many offensive rebounds (it felt like they grabbed 100 of them) was because their shooting in moment was just terrible.

Here’s OKC’s final minute of the season.

– Westbrook missed layup

– George missed 3 pt shot

– Westbrook missed 3 pt shot

– George missed jump shot

– Westbrook missed 3 pt shot

–  George missed 3 pt shot

–  George missed 3 pt shot

The Thunder were in complete desperation mode over the final minute of the game…and they were only down three points. Instead of running anything that resembled an offense it was every man for himself out there.

Paul George Had More Turnovers Than Points

Playoff P was a complete no-show in Game Six. So much so that people were critical of him for turning down shots and passing the ball off. I’m glad that he did that because the shots that he did take weren’t good ones…on any level of basketball. George shot 13% percent from the floor (2-16) and even without Gobert’s foul there’s little chance he makes that final shot. He was 0-6 from long range.

In possibly is final game wearing an Oklahoma City uniform, George’s stat line read 5 points and 6 turnovers.

Missed Free Throws Sealed Their Fate

In what has been a season long struggle, failing to take advantage of getting to the charity stripe finally cost this team. Oklahoma City missed six of their thirteen opportunities from the free throw line but in a game of this magnitude every single one of them was huge.

Unfortunately this falls more heavily on Thunder leader Russell Westbrook who only shot 50% (3-6) from the line. OKC missed six free throws and lost by five points…that’s pretty easy math.

Oklahoma City Lost To A Team That Didn’t Have A Point Guard

Let that line sink in just a bit because it’s hurtful. Due to a hamstring injury Utah’s Ricky Rubio only played the first seven minutes of the game. During that time he was 0-1 from the floor and Oklahoma City had outscored the Jazz 13-11.

In the ultimate example of “Team Ball” vs. “Me Ball” Utah used small forward Joe Ingles and shooting guard Donovan Mitchell to run their offense and beat a team that has three All Stars.

Yeah, that no call on Paul George’s final shot was atrocious for sure. It was almost as atrocious as the some of the other things Oklahoma City did wrong in Game Six.

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