OK, so don’t panic.
Actually maybe panic a little. Heck, I don’t care how much you panic, because at this point, any amount of it is kind of justified.
Panic about this season, or this Thunder team? Nah, they’re good. 39-14 at the break and on a crash course to contend for the Western crown. Panic about having the chops to beat the Heat? Yeah, that might be alright.
The Thunder’s fourth quarter comeback was valiant and inspiring, but it was mostly empty. They cut a 23-point lead to eight, but the outcome was never genuinely in doubt. I was certainly proud of the way the Thunder never packed it in, the way they clawed to the finish, the way they fed off a starved, emotional crowd to at least give a little hope. It reminded me a bit of Game 2 against the Spurs where OKC fought back to make it close, building a little positive momentum and belief out of it. Maybe that happened tonight.
But the events of the first half were downright shocking. Russell Westbrook was asked postgame what the mood was, if losing a sixth straight game to Miami — the second consecutive at home — was disappointing. He wouldn’t go there. He used a different word.