Originally posted on The X's & O's of Basketball  |  Last updated 6/16/12

Looking forward to watching Game 3 tomorrow night between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat. The combined experience of the Heat gives them the big advantage in my opinion, but my goodness, the Thunder are so tenacious, and they simply never give up. It is going to be a fantastic finish if the first 2 games are any indication.

In my opinion, one of the most important decisions in the game came when Coach Scott Brooks left Kevin Durant in the game despite picking up his 5th foul early in the fourth quarter. A lot of people say it was a big gamble, but I think more importantly than just trying to comeback in the 4th quarter, it shows trust.

Sure, Durant could have easily picked up another cheap foul and ended up on the bench, and the near comeback probably would not have happened. But again, there is more at stake here then just the 4th quarter. There will be more important moments in this series, and in their career together, where that trust will become even more important, a last second play to win the game, a critical defensive stand.  It's hard to trust your players when they make stupid mistakes, but once a player knows how much you believe in them, they will respond when it counts the most.
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