Heat vs. Thunder: Miami Is Exposing OKC Coach Scott Brooks

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 17:  Head coach Scott Brooks of the Oklahoma City Thunder  looks on as he answers questions from the media after the Thunder lost 91-85 against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City brass may want to rethink any extension offers they're planning to throw Scott Brooks' way.

Brooks has not handled end-of-game situations well, uses questionable rotations and has shown inexperience in general. He isn't a bad coach, but he isn't the right fit for the Thunder at this point. 

The Thunder need an experienced coach. Phil Jackson or Jerry Sloan (should they decide to return) would be ideal choices, but that probably isn't going to happen.

For now, the Thunder's frustrations will pile up. Brooks isn't completely to blame by any means, but all problems start with the head coach.

Let's take a look at Brooks' questionable choices in Game 4.

Why Was Derek Fisher in the Game?

Fisher's crucial error in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter Wednesday shouldn't have happened. He should have made the right play, but I'm not sure why he was even on the court.

Thabo Sefolosha only had five points on the night, but he is the team's best perimeter defender. In the game's most pivotal moments, he should have been on the floor.

Granted, Sefolosha doesn't stretch the floor like Fisher. He isn't a great shooter, and he doesn't provide the same leadership qualities. 

But this isn't the Fisher of old. He's a step slower, years older and has lost a lot of his late-game magic.

Leaving him on the court is a questionable decision by Brooks. The Thunder still needed stops, and Sefolosha provides a huge boost in that department. 

Fisher's blunder will get the attention, but people should wonder why he was even on the court.

End of the Game Was Not Just Russell Westbrook's Fault

You are going to hear a lot of "scapegoat" talk leading up to Game 5 Thursday night. James Harden's tentative, eight-point performance is an easy candidate as is Westbrook's unforgivable error in the game's final seconds. 

But Brooks shouldn't escape this conversation.

Sure, Westbrook should have known the situation. He needed to double-check the shot clock. If he had, he would have seen that it didn't reset. He would have defended Mario Chalmers for four seconds and given the Thunder one chance to hit the game-tying three.

Instead, Westbrook didn't bother to check the clock, fouled Chalmers and put the game on ice. 

As head coach, it is Brooks' responsibility to bark orders to his team. It is on him to make sure his team is aware of what is going on. He can't just assume his extremely young, and inexperienced team, is aware of the most crucial situation of their young careers.

Brooks dropped the ball. Westbrook will receive the blame more times than not, but Brooks should be under the same microscope.

There's no doubting Brooks' relationship with his players. They get along, and that is important. But I think Brooks would be a better fit for this team five years down the road.

For now, the Thunder need an experienced coach at the helm. Brooks' inexperience combined with his team's inexperience is a bad combination.

Miami is proving that as each quarter passes in this year's NBA Finals, and they will win a championship because of it. 

The Thunder, and Brooks, seem overwhelmed in too many decisive situations. Until that's fixed, Oklahoma City will sit behind Miami.