The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Miami Heat 112-95 on Wednesday night. Three different game stories, the AP game recap, the Miami Herald game story, and an ESPN.com analysis, all took different approaches.
The AP game recap let stats and quotes tell the story in a hard news style. It talked about how the Heat got off to an early lead, before the Thunder ran away with the game with the teams hot 3-point shooting, ability to take advantage of 20 Miami turnovers, and the Heat’s struggles from the three-point line. The recap included quotes from both coaches, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James.
I liked how this was a here’s what happened, and here’s what the people involved thought style. It was a strictly information based story with no commentary at all from the writer which can be bland, and for me it was.
The Miami Herald game story by Joseph Goodman was similar to the AP recap with its hard news approach, but was naturally slanted towards the Heat, and it included some commentary.
The lead-in was significantly more creative than the AP story. Goodman wrote how the Heat were starting to take the season seriously, and how they showed it in the first quarter. After the first quarter though, the Thunder dominated and Goodman used and analyzed quotes for a comedic effect. Goodman even took some shots saying the Heat “didn’t seem too interested”. That’s a case of a writer taking a direct shot at a team, which is certainly a risky path to go down.
Following the story’s creative beginning, Goodman went back to the fact quote, fact quote approach, doing it effectively. He also added some analysis when he mentioned how LeBron James and Kevin Durant cancelled each other out, but the Heat didn’t have anyone else step up offensively with Serge Ibaka stepping up for the Thunder.
I thought this was a more creative, more boisterous way of saying how the game went. It was a more interesting and fun way to read about what happened.
The ESPN.com story by Tom Haberstroh was significantly different than the AP recap, and the Miami Herald story. It used a feature approach by saying how the Thunder won by playing small, which was the same thing the Heat did to beat Oklahoma City in the 2012 NBA Finals.
Haberstroh’s game story hit hard on how much better the Thunder played with Kendrick Perkins on the bench, compared to when he played. With Perkins on the floor against the Heat, the Thunder have been outscored by 56 points, and without him, have outscored the Heat by 48 points. Neither of the two other stories even mentioned Perkins name.
Since the Thunder went small, it allowed them to move faster on defense and play a more up-tempo offense, which flustered Miami. Haberstroh wrote about how the Thunder’s style of play completely changed for this game. Typically, Oklahoma City isn’t much of a 3-point shooting team, ranking just behind the middle of the pack in the NBA. In this game though, the Thunder shot an absurd 59 percent from 3-point land with over one-third of the teams shots coming from deep.
Haberstroh had a clever ending where he talked about the counter punch Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will be looking to give Scott Brooks the next time these two teams play.
This was my favorite of the 3 game stories. It was by far the most analysis based, and it did a whole lot more than just report on what happened. The story broke down each teams style of play, and left the reader thinking what might be in store in the future.
I thought that was an absolutely brilliant way to end the story. You have to appreciate the research that was done here, and the unique way the writer broke down what happened instead of just listing facts.