The Oklahoma City Thunder clearly have not played to their full potential this series.

Many analysts believe that they are the better team, yet they are just being outplayed in every aspect of the game.

One of the players who have become invaluable this year is bench-player James Harden.

Harden, who was awarded the Sixth Man of the Year honor, has played well for most of the playoffs.

Yet in this series, particularly in Game Four, he was completely ineffective.

It's not just his lack of defense that has slowed down his performance, but the fact that he is shooting just 16.7 percent, down from his career average of 44.4 percent, this series is highly unlike him.

He cannot guard LeBron James at all, and has had multiple opportunities with wide-open shots to make crucial points but has failed to connect.

Of course, any basketball player would be frustrated if his shot's not falling, but you've got to stick with it, Harden said. It's basketball. You don't make [all your] shots every single day, every single game.

Harden needs to find a formula to get back to his winning ways. He needs to have the correct mentality.

This is the NBA Finals, there should be little excuse for missed shots, especially if a player was exceptional all year.

Besides his field goal percentage, he needs to shoot better behind the three-point line. Going 4 for 14 is not acceptable.

If he connects with his shots, and plays sound defense, he will provide an enormous relief for the Thunder, and can become the determining factor of this game.

Some nights you're going to make those, some nights you're going to miss them, but your effort has to be there, head coach Scott Brooks said. I love James' effort and that's all I judge him on.

James needs to put the past behind him and play like his old self on Thursday night.