Man, it’s so good to see those blue uniforms on my TV screen again. So good.
For shame that the Thunder kind of crapped the bed a bit, especially on the defensive end and overall in the second half. The Heat beat OKC 103-96 behind 23 from Chris Bosh and 22 from LeBron. Kevin Durant had 21 for OKC and Russell Westbrook 18 points and six assists. Some life-changing thoughts:
- I don’t think people are giving Chris Bosh enough credit. Everyone is talking Wade and LeBron, but geez, Chris Bosh is really, really good. Especially when he has that mid-range jumper working. He went straight at Jeff Green and really overwhelmed him. Before you get too crazy yelling and throwing things about Green, keep in mind we are talking about one of the top two or three power forwards in the game. A LOT of people are going to be overwhelmed by Bosh. Doesn’t mean I would’ve loved to have seen something better from Green though.
- It was a tough night on both ends though for Uncle Jeff. He gets manhandled by Bosh on one end, and on the other he went 1-11 from the floor. One night he’s 9-14, the next he’s 1-11. That kind of stuff happens in preseason.
- Cole Aldrich started and it was hard not to like what you saw. His line was meh: 22 minutes, two points, 1-1 from the field, four rebounds, three blocks. That definitely doesn’t impress. But Aldrich sets really, really nice screens. He’s a worker and was constantly active on the glass, tipping rebounds and working on the interior. For only his second professional game, I’m encouraged that he can contribute this season.
- Aldrich just awkwardly pumps his arms when he walks, jogs or runs full speed. I can’t get over it. It’s probably because his arms are so dang long. They’re like impressively long. His wingspan covers almost the entire lane when he spreads out. He definitely will be a defensive force at some point.
- Of the starters, the only plus was Aldrich who finished with a plus-six.
- Daequan Cook could be extremely valuable. Not as a primary rotation player, but as a guy that comes in off the bench for 5-8 minutes, spreads the floor, hits two quick 3s and then sits back down. The guy can definitely shoot. He’s a bit streaky and after starting 2-2, he missed his next four of five, but still, 3-7 from deep is nice. I’d definitely give him the edge over Morris Peterson right now.
- After a nice first half, the Thunder just went to poo offensively in the third. They were outscored 32-19 and Durant just never really got the jumper going. KD finished 5-13 from the floor but as KD tends to do, made up at the line hitting 10-10.
- The Thunder wore white shoes with the blues. I THOUGHT WE WERE PAST THIS.
- No Byron Mullens, Peterson, Elijah Millsap, Tweety Carter, Longar Longar, Jerome Dyson or Royal Ivey. Kind of disappointed we didn’t see Millsap. I still think he has a shot with this organization.
- James Harden had one of those nights where it never really got going for him. He finished with 15 points and five rebounds, but on 2-8 shooting with five turnovers. The one thing about Harden now though is he’s finding his way to the line. He’s great at driving and the fact he was 8-8 from the stripe is very nice.
- One thing that’s much improved with Russell Westbrook is his handle. He’s playing as fast as he did his rookie year when he was often reckless and out of control. But now, he’s flying up the court completely control of the ball. It’s edge-of-your-seat stuff every time he has the ball. It’s like a hand-off to Adrian Peterson. It’s just exciting. Prepare for Russell Westbrook this season, NBA. Consider yourself warned.
It’s preseason and there’s definitely some rust and some kinks to get worked out. This isn’t the finished product and while there were some encouraging, nice things, there were definitely some things that need to be sorted out.
Next up is Memphis in Tulsa Oct. 12.