Get everyone to the lifeboats at once! Chadwick, we have no room for your trunk of curios. There are hundreds of people on this ship and we need to save room for all of them. We can’t take with us your silly knick-knacks and your paddy wacks and your dog bones. Reginald, help Ms. Wintonius with her things. Her things, Reginald. Not her…Bradford, where are you going with that full roasted turkey? We have no room for it. You all should be helping the passengers.
Don’t waste the scotch right now. We must save some to make the time pass as we wait for rescue. It will warm our belly’s and loosen our minds. Grab extra coats. That is it. All other space is for bodies. Don’t freak out. Don’t anyone freak out. Tomson. Put the gun down, Tomson. Tomson, put the gun down! Dadgum it, Tomson!
* * *
No, no. Let’s chill for a second. Everyone just relax. It’s three games in February where they’re trying to assimilate a very important person back into the fold. This happens sometimes.
But it’s strange to be reminded of the team’s mortality. They’ve been so good for so long that, when operating with a roster that’s close to healthy, the assumption is that they’re either going to win, or barely lose. And those losses, they will never be dumb ones. That was what was so underrated about their transformation from poor, pathetic losers into destroyers. They just didn’t lose games they weren’t supposed to. Especially at home.
So, now, when you sit there and watch your laptop flicker defensive sadness back at you for two plus hours, you just know, deep down, that at some point somebody, probably Durant, is going to have a “That is enough!” moment and shut the door on this thing so we can all happily go to Chelino’s and get some chips and salsa and talk about how they should’ve beat the Cavs worse but a win is a win. As it stands, Kyrie Irving went ahead and curb stomped us and left us bleeding at the mouth of Bricktown River, our orange and blue insides seeping out into the water, being churned up by the water taxis pointing out Zio’s to someone from Lawton.
* * *
I don’t want to go nuclear and press the red button. It seems silly to do that with the Thunder still in first place, especially considering the musical chairs they’ve had to play of late within their starting lineup. The Thunder, probably for worse, are a team that finds extreme comfort in consistently being able to trot out a very specific, traditional starting unit. One that makes a certain type of mathematical and aesthetic sense to the powers that be. Russ comes back and Reggie goes back to coming off the bench. Both the starters and the second unit have to readjust. Then Perk goes down and Adams gets the bump and that further puts the second unit behind the imaginary 8-ball of consistency.
Those are valid enough excuses for the recent troubles, but they’re just that, excuses. Things shouldn’t be as bad as they were last night. The state of the West right now is one where you have to deal with injuries and deal with them quickly. There are too many good teams to laze around for a week or two. You do and all of a sudden you’ll be third in the conference staring up at teams who have home arenas you really don’t want to have to play in four times. It’s necessary to play well and to play well now. I get tired of the Thunder’s constant comparison to the Spurs but in this way it seems appropriate. The Spurs are doing the lineup shuffle constantly and it doesn’t get in the way of their constant hanging around at the top of the Western conference. Nobody in the league is crying for the Thunder. They either figure it out or people start burning couches.
They should probably play small from the jump. Ibaka at the five, Durant at the four, so on, but I’m not in the habit of pulling my hair out wishing that the sky would turn purple knowing full well it’s going to stay blue. Brooks is Brooks till he dies and no decision he’s made since he’s become the head coach would suggest that he’d ever do anything like that as long as a semi-capable center is on the roster and healthy. I’m saying, hell’s not freezing anytime soon.
The Thunder are bad right now. They need to figure this out and it needs to be sooner rather than later, but I’m inclined to think they will. They’re too proud a team and too bothered by the loss and altogether to Duranty and Westbrooky to abide losing for too long. They’ve given me reason to believe in their resolve way too many times for me to rip at my robes and take to the streets with a Bible, megaphone, and a “The end is coming. Repent.” sign.