New weekly thing from Tyler Parker looking ahead to the week’s schedule of games for the Thunder. Hope you like. -ed
And so the deep, deep breath out is breathed by the whole of the 405 and the 918 and the other area codes that exist in Oklahoma that I don’t know about. Russ’ knee isn’t any more hurt than it already was. Kyle Lowry is not Patrick Beverley. Happiness abounds on the plains and in the cities and we can all still wear our fishing lure collared shirts. To celebrate, Russ went to the Oklahoma City Zoo with a laughing and bearded Kendrick Perkins and got kissed by a sea lion.
This week the Thunder have four games on tap. Three at home, one in Dallas.
Let’s take a look at The Forecast.
Team: Denver Nuggets (32-38, fourth in the Northwest Division)
Date: Monday – March 24, 2014 (Home)
Details: The Nugs are 21 1/2 games out of first place in the West and it’s fairly safe to say they won’t be playing any games in June. Ty Lawson’s leading them in scoring (18.1), assisting (9.0), and stealing (1.6) the ball. After Phil Jackson’s arrival in New York, Brian Shaw is leading the whole coaching world in having to answer questions about a team that’s not his own. Coming off a couple days of rest the Thunder should win this game but I don’t suppose that’s kept them from losing before. Faried and Ibaka might get into it over who gets to be the most rubbery, athletic guy on the floor. We’ll probably have to watch that Nate Robinson Taco Bell commercial a bunch. Speaking of Little Nate, see you guys at Will Rogers welcoming him back to town.
Team: Dallas Mavericks (42-29, fourth in the Southwest Division)
Date: Tuesday – March 25, 2014 (Away)
Details: Mark Cuban will be in a graphic t-shirt, spilling popcorn and firing off profanities if things go poorly for the Mavericks. He might shout them. He might say them quietly to himself. We just can’t know. If they play well he will look something like this. Whatever happens, hopefully Michael Finley finds a way to sit next to him again. There’s not enough Finley in my scene anymore. That video’s mainly to remind everyone how big of a joke Jason Terry was and is, though. I don’t care how many jumpers he hit on LeBron in 2011. There’s also this. I know he’s in Sacramento now, but it’s Jason Terry. You get a chance to dog him, you take it. In closing, here’s maniacal Shawn Marion real excited to be showing a camera his pinky.
Team: Sacramento Kings (25-45, fourth in the Pacific Division)
Date: Friday – March 28, 2014 (Home)
Details: The Boogie Man comes to town leading the Kings in every category that isn’t assists. He rides in on the wings of scowling fowls and dancing doves. The Second Iteration of Isaiah Thomas has become a problem for defenses and is just a few days removed from cussing around and getting a triple double. Rudy Gay’s not a statistical disaster anymore and Royce White’s on their team now so, you know, you can tweet about that or whatever. The Kings have life. They’re also bad. They’ve got the third worst record in the West and they’re not making any new friends because Boogs don’t need friends. Unless you’re Sean Elliott. In which case, Boogs is ready to bury the hatchet. This is the best thing to happen to Sean Elliott since that Memorial Day back in ’99. Sad, Brian Grant tears fall below beautiful hair.
Team: Utah Jazz (23-47, fifth in the Northwest Division)
Date: Sunday – March 30, 2014 (Home)
Details: The Jazz are the worst team in the West. If they were Miles Davis throughout the mid to late 90’s, then now they’re something like the sixth chair trumpet in a middle school band riffing on the melody of “Kokomo” in between classes while two color guard girls share a small bag of Sun Chips and point and laugh at how stupid their Sketchers are. The Jazz are terrible, but that’s kind of the point right now. It’s tank time in the SLC. Winning is not their thing. Kanye has more interest in humility than the Jazz do in winning.
People are getting downright sacrilegious about the way Kevin Durant is playing basketball right now. If the Thunder defend and don’t beat themselves by allowing Ty Lawson and Monta Ellis into the lane, it stands to reason that a 4-0 week is absolutely something that could happen. If you need me I’ll be Googling “Greivis Vasquez Montrose Christian Jersey”.
Acceptable Outcome: 3-1
The only game here that feels okay to lose would be the one in Dallas. They’re scrapping to stay in the eight spot in the West and it stands to reason they will break the bank to get a W. Without knowing about Russ’ involvement in the game – either because he’s not playing at all or because of a minute restriction – it feels possible that the Mavs might come out ahead. The rest should be wins going away. Home games against lesser teams are the kind of should-win games we’ve grown accustomed to this team winning. The Jazz oughtta be handled like Benny handled The Beast. Ditto for Sacto and the Nugs. The Spurs have a cake of a week. The Thunder can’t afford to lose games they shouldn’t if that one seed matters to them.