I’d imagine I repeat some form of this on Thursday, but last night Kevin Durant passed one Mr. Mike Jeff Jordan for consecutive games scoring 25 or more points. Durant has done that, scored 25+, forty-one games in a row. He’s officially done something Jordan never did before.
His play this year has been remarkable. The level of consistency he’s brought to the floor has been a joy to watch. When Westbrook was out, he picked up the whole team, placed them on his boney shoulders, and told them it was all going to be fine. Then he picked up a sword and proceeded to start chopping up the entire league. He’s been the best player in the game this year. He deserves the MVP. I don’t want to get too into it, though. I need to save some words for Thursday.
For now I’ll just say that we could get down on our knees eighty times a day and thank God that Kevin Durant is a member of the Thunder and that still wouldn’t be us appreciating him enough.
Let’s take a look at The Forecast.
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Team: Sacramento Kings (27-50, fourth in the Pacific Division)
Date: Tuesday, 4/8/2014 (Away)
Details: This is the one that should be fairly automatic and because of that it’s terrifying. This is that we go down to the Cotton Bowl to play Texas next week so let’s think about them instead of Kansas this week and oh wait now we’re down fourteen at half because we thought so little about them. Boogs will come out swinging because that is his steez. He’s continued to play fantastic basketball, still leading them in every statistical category that isn’t assists, and the Cowbell isn’t an easy place to play. Somewhere Lou Holtz says “The Sacramento Kings scare me to death.”
This game is a Grant Long and Brian Davis Special if I’ve ever heard of one. I’ll be taking bites of my pizza every time Grant Long says something critical of Cousins attitude.
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Team: Los Angeles Clippers (55-23, first in the Pacific Division)
Date: Wednesday, 4/9/2014 (Away)
Details: Goes without saying, but this is the big one. The one that could very well decide if the Thunder are the two or the three seed going into the playoffs. Blake Griffin has not at all slowed down and he’s becoming more and more fully realized as an offensive force. Their front line gives us problems because they house two of the few dudes in the league that can jump with Ibaka. Both Paul and Westbrook will play and that will be a battle of wills and styles from the start. Redick is back and now they’re able to stretch the floor a little more consistently. They’re a tough, tough cover and our defense, especially on the perimeter, hasn’t exactly been the stuff of Master Lock. Staples, as much as it can, will be shaking for them and they’ll trot out a who’s who of past stoppers to try to slow down Durant: Barnes, Granger, Dudley, maybe even Twan. Billy Crystal will shout things from court-side that would’ve been kind of funny in the early 90’s.
This one’s on ESPN and the level of attention that they’ll give it will border on Tim Tebow and Tiger Woods getting into a fight over the love and attention of Phil Jackson levels.
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Team: New Orleans (32-45, fifth in the Southwest Division)
Date: Friday, 4/11/2014 (Home)
Details: The first of two end of the year contests with The Brow and His Many Merry Minions. The next one will be right around the corner the following Monday. This one stands to be a letdown game after the emotional and physical toll the Clippers game is sure to take on all involved. Davis is rocking a rather scorching 26.6 PER this season and generally does at least one thing a game that makes you drop your jaw in fear that you’re going to have to deal with this thing for several more years. He’s already a 20-10 guy and he’s averaging a freakish 2.8 blocks per game. He moves the way water does.
Grant Long and Brian Davis have this call. Let’s listen in to see what kind of quick trigger passion reaction BD can conjure up when Ibaka and The Brow have their inevitable meeting at the rim.
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Team: Indiana (53-25, first in the Central Division)
Date: Sunday, 4/13/2014 (Away)
Details: The Thunder have played Indiana once before this season and they torched them. Rather, they TORCHED them. Actually, they TORCHED them. The final, in one of Westbrook’s first games back, was 118-94 and it was never even that close. The collective basketball mediasphere and blogosphere all got together and got roofied that night, deciding to completely forego discussion of that game when talking about Indiana’s potency, so this is the Thunder’s chance to remind folks once again of the Pacers and their mortality. It would also serve as a fitting regular season send off for the Eastern Conference to see one of their best go down against one of the West’s best.
You can catch this one on ABC. Here’s hoping Hubie does the game because Hubie should be doing every game that matters.
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Acceptable Outcome: 3-1
This is hard because “acceptable”, to me, means I’m okay with it. Now, being fair, going to LA and Indy and playing against two of the best teams in the league, if the Thunder were to drop them, that wouldn’t be surprising. They’re quality teams and those games will matter to both those teams. But the Thunder, if they don’t want to drop any more in the standings, need to win. I can accept them losing one, preferably to the Pacers, but to drop two would mean limping into the playoffs, and that is not a look or a vibe Presti or anyone involved in the organization would want. This week matters a lot. Should be fun to see what happens.