This is how the Thunder's 2014-15 regular season schedule will go. Promised. Keep reading »
If you don’t want to watch the 2014-15 regular season and would just like to know how it was going to go, well then I have just the thing for you. But if you want to be surprised, I’d suggest going elsewhere. Because I’m about to tell you EXACTLY how the Thunder’s season will play out.
Two factors contribute to this yearly post: 1) Having a schedule to look and stare at and think about; and 2) it being August.
ESPN Forecast has the Thunder at 58-24, which is the same record it had OKC for last season. This season, the Thunder have been pegged to have the league’s most challenging schedule, but with a presumably healthy Russell Westbrook ready for all 82, and a growing, deeper roster, they could be set up to surpass that prediction. Think about that: They won 59 a year ago with a top seven player sitting nearly half the season.
So let’s go through the schedule piece by piece, and sort this season out: Keep Reading…
Steve Ballmer at his Clippers introductory presser: “I love Seattle. And I’m gonna love beating the old Seattle basketball team when we get our first lick in the first game of the year.” Here’s a fun fact, by the way: For the $2 billion Ballmer bought the Clippers for, he could’ve purchased the Milwaukee Bucks, moved them to Seattle, and paid for a $1.45 billion arena himself.
Anthony Slater on the brewing rivalry: “OKC is an established Western Conference power. The Clippers are ascending in that direction. The two seem set on an annual crash course that began with a dramatic playoff series last season. Plus, there are some unique player ties — Blake Griffin is from OKC, Russell Westbrook is from Los Angeles, Chris Paul was once an OKC Hornet — and a growing history of on-court altercations (most involving Griffin and Serge Ibaka). So the matchup is already ripe with intrigue and storylines. But the addition of free agent center Spencer Hawes, another outspoken and proud Seattle advocate who was highly critical of the Thunder’s relocation, and Ballmer as Mark Cuban 2.0 will only add fuel to the growing fire.” Keep Reading…
Darnell Mayberry: “Meanwhile, the Thunder let starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha and mid-season acquisition Caron Butler walk in free agency, while also losing Derek Fisher to retirement. In the draft, OKC selected promising big man Mitch McGary but also came away with two players who are headed for the Development League in Josh Huestis and Semaj Christon. None are moves that will get the Thunder over the hump. But take a moment to compare the Thunder’s summer to the rest of the conference. You’ll see that few West competitors found the success that allegedly eluded OKC. And, remember, with the exception of defending champion San Antonio — which has had an even quieter summer than the Thunder despite battling injuries and an increasingly aging roster — everyone else is playing catch up.”
David Thorpe of ESPN Insider on Mitch McGary: “Fans had not seen McGary play in a long time, but he quickly reminded us in Vegas that he has significant talent. He plays with energy and passion, which are great complements to a big man with some strength. He showed a good feel for the game on both ends, too. Drafted No. 21, McGary can play fast, which gives the Thunder an interesting option in the middle when Kevin Durant is at power forward and the opponent doesn’t have an oversized center in the game.” Keep Reading…
I remember when I was seven or eight years old, there was this telethon going on to raise money for muscular dystrophy on local TV in West Texas. Along with my two brothers and my parents, we were actually part of it, there with my cousins John and Lindsey, and my Aunt Linda and Uncle Mike.
You see, my Uncle Mike was this big, strong Italian guy, who had that unique ability to be good at just about anything he wanted to do. Also: He was a train conductor, which to childhood me, made him pretty much the baddest of all the badasses. Especially because he would let me pull the train whistle.
But my lasting memory of my Uncle Mike isn’t about him on one of those trains, or fishing, or playing catch in the yard, or shooting hoops in the driveway. It’s of him laying motionless in his bedroom with a feeding tube sticking out of him only able to communicate by blinking as my Aunt Linda went through the alphabet letter by letter.
My Uncle Mike had ALS. Keep Reading…
Happy Saturday. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Come on you Irons.
I went down a YouTube rabbit hole last night looking for a worthy Cartoon, and ended up on this video. It never, ever, ever gets old. I may post it again next week.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com on the longer break: “One thing it probably won’t do, however, is compel the game’s biggest stars to resume participation in the dunk and 3-point contests on All-Star Saturday night. The short break and packed All-Star schedules have been among the key reasons that superstars have for years avoided what used to be a highlight of the weekend. But there is no indication that any discussions have taken place about using the longer break to entice the likes of James, Paul George (when healthy), Russell Westbrook and others to join the Saturday night festivities and restore their long-lost luster. Of course, adding two additional days without games after the All-Star Game will only put more focus on trade deadline moves at that time. But in theory, the focus will be shifted away from the league’s showcase event. One step at a time.”
Coach K sounds a little cheesed about KD dropping out: “We had a whole camp building what we’re doing around him,” Krzyzewski said. “So that’s the very first thing: You had one of the great scorers at the [power forward position]. So how does that change your offense? That changes your offense immensely. You have to do more to get your guards shots. I mean, these guards are really good, but they were complementing one another – Kevin with those guards. … Now we have to look at developing our inside and getting the guards more involved.” Keep Reading…
I love the thought that the next baddest is out there somewhere shooting on a blacktop with a chain net, as a total nobody. Someday, he’ll be a somebody. Some kid named Kevin Durant was doing the same thing 15 years ago and we had no idea.
Darnell Mayberry on the schedule: “The good news for Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant is there is ample rest built into the Oklahoma City Thunder’s schedule next season. That was the biggest takeaway from OKC’s standpoint when the NBA unveiled the league-wide schedule for the 2014-15 season Wednesday. The Thunder will receive as much rest as any team can ask for over the course of an 82-game season. Road trips are relatively short, games are sufficiently spaced out and the entire schedule is about as balanced as can be. It’s an unexpected luxury for a Thunder team needing to again monitor Westbrook’s surgically repaired right knee, as well as better manage Durant’s league-leading minute tally while looking to capture its first NBA title.”
James Herbert of CBSSports.com on best games: “The Thunder will be looking for revenge after losing in the Western Conference Finals, and it’s a Christmas Day game so the whole world will be watching. These were the consensus best teams in the West last year, and nothing has changed on that front.” Keep Reading…