Sometimes after disappointing games I’ll take to the Internet to try to make myself feel better. I go watch old clips of people accepting Academy Awards, go watch Eastbound & Down blooper reals, look at sneakers I can’t afford, search for Lonesome Dove gifs, so on. Sometimes I’ll go on Twitter and bury myself in some notable person’s mentions just to see what people say to people that they don’t know but feel like they do. It’s always very revealing, the bravery. Lots of people ask to be followed.
I’m usually a bystander, but every now and again I’ll try to stir stuff up. Last night I went on a tweet binge directed at Olive Garden because, for some reason, they were tweeting out pictures of breadsticks a little after midnight central standard time. Something about not being able to spell breadsticks without “bae”, which makes sense, but also doesn’t at all. I retweet Olive Garden a lot. They are far and away the most interesting thing on Twitter that isn’t my friend Jason’s brother. His name is Mario and he really only ever retweets Dallas Cowboys memes and jokes about the Kardashians. I was told at one point when he was a teenager he asked to be called Zion. The word “fascinating” is overused, but Mario is fascinating.
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The Thunder are fascinating. Watching them play offense with only a single person who can create their own shot is something akin to watching a twelve year old try to drive a low rider convertible in the middle of a blizzard for the first time — all their friends are in the backseat asking to listen to the new Third Day album. These are Godly kids and it’s 2001. They’re crawling along down side streets and back roads and you just feel so close to utter disaster the whole time.
But there’s also a chance for thrills! Such thrills! Russell can leave his conscious on the floor of his spaceship — he should leave it there forever and only return to it when he’s forced to deal with interpersonal relationships with human beings he cares about. And maybe a crash happens, but man the explosion — the way the flames rolled off the body of the car and up into the sky — something pretty to look at.
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There’s no reason to panic here. This was the first game. There are 81 more. The Thunder could have played better offensively and Brooks will have to try to become someone he isn’t and find creative ways to get players the ball in good spots, but losing to a second round playoff team on the road in the first game of the year when your squad is a shell of its full strength self is not the end of the world. This is a team that can compete and keep its head above water before Kevin Durant walks on it and returns to the boat, savior. No one’s drowning here, except maybe Perk with that Mike Woodson Memorial Felt Goatee he was sporting last night. Such a thing will weigh a man down.
This was a depleted version of an already depleted team playing without their best and fourth best players, being tossed into the Rose Garden, holding their own for three quarters till they finally got too tired. Portland is too good to hang with in their spot with a roster like the Thunder trotted out last night. If Bassy is getting 15 minutes per then it’s like the team is actually walking through the fire. Same as if Lance Thomas is your second leading scorer. And what good is a post-Westbrookalyptic world if you’re just scorching earth that’s already been burnt.
Tyler Parker is a contributor to Daily Thunder and BallerBall. Follow him on Twitter natch.