It’s two games.
Rankings: Keep Reading…
It’s two games.
Rankings: Keep Reading…
Berry Tramel: “The Clippers made 13 of 14 shots taken within the six seconds that define fastbreaks. In non-fastbreak shots, the Clippers made 29 of 67 shots. Total meltdown for the Thunder, which likes to brag about its defensive mentality, usually for good reason. Scotty Brooks was so frustrated, he thrice called for intentional fouls on Jordan, a notoriously bad foul shooter. It was good strategy. On those three trips to the line, Jordan made two of six. On the Clippers’ other 26 second-quarter possessions, they scored 42 points.”
Michael Shagrin of Clipperblog: “Even when accounting for his limited minutes since returning from a knee injury, Westbrook still seems to have a poor gauge of his own ability to contribute in his current state. He’s shooting 28 percent from the field on 24 total shots in those two games. The efficiency is down. Paul, meanwhile, has shot about in line with his percentages on the season. While a player’s first first few games after injury shouldn’t impact his larger body of work, this particular instance allows for some insight into the expectations of the varying point guard breed.” Keep Reading…
With 2:43 left in a tie game, the Thunder came out of an official timeout with a beauty drawn up. Kevin Durant coming off a down screen, on his favorite right wing and in rhythm on a catch-and-shoot from 3. Durant took care of the easy part, splashing from deep to put OKC up 115-112, their first lead since the second quarter.
It was the kind of shot we’ve gotten used to over the last couple weeks — or really, years — with Durant knocking down something important late in a close game. But the next two minutes didn’t go well.
Chris Paul made two free throws to pull the Clippers back within one. Russell Westbrook, in his second game back, then bricked a wild jumper. On a physical postup, Blake Griffin drew a foul, and made both free throws — 116-115, Clippers, 1:53 left. Durant returned the favor in getting to the line, but missed both his free throws. (So to recap that, Griffin makes two clutch free throws, Durant misses two. OK.) That set up a big 3 from Jamal Crawford, Durant missed a jumper, and the Thunder finally got a stop. to Durant came back with a driving layup to trim it back to two. But Crawford rolled in a floating jumper with 39 seconds left to make it a four-point game. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.5 (6th), Clippers – 111.0 (3rd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.3 (4th), Clippers – 104.9 (11th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.1 (11th), Clippers – 95.6 (8th)
After Thursday unfortunate performance, a new premium has been placed on this one. But really, this was always the more important game. The one against the Heat carried weight because of the individual merits between LeBron and KD, but really, playing an Eastern Conference opponent doesn’t mean near as much as playing a Western one that’s chasing you for the top seed. Keep Reading…
Happy weekend. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Hashtag, brodie.
Whenever someone even dared mention the idea of the Thunder being better off without Russell Westbrook, I just watched this play. Because the Thunder are not, and will never be, better off without Russell Westbrook.
Scott Brooks to NBA.com on defense: “I look at it in a bunch of dimensions. One, I look at it as strictly an offensive team and a defensive team. And I look at it combined, hand in hand. I believe you have to be able to be a be a two-way team in order to have success. Especially in the West, there are so many great teams. And that’s the thing I take pride in. I know there are so many times when we have to focus on defense, defense, defense, and there are holes. We have to try to repair it. And we do that and the offense becomes stagnant, and you try to fix that up. That’s just part of coaching. You have to find balance, fix the problems as you see them, and try to envision problems before they even happen.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider projecting Durant and LeBron: “Barring injury, Durant will eventually catch James. Their difference in age makes that an inevitability, because it’s larger than the difference in their established performance. There’s far too much noise in the projections to know whether that might happen next season or not until several more down the line.” Keep Reading…
Do you want to start? Or should I? I’ll start.
The Thunder played really bad. And the Heat played pretty good. So the Thunder lost, 103-81 as LeBron James played better than Kevin Durant. That’s what happened.
But here’s why it happened:
Twenty Thunder turnovers turned into 29 Heat points. Ballgame.
Jeremy Lamb, Derek Fisher, Thabo Sefolosha and Reggie Jackson combined for 15 points on 5-23. Ballgame.
The Thunder shot 2-20 from 3 tonight. Ballgame. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.9 (6th), Heat – 111.7 (2nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.2 (4th), Heat – 106.1 (16th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.2 (11th), Heat – 92.5 (22nd)
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