- The hangover from Warriors vs Thunder
- The upcoming week of Thunder basketball
- Who is the top 8 in each conference?
- Best places to eat in OKC
- Is Steven Adams invincible?
- Dorell Wright??
- and much more!
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Berry Tramel places last night on two people: “A frustrated Thunder fan sent me an email early Thursday morning. It was succinct. ‘Who gets fired?'” He was talking, of course, about the Thunder’s total meltdown in the fourth quarter at Los Angeles. The Thunder led 85-65 with 30 seconds left in the third period and 95-81 with five minutes left, yet the Clippers won 103-98. My answer was succinct, too. You can’t fire the guys responsible. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.”
Anthony Slater: “Kevin Durant, who went from dominant to lost as the game turned to its most crucial moments, couldn’t hold onto the ball. Durant fumbled itaway on a crucial drive with under four minutes to go. It fortunately landed in a teammate’s hands and then swung back to Durant. So he tried to drive again. And he fumbled it again, this time to Jamal Crawford who turned it into a layup. It was one of his six giveaways.” Keep Reading…
Kevin Durant: “Hate losing like that. They made plays; we didn’t. They were disciplined; we weren’t. We want to be a great team, we’re fooling ourselves. If we just want to be a great team the way we’re playing, we’re fooling ourselves. We want to win a bunch of games in the regular season, that’s cool, but we’re fooling ourselves with the way we’re playing.”
Billy Donovan: “I think the biggest think is, the decision we have to make collectively as a group from an accountability standpoint is, what kind of team do we want to be? Because in order to do that there has to be a high level of sacrifice by everybody. This is something where you see in the first half what this team is capable of and then can you sustain that? Can you keep playing that way? Can you keep playing the right way and doing the right things? And they do it. They do it for long stretches of times in games, but then you have these lapses where our defense nor offense was existent in the second half.” Keep Reading…
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Team Comparisons (per NBA.com/Stats)
The consensus is that it is better to be playing your best basketball heading into to the playoffs than to have peaked in January or February. If that is the case, then hopefully the best brand of basketball on the defensive end of the court is coming up for the Thunder in March and April. Because in February, the defense steadily got worse by the game. After the All-Star break, the Thunder were ranked 10th in the league in Defensive Rating. A week and a half later, the Thunder have dropped down to 14th in the league.
When you look at the numbers, the easy thing to say is, “This has nothing to do with the offense, because the offense is doing great.” But I disagree. I think a lot of the Thunder’s issues are because of how they run their offense. Don’t get me wrong, by every metric, the Thunder offense is one of the best in the league. But its the pace at which they run their offense that bothers me. Keep Reading…
This piece, originally posted on January 30, 2013 following Aubrey McClendon’s retirement from Chesapeake Energy, is being republished following his death on March 2, 2016.
Tuesday’s news that McClendon is retiring as CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. is the kind of thing that only makes waves nationally if you’re an energy or financial news junkie. But in Oklahoma, it’s the kind of news that dominates Twitter feeds for a while, comes up at family dinner tables and is generally the talk of the town. McClendon, or just Aubrey around here, is unique among the various local luminaries. He’s celebrated for his undeniable philanthropy and role as a true visionary in a core economic sector — a man who deserves as much credit as any other individual for his role in the ongoing economic renaissance in Oklahoma City and the state at large — but he’s also a bit of an enigma. There has always been a sense that Chesapeake’s rise, and McClendon’s, had a little bit of alchemy to it, some smoke and mirrors. Even fellow wildcatters think of him and his company as risk takers. So opinions on the man vary, but everyone knows who he is, and everyone has one. Keep Reading…
Part owner Aubrey McClendon was killed Wednesday morning in a single vehicle car crash, Oklahoma City Police say.
McClendon was traveling “at a high rate of speed” without his seat belt on and swerved left of center to run head-on into a bridge embankment.
On Tuesday, McClendon was indicted by a federal grand jury on antitrust charges.
McClendon, who owns 20 percent of the Thunder and was part of the ownership group that relocated the team from Seattle, was the co-founder of Chesapeake Energy, the company that of course holds the naming rights to the arena. He left Chesapeake in 2013 to found American Energy, who is also a big sponsor of the team.
Berry Tramel: “In 2008, Phoenix won 55 games but lost to San Antonio in the first round. And the band was breaking up. In 2009, Phoenix went 46-36 and missed the playoffs. Stoudemire started having injury problems. Grant Hill and Shaquille O’Neal were brought in, both old relics. Diaw and Bell were traded away. Nash grew old. Stoudemire demanded a trade. That collection of young gazelles was gone. Phoenix was great for awhile, but it didn’t last, and now the Suns are mired in mediocrity. So much so that the owner writes a letter to fans, telling them to hang in there. Enjoy the Thunder ride while it’s moving. It won’t last forever.”
Sam Amick of USA Today on the Clippers: “Maybe the Clippers’ infamous #family tweet (which was later deleted) wasn’t just a messy public relations move after all. And say what you will about the hashtag heard ‘round the basketball world, that Feb. 18 message from the team’s official account that featured a picture of Griffin and Matias Testi low-fiving on the team’s bench, but the players themselves say it’s the familial approach that helped with the healing process. Conflict is an inevitability in all circles, let alone in the macho realm of male professional sports. But Griffin’s fit of rage was different because it came against one of their own, a young man in Matias Testi who is as much a member of this Clippers club as Griffin himself. Yet from coach Doc Rivers on down, they say the matter that could have done so much more damage is truly in the past.” Keep Reading…
Post-All Star Break, the Thunder have limped along to a 2-4 record. Now more evident than ever, the Thunder have the look of a team with its mind set on the playoffs. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s very little to chase–the Golden State Warriors are 12 games ahead in first, and the San Antonio Spurs are 8.5 games up. Maybe it’s the fact that the Warriors are consuming 95% of the attention of the NBA-watching world in their pursuit of the best regular-season record in NBA history.
Whatever the reason, the Thunder aren’t the same team from night to night, and this inconsistency was on full display this last week. In the first game after the Cleveland Cavaliers drubbed Oklahoma City, the Thunder had that take-care-of-business mentality and easily handled the Dallas Mavericks. Except, the next night the Thunder tried to sleepwalk past the New Orleans Pelicans, dropping yet another frustrating game to a team they should beat. Keep Reading…