Well, it’s nice to have that out of the way. Officially, the Thunder are the four-seed in the West and will play Nuggets to start the playoffs. Officially, the Thunder finished the season with 55 wins. Pret-tay, pret-tay good.
The result of tonight’s game had meaning for a bit, but Scott Brooks and the Thunder certainly didn’t play as if it did. Oklahoma City’s starters played just about 20 minutes each, leaving the game in the hands of second stringers. The Thunder actually had control late, but the Bucks ripped of an 11-2 run to close the game which sent things to overtime. There, Milwaukee outscored OKC’s second team 14-10 as the Thunder’s five-game winning streak was snapped.
(The irony of going to overtime: John Salmons pulled out Kevin Durant’s rip move and got the call with 24 seconds left, with the Bucks trailing by three. He nailed all three free throws to tie the game at 96-96. I’ve always said I hate the rip move.)
The plus/minus numbers should tell you everything you want to know about this one. OKC’s starters were +19, +18, +19, +7 and +16. The bench was -13, -11, -20, -14, -1, -18 and -11. I won’t lie though, winning is always better than losing. Though I didn’t care all that much about it, I’d rather play the Nuggets than Blazers to open the playoffs and losing took care of that. But with the Mavs winning, there was no plus to losing. Instead of 56 wins, OKC finished with 55. Instead of closing with six straight wins, the Thunder closed with five. Instead of maintaining that sparkling overtime record, the Thunder adds a blemish. I don’t think there’s any momentum hit here or anything; it’s just more fun to win than lose. Keep Reading…