Los Angeles Lakers (4-3, 1-2 road) vs. OKC Thunder (4-0, 2-0 home)
Series tied 0-0
View from the enemy: Forum Blue and Gold
Tip at 8:30 CT. Go Justice.
The storylines are aplenty. Elbows, trash talk, revenge, vendettas, old vs. new, Derek Fisher vs. the Lakers, legacies and on and on and on. But forget the angles, the hooks, the sidebars. All of that is just noise to what really matters — winning.
The Thunder have been sitting and waiting for the second round for some time while their opponent had to scratch its way here. What that means? Who knows. But the Thunder are where they need to be, well rested and (hopefully) healthy. They dispatched the Mavericks as planned, looked to restore some of their former power in doing so and should roll well into the second round to face the very formidable Lakers.
What scares me most is how good I feel. I hate that. The Thunder have been in the postseason three times now and this is far and away the best I’ve felt about a playoff series. That could be irrational overconfidence. That could just be delusion built up over nine days of over-thinking and boredom. But from everything I can see, the Thunder have a clear edge against the Lakers. Though again, that type of feeling is what scares me. Then again, it’s the playoffs and virtually anything scares me. Nothing feels right at this point. Keep Reading…
Chris Palmer of ESPN.com on the Lakers defending Westbrook: “If Westbrook torches Sessions and Blake, the blame cannot lie solely on their shoulders. One individual defender — no matter how tenacious — just can’t handle the speed of today’s elite guards. The Lakers must employ a total team approach and throw as many long-armed defenders at Westbrook as possible. No less than their survival in these playoffs depends on it.”
David Stern: “I think it’s time to look at (flopping) in a more serious way,” Stern said, “because it’s only designed to fool the referee. It’s not a legitimate play in my judgment. I recognize if there’s contact (you) move a little bit, but some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies.” Keep Reading…
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images
As if there wasn’t already enough drama built around the Thunder and Lakers second round matchup, Metta World Peace is throwing a little gas on a burning bonfire.
Clearly, the atmosphere in Oklahoma City will be intense, largely focused around getting some kind of revenge on World Peace for his devastating elbow on James Harden. But instead of staying low key about it, World Peace seems to be relishing this, trying to incite and escalate things.
He almost proudly declared a week ago on Conan that he had not spoken to Harden since the elbow and defiantly defended himself for the act. He said he deserved the suspension, but then mentioned Kevin Love stepping Luis Scola as if to try and draw a comparison. Keep Reading…
It’s official: Lakers versus Thunder in the second round.
It took seven games, but the Lakers finally finished off the Nuggets 96-87 to move on. And now they have to take on the waiting Thunder just two days later, after Oklahoma City has been resting for nine days.
Obviously the fact that the older Lakers had to press so much to advance should benefit the Thunder, but then again, I remember OKC waiting on a Memphis team last season that didn’t have much time off and the Thunder dropping a clunker in Game 1 while the Grizzlies didn’t miss a beat. Keep Reading…
On finishing runner-up to LeBron: “LeBron, that’s like unheard of for a guy to get three out of four MVPs the last four years. He’s a good friend of mine. I’m happy for him. Of course I would’ve loved to have the MVP but at the same time I’ve just got to keep improving, keep getting better and hopefully I have one soon.”
On any competition with LeBron: “I’m always motivated. Me not winning MVP doesn’t make me more motivated than I already was. It’s a great opportunity for us to have a chance to compete for a world championship, I just want to go out there an be me. I can’t think about it too much because I didn’t win it. Just go out there and be me and live with the results.” Keep Reading…
Happy weekend. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Who’s next?
Reader Shawn sent me this video of a beer pong table he built and I must say, wow. That’s some real craftsmanship and handiwork right there. As for the inspiration behind it, here’s what Shawn said: “I few months ago Sports Illustrated Hot Clicks featured a video of a different table called “Chi Pledge Class Beer Pong Table” and once I looked at the write up that was on their site, the wheels in my head started turning.” Turning enough to make an incredibly elaborate beer pong table. Good job?
Every now and again when former Oklahoma City Councilman Goree James would see something or hear something at a council meeting that he had seen or heard before he would fire off with a resounding, ‘seems like deja-vu all over again!’
That pretty much describes Thunder practices over the last week.
Players and coaches working on the same drills and trying to fight off boredom.
They still don’t know who they’ll be playing nor do they know if they’ll have their center. Kendrick Perkins is still listed as day-to-day and apparently you can say the same about the Nuggets-Lakers series though at least tomorrow we know will be the last day for that one. Whoever wins will get on a plane and fly to Oklahoma City where they will play the Thunder at 8:30 Monday night. Keep Reading…