- Will the Thunder hold on to #1 spot in the West?
- In any universe can you consider Scott Brooks in the top 10 of NBA disappointments?
- What’s with the hand gestures?
…and much more!
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…and much more!
Download, listen and comment.
Happy Saturday. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Go Tiger.
My heart’s broken. I don’t love the Lakers, but I respect the hell out of Kobe Bean Bryant. When word came out that he had torn his Achilles, I was like Switch in The Matrix. Not like this. Not like this. He’s one of my favorite competitors ever and while the Lakers weren’t going to do anything in the playoffs anyway, taking away the fighting chance they had — which is exactly what Kobe represented — is just awful.
Every now and then at random times, I get the urge to watch his 81. I’ve watched this video probably 20 times. And when I watched it this morning, it was with an all new perspective. Get well, No. 24.
(Of the Northwest Division. For a third straight year.)
With a solid 106-90 win over Portland tonight, the Thunder put away their 59th victory of the season, hung another division banner and overcame maybe the biggest remaining hurdle to locking up the West’s top seed.
Behind an electric 33 points from Russell Westbrook that included 17 coming in an explosive third quarter, the Thunder just overwhelmed the shorthanded Blazers over the 48-minute haul. Portland made a strong second quarter run to take a late lead, but after Thabo Sefolosha splashed another halftime buzzer-beating 3, the Thunder use a 26-7 third quarter to put things away. So if you’re scoring at home, the third quarter was Westbrook 17, the Portland Trail Blazers seven. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.5 (1st), Blazers– 106.2 (12th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.6 (4th), Blazers – 109.1 (26th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (8th), Blazers – 91.3 (18th)
View from the enemy: Portland Roundball Society
With two home games waiting on the Thunder to finish things up, it’s really just about getting through tonight’s game. OKC’s taken care of business impressively so far on this road trip in Utah and Golden State, solidifying its grip on the West’s top seed. But a tricky back-to-back awaits in Portland against an energetic young team. Keep Reading…
Zach Lowe of Grantland: “Basically, the Thunder have a lot of emphatic blowout wins against these teams and several toss-up close losses, including recent road defeats on buzzer-beaters in both Denver (Ty Lawson’s go-ahead jumper) and Memphis (Marc Gasol’s artful tip-in). That’s an encouraging portfolio on balance; several studies have found blowouts more predictive of postseason success than close wins. The margin for error gets very narrow in the late rounds of the playoffs, and the Thunder will miss Harden’s off-the-bounce creativity and dynamite passing on possessions when Kevin Durant is on the bench, Serge Ibaka’s third-option ambitions are going haywire, and/or Russell Westbrook is taking pull-up 3s in transition with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. But the Harden hole will really be isolated to those instances; the team has been fine without him in the big picture, on both ends, mostly because of incremental improvements among all of its core players (but not Derek Fisher).”
Darnell Mayberry: “In many ways, the final three games will be as challenging as the past five. Unlike the past five, the next three will come against sub-.500 teams, only one of which (Milwaukee) will make the postseason. It’ll be more of a mental challenge to take care of business in these final three than it was to get up for the previous five. Those were about executing and the Thunder playing up to its potential. These final three will be about showing up.” Keep Reading…
Between Kendrick Perkins ripping Stephen Curry in the open floor and Kevin Martin flying in for a putback dunk, I’m not really sure I’m conscious right now.
That’s No. 58 for the Thunder, a 116-97 romp on the road over a solid Warriors team. After a mostly even first half, things turned in Oklahoma City’s favor with a 36-23 third quarter, sparked by some brilliant basketball from Kevin Durant. He scored 14 points in the quarter and dished four assists, having a hand in 25 points.
Durant blended scoring and distributing just about as well as you possibly can in his 34 minutes on the floor tonight. He had 31 on 10-of-16 shooting, with eight assists that led to 21 points. So basically, Durant was part of 51 of OKC’s 116 tonight. There are nights where Durant seemingly looks a bit conservative in scoring, and some nights where maybe he forces a bit. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.5 (1st), Warriors– 106.3 (12th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.7 (4th), Warriors – 105.3 (13th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.3 (9th), Warriors – 94.2 (5th)
View from the enemy: Warriors World
I didn’t even realize it, but the Warriors are only a game up on the Rockets right now. Meaning, with either outcome, it could impact making this a first round matchup. A win for OKC means the Warriors are tied with the Rockets in the loss column. A loss and the Thunder are now the No. 2 seed. Keep Reading…
Ethan Sherwood Strauss tries to sort out the fourth best player in the league: “He’s a fine passer and an incredible athlete. If only that shot fell a bit more often, if only his decisions were a bit better. Though the public mood swings rightfully cause concern, this has been another impressive Westbrook season. Again, he’s highly involved in a great offense. If Russ could just stop inexplicably taking terrible, early shots off the dribble, he could even do better than ‘fourth-best player.’”
Darnell Mayberry: “Oklahoma City has gone 3-1 in the first four games of this month and, despite the difficulty of the schedule, has made things look rather easy. In those three wins — against the Spurs, Pacers and Jazz — the Thunder limited its opponents to an average of 81 points on 38.9 percent shooting. OKC out-rebounded those teams 146-118, which included a 34-26 advantage on the offensive end.” Keep Reading…