Friday, November 28, 2008

14 and counting - the Thunder loses again falling to 1-16

I honestly wonder if it will ever happen. I wonder if this team will ever win another game. Because I know that feeling is what's on everybody's mind - the players, the coaches and all of us fans. And that's the biggest difficulty in breaking out of a losing streak like this. The mental anguish of losing and losing and losing.

Games like tonight hurt. I mean really hurt. Oklahoma City (1-16) lost 105-103 to Minnesota (4-10) on a last second shot by Mike Miller. Before the game started, it seemed like this might be one OKC could win. Then after a half, everybody was sensing it. Then with under a minute left and up 100-99, everybody could feel it. This losing streak was over.

But then a bad call. Chris Wilcox - who was awesome tonight - was tagged with his sixth foul sending Al Jefferson to the line. And the events that followed Jefferson's second shot seriously made me question everything about this team. I honestly wondered if a fourth grade pee wee club had more basketball intellect than these guys. With 10.8 seconds left, Jefferson missed his second attempt. And of course, the Thunder doesn't put a body on anybody. Ryan Gomes snatches the board. Instead of having the ball with a chance to win, the game is now in the Wolves hands.

But it gets better. For some reason, Nick Collison absolutely loses his mind and hacks the crap out of Gomes, sending him to the line for two. He hits both putting Minnesota up 103-101. Now I realize Kevin Durant then tied the game with a dunk and it took a Mike Miller jumper to beat OKC, but this thing breaks down to the sequence with 10.8 seconds left. As I've harped on for three weeks now, this team doesn't do any of the little things to win. The failure to secure big rebounds (OKC was outrebounded 43-33 tonight). Terrible free throw shooting (18-27). Total mental breakdowns.

To me, it's simple why Oklahoma City has lost 14 in a row. It's not because of a lack of effort. It's not because a lack of talent. It surely isn't because of a lack of good luck. It's clearly just a total lack in knowing how to win. All the tiny details just don't seem to get attention. It's one thing to knock down a big three and thump your chest and do that weird jump-in-the-air-and-bump-sides celebration. It's another to dive on the floor and force a jump ball in the middle of the third quarter. Those are the type of tiny difference makers that win these games. And this group either doesn't understand that yet or hasn't been taught that. I don't know what it is.

This one is just a heartbreaker. I fully expect OKC to mail it in tomorrow night in Memphis. It may take days to get over this one. Don't get me wrong. The team played pretty well. The Thunder shot extremely well from the field (50 percent) and four guys played really well instead of just one. There were only 10 turnovers. But like I said, the little things. Those freaking details.


I do like the way Scott Brooks is managing the game though. He found lineups that worked and stuck with it. He didn't shake anything up for no good reason. He stuck with the hot hand and tried to ride it out. Russell Westbrook saw starter minutes logging 34 and netting 15 points and dishing eight assists. As mentioned, Wilcox was wonderful. If he can add that type of post play for the rest of the year, he can really help open things for Westbrook, Durant and Jeff Green.

OKC takes on the Grizzlies in Memphis tomorrow and no one will be watching as all eyes will be on Bedlam. Maybe that's a good thing.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn, that must have really "hurt" tonight Royce. Think about how much that sucked, then think about what it would feel like if the 41-year franchise you grew up watching was stolen and some douchebag who didn't like the NBA until this year started a shitty blog about them.

Anonymous said...

The hurt is just beginning. Keep waiting for things to get better. Even if the team improves, you are still in Oklahoma City. In other words, you lose no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like some douchebag that didn't support them while they were in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

What was the total season ticket sales in Seattle last year? Did they break a thousand?

And speaking of shitty blogs... how's SonicsCentral doing?

Sam said...

How do you think season ticket sales will be in OKC next year, you f*cking retard? Crappy economy, even crappier team, even crappier city - do you think that even half of the 13,000 who bought season tix this year will renew? You do realize what a moron you look like for insulting the Seattle fans who "don't care" when the writer of this very blog has already talked about how he no longer wants to watch the team. God Okies are dense.

And funny you should ask about SonicsCentral. In the last week, it has had almost three times as many comments as this god-awful blog. Even though Seattle doesn't have a team anymore, ex-Sonics fans still are more interested in the NBA than you.

Oklahoma City Thunder Attendance said...

Royce says: "It's one thing to knock down a big three and thump your chest and do that weird jump-in-the-air-and-bump-sides celebration"

.............................

Yes, that's totally "weird".

Other "weird" things about the NBA:

1. the hip-hop music that is constantly blaring. I mean, you call that "music"?!?!?!

2. black people, black people, and more black people. I mean - even the coaches and trainers are usually black! What up with that?!?!

3. nobody wears cowboy boots to games. Except for me and Clay-Clay.

4. the usher won't let me dip in my seats or bring my shotgun in case I see some sort of wildlife that I have the urge to kill. Cmon, that's an Oklahoma tradition! It's like huntin with the family over Thanksgiving!

criminy. said...

Again, I love every blunder loss. this blog is absolutely pathetic.

criminy. said...

also, good work on the non-sell out again assclowns. maybe if you guys support your team sometime, you could will your team to win a game.

Zorgon said...

Sheesh, I don't know how you stick through it, Royce. I don't even remember the last time you got a non-hateful comment.

:-/

Still, keep on going on! I do enjoy your blog even if people from Seattle find you to be the epitomy of an Oklahoman....

Sam said...

Epitome, not epitomy. You Okies make it too easy to make fun of you.

Steve H said...

Not sure why you think they will mail tonights game in- and obviously hope you are wrong. Bottom line is that I have been delighted with improvements in Durant, Green and Westbrook- and otherwise don't mind the losing as it gets us closer to the top pick next year. How is that arena renovation going trolls? Have you got your new team lined up yet? Please keep those classy Seattle commentaries coming- can't pick on you anonymous turds unless you keep checking in here.

Steve H said...

And Cruminy- you look fairly retarded criticising Thunder fans for not selling out the arena every night. Our attendance is one of the bright spots this year, and Seattle was pretty consistantly shitty as far a putting butts in the seats goes. I understand you are more about shrillness and venom than about making anything approaching a point- but you hurt your own cause when you miss the mark by so much. As always, I'm just here to help.

Sam said...

"Our attendance is one of the bright spots this year"

Really Steve? You don't find it somewhat appalling that OKC justified its theft of the Sonics by citing its rabid fanbase and now it can't even sell out its own building? I believe you have only sold out 3 out of 10 games.

Obviously your attendance is strong (though not perfect) this year. You sold 13,000 season tix based on sheer adrenaline. Now that OKC has seen the product in action, I bet those people would gladly take refunds if offered.

PS - I'd just like to remind everyone who reads this board (that would be Royce, Steve, and about 15 bitter Seattleites) that Steve H thinks the "4" position refers to SF. Ladies and gentlemen, your OKC Thunder fanbase.

Steve H said...

"OKC justified its theft of the Sonics blah de blah blah" OKC didn't justify shit. A billionaire and some of his billionaire buddies bought YOUR TEAM and moved it to my hometown. They were able to buy it because it somehow managed to LOSE money year after year despite what you assure was Seattle's avid fanbase, ENORMOUS television market, and my personal favorite- being the GATEWAY TO CHINA. Basicaly, you guys didn't support your team- so a series of owners played hot potato with the franchise until it landed in the lap of one willing to move it away. Next point- Sam, don't go to sports blogs and correct people's spelling. It makes you look like you live in your mom's basement and have yet to see a girl naked- other than that one time at camp- but that was your cousin- so you are not sure if you should count that one. Final point- why must we relive my shame at having once typed "4" when I should have typed "3"? I have already cut off the offending finger- isn't that enough?

Steve H said...

And one more thing- THUNDER WINS! THUNDER WINS! Now if the Sooners can hang on against OSU- this is going to be a great night.

Sam said...

You are so ignorant.

The team lost money in Seattle because it had a terrible lease, not because the fans didn't support it. We could have sold out every regular season game and the team still would have lost money.

You "accidentally" typed "4" TWICE. In separate posts. Face it - OKC is not a big league city and its citizens know nothing about big league sports. Royce even admits that you couldn't pay him to watch the NBA last year.

But I'm sorry to put a damper on what must be a rousing celebration tonight. Great win over Memphis!

Steve H said...

Sam, I think I hear your mom coming downstairs- hide the Playboy quick!

Sam said...

Wow, that is really clever and relevant. Is that your go-to insult for message board battles?

Steve H said...

Nope- that one's just for my little anal retentive buddy Sammy. Now if you will excuse me, the Sooners just bought a ticket to the national title game so I've got some celebrating celebrating to do.