Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thunder can't complete the comeback in New York

Another deep hole, another valiant comeback try. 
And another one coming up short as Oklahoma City fell to the Knicks (6-3) tonight 116-106. The Thunder (1-8) closed the gap to seven after at one point being down 30. Seeing as this is becoming a recurring theme, I tend to think teams are just pulling back and losing focus when building these 20-30 point leads over OKC. But also a theme is the lack of quit. One of these times, a team is going to mess around and the Thunder are going to get them. Some teams will quit and start thinking about breakfast the next morning when down 30, but not the Thunder.
Looking back, there are so many missed opportunities that just make you want to scream in a pillow. After cutting the lead to just seven, Jeff Green had a wide open look at a three to cut it to four. He hit front iron. Down eight, OKC had a fast break that finished with three missed attempts. Down 10 with about two minutes left, OKC forced a turnover that looked to lead to a fast break but Green promptly gave it right back. So many chances to really tighten the thing up. 
Russell Westbrook played his best game as a pro (19 points, 10 boards, six assists). That's a really, really good line. If/when he gets a consistent jumper going, he's going to be lethal. Like impossible for other guards to defend. He is so quick and controls the dribble so well. He gets to the rim at will and can finish as good as anyone. 
I think my favorite lineup is the one that finished the game. It was Westbrook, Durant, Mason, Green and Swift. I think Green creates a lot of good matchup issues at the four and Mason is a good defender and an excellent leader on the floor. He plays hard. Swift has the ability to control the paint - he had 13 rebounds which ties a career high - and I love having a true post man on the blocks. Westbrook's freakish athleticism and Durant's ability to score from anywhere give that lineup diversity, defense and scoring ability. 
One other positive: I really like the black shoes with the road blues. I've always been a black shoe guy, and I just thought they really made the road duds look a little better. 
To wrap up, as long as the Thunder digs themselves into big holes, they're going to keep dropping games. Sure we can all be encouraged that they don't quit - which is great, it really is - but the wins won't start coming until that stops. Like I said, they may catch a few teams napping long enough to finish the comeback but getting consistent is such a key. I know that's obvious, but as I've been saying a lot, as long as we're better at the end than we are right now, I'm happy. And the starting point is four quarter consistency. 
The Thunder move a little south on their East Coast trip to take on the 4-5 Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night in Philly. Tip is at 6:00 PM CST. 


Doug Dawg said...

Just wanted to say that you're doing a great job with your blog, Royce. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Royce, I agree. Great work here. Just ignore the trolls and they'll go away. We love our NBA team!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, a really great job! It takes a true blogging wizard to write six paragraphs about the box score without adding a mere scintilla of original thought!

Anonymous said...

it takes an an embarrassing amount of homerism to proclaim the thunder are "digging themselvs into holes".

they're completely outclassed nearly every time they step on the court and can streak their way back into games when the other team gets too comfortable. let's not pretend it's the other way around.

Anonymous said...

lalalalala you trolls can't bug us!

We live in Oklahoma City and we're proud of that. So what if the best restaurants we have are Buffalo Wild Wings and Toby Keiths - we're happy. Seattle may have Boeing and Microsoft and the Space Needle and New Orleans may have riverboats and beignets and crawfish ettouffe, but ya'll don't have our Thunder!

Anonymous said...

I actually feel sorry for you now. Keep your damn 1-8 Thunder. Whatever it takes to walk you back off the ledge.

Anonymous said...

Looks like several people misunderstood the bulk of the responses yesterday. Put your heads in the sand and pat each other on the back, that's what you do best.

OKC is awesome, best city and fans in the NBA. We don't like criticism or standing up to our wild bragging, let's tell each other how great we are.

Does that make everybody happy? You don't have to answer for your actions, just live blissfully like idiots. And you wonder why people around the country have no respect for you.

Some of us were looking for an honest debate, civil back and forth that everyone could participate in. Enjoy your ignorance.