Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thunder... well, they lost again - let's just leave it at that

It's a good thing I don't keep a stack of bricks next to my couch. Otherwise, my television screen would have one right in the middle of it.

It's not that the team is losing. We knew that would happen. It's the way the team is losing. You often don't see a team regress, but honestly, I don't think anyone can say that this team is better today than it was four weeks ago. I understand youth and inexperience. But I also understand bad basketball.

Just like most other nights, there was a fun half - whether it be the first or the second - where Oklahoma City (1-11) plays with some gusto and like they actually can. The Clippers (2-9) couldn't hit shots, couldn't rebound and couldn't play defense in the first half. They... reminded me of someone. But then in the second, the two teams switched roles. Los Angeles started hitting shots, forcing turnovers and playing defense. The Thunder countered by throwing the ball away like it was a piece of trash, missing open looks and playing poo-poo defense.

And while OKC was outscored 59-36 in the second half, this game was really given away in the last five minutes of the first half. The Thunder had built a nice 15 point lead. They were playing loose, hitting shots, having fun. The Ford Center was ballistic. Russell Westbrook had a sweet open-court slam. Kevin Durant soon followed with an awesome rim-rocker. Everything was wonderful.

And then it was like the entire team looked up at the scoreboard, saw the 15 point cushion and collectively thought, "Oh crap! Look at us! What the eff do we do? Can we just stop playing now?" Because the Clips promptly went on a 12-0 run to make it 52-49 going into the break.

What do you even second guess tonight? I'm looking at my first half notes and I'm seeing stuff like, "Jeff Green is playing really good again. I love his jumper right now. He gets his body so square and his hands are perfect on the release," or "Man, what a difference Chris Wilcox makes! He's totally changed us on the defensive end," or "The Clippers look like they have no confidence; I think they're giving up." Kind of funny now.

I'll tell you, rumor has it the Clips are shopping Chris Kaman and his huge $40 million contract and you know who I think should make a deal and take it? Yeah, you know who. Kaman is like everything Robert Swift (or Thunder fans for that matter) wishes he was. A subtle scorer and solid rebounder that is deadly in the post and finds ways to squirm free for an open dunk. We'll take him. Please.

Typically, I'm Mr. Positive and I'll look for encouraging things to take away from a game. But I really just don't feel like it tonight. I expected OKC to win this game (and I think the team did too) and they didn't. Now I don't know when they will. Busting out of a losing streak is tough, because the hardest thing about it is the mental anguish it puts on you. You just feel like it will never happen and you're just waiting for something else to go wrong. Even when you're up 15 (like tonight) you start feeling that little tingle in your body like, "Oh, could we break out of it tonight? Rats, there's still two quarters to go. I hope it happens though! But I bet we screw it up."

Well, I will say one positive thing and that is Russell Westbrook got 30 minutes tonight. Clearly Coach Peej is slowly working his minutes up, which I'm happy about.

To summarize, a complete two and a third quarter collapse. The team fell flat on its face. What happened? Well, 19 turnovers happened including four consecutive ones in the third quarter. A complete inability to rebound (the Clips had 14 offensive boards) and an overall lack of focus for the entire second half. Tonight was bad. Nothing much else to say.

The Thunder gets Oklahoma City's first born, the Hornets Friday night. Should be a special night, until the Thunder starts bouncing the ball. (Ok, negativity over. I just had to get it out.) As we all know, going through these horrible, horrible growing pains will make it that much sweeter when we turn this thing around. Right now! (Cue Eddie Van Halen solo...)


AD said...

Amen... Royce... watching this team grow (if it doesnt kill us) will only make the end result all that sweeter...

I didnt sit down the whole first half... second half was more... well... get a beer and corn dog.

What is disheartening is we knew this team was bad last year (20 wins)... but man... i thought they'd be alittle better... not worse.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree, AD. That is, if by "the end result" you meant Clay/Aubrey/Ward going bankrupt and selling the Team Formerly Known as the Sonics to a consortium of hippie tree-huggers in Vermont.

Anonymous said...

As truly god-awful as this team is, OKC fans really deserve worse.

Your "home-court advantage" is completely laughable.

Anonymous said...

On the bright side, Jeff Green looks like he will be a very nice NBA player for another team someday.

Oh, also - I was watching the game on the Clippers' network today, and the announcers made fun of OKC's lack of history, culture, cuisine and beautiful women.

Anonymous said...

Check out are already booing the Thunder??!?!?! F*cking ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

you okies have real attachment problems.

The hornets are New Orleans team, you guys were being rented out by the NBA due to a natural disaster. Let them go and please try to support the franchise you stole.

How embarrassing this must be for Clay, okies are pinning away for the Hornets even though Clay spent just about all of the money available in OK to get you your own team. College town? Hardly, try JV.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, also - I was watching the game on the Clippers' network today, and the announcers made fun of OKC's lack of history, culture, cuisine and beautiful women."

That's nothing new, the out of town announcers are saying that during every game.

How did we become the joke of the league so fast? We doesn't anyone love us anymore? It's not fair.

Anonymous said...

Note from Satan:

"Wait, I'm looking in the contract I wrote with Clay and Stern.

"I can't see where I said things would 'turn around.'

"What is the 'turn around' you speak of?

"Now...eternity of damnation...we got that part."

Anonymous said...

"Assuming things keep going the way they're going, who do you want OKC to take first overall in next year's draft?"

You listed Ricky Rubio. That's beautiful.

I can just imagine Ricky Rubio's decision making process if he gets drafted by OKC.

"Let's see...Madrid...Oklahoma City...Milan...Oklahoma City...Paris...Oklahoma City.

Hmmm...can't decide. I dunno. Oklahoma City sounds good, but jeez, as an international sex symbol, I'm just too used to restaurants open past 8pm, decent night life, and a life in general.

Now, Seattle, maybe...but considering the loss of income, I'm just gonna have to give OKC a pass this time."

Steve H said...

If Rubio declares for the draft- his options will be between going where he is picked- or being black-balled by the league. And by the way- how is Seattle's vote to remodel Key Arena going? You guys ARE going to approve that aren't you? Because it's a lock you'll get a new team as soon as you get those bathrooms re-tiled. ROFLMFA

My Name is Earl said...

Fact Check said...

"And by the way- how is Seattle's vote to remodel Key Arena going? You guys ARE going to approve that aren't you?"

Earth to Okie with his head stuck in the sand. Seattle doesn't have a vote on an arena, and never has. Nice try though.

Maybe if you change your city's nickname from Bricktown, maybe the boys could win a game.

This is where I'd make an obligatory joke about your hideous uniforms, stupid name, and boring logo. But I'm all tired out.

Boomer Sooner!

Anonymous said...

"If Rubio declares for the draft- his options will be between going where he is picked- or being black-balled by the league. "

Like John Elway and Eli Manning, or like Steve Francis and Kobe? Lots of players get drafted, threaten not to play where they are drafted and then get magically sent to another team.

Kobe was drafted by the hornets, refused to play in Charlotte and was sent to the Lakers via Stern's direction. Same thing happened with Francis.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. And the Hornets were rewarded with Vlade Divac in return for Kobe. lol.

Get used to a whole bunch of Vlade Divac's. lol.

Go Hornets!

Anonymous said...

Steve H said...

Will the league cave in to Rubio like they did to Yi? And does that mean we get Al Jefferson out of the deal? So when your STATE legislature votes on giving money for a CITY project- does'nt it bother all the outlaying counties to essentially GIVE their revenue away to their big city cousins? With the economy being what it is, I think that would be a tough sell- but what do I know. I'm sure you guys will be stealing a team of your own in no time.

Anonymous said...

Why even root for this team? It isn't your team retards! Congrads you just replaced Minnesota at the top of the "Worst place on NBA Road Trip" list... You can not transfer all of those years of waiting for the draft to fix your team that Seattle delt with to OKC. You guys have to start over from zero.