Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thunder continues march to history - loses 108-102 to Memphis

This is just getting plain ridiculous. Two and twenty-one.

This game was the complete opposite of the first game against the Grizzlies. In the first meeting, Memphis (7-15) jumped out to a good lead and surrendered some before halftime before folding completely late in the game. Tonight, the Thunder returned the favor.

Tonight's ball game wasn't lost in the second half or late in the fourth quarter though. Tonight's game was lost in the final three minutes of the second quarter. OKC had ripped off 13 in a row to go up 51-30. But right on cue, Memphis took a timeout, OKC got careless with the basketball and by halftime, the lead was just seven. Memphis outscored OKC 32-19 in the fourth, but like I said, it was the 18-4 run right before halftime that lost this game. The steam and the excitement went right out of the building. When you're already 2-20 and have lost your last 18 of 19, you can kind of feel what's coming.

The Thunder held the lead for the third quarter and finally relinquished early the fourth as the Grizzlies tied it at 85. Foul trouble had the Thunder handcuffed as Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, Nick Collison, Damien Wilkins and Joe Smith all had to fight disqualification.

For once, the Thunder didn't shoot poorly from the field, (51.4 percent), did well at the free throw line (80 percent), didn't get outrebounded (37-36) and took care of the ball relatively well (15 turns). But still lost. Why? Well, other than the aforementioned run, it was the inability to get stops late and the inability to execute. At least it wasn't the same old stuff. Tonight, OKC was pegged for eight more fouls than Memphis (29-21). I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both had nice nights. Durant had 28 on 9-18 shooting and pulled down five boards in 41 minutes. Westbrook netted 15 and dished six assists and didn't have a turnover. But Durant did have six turns. I've mentioned it before, but KD just isn't that strong with the ball. He gets bumped and he loses control pretty easily. He really needs to focus on getting a little stronger in the offseason. And he's trying this weird little standing jumper lately where he faces up and jab steps a few times and then lifts and chucks a quick shot. And I'm guessing, but I'd say he's probably about 0-12 on that shot for the season. He's best off two dribbles and a step back or coming off a screen and popping.

I do want to mention that I was at tonight's game with my buddy Andy and the in-game production and entertainment was far and away better than it was opening night. This had the feeling of a Hornets game with all the videos, numerous T-shirt tosses and other fun things. I counted 17 plays of some form of Thunderstruck and I loved using the riff as a "Defense!" chant. Nice touch. During the pregame video intro, Andy and I joked that there really couldn't be much stock footage of Thunder highlights, with the team being, you know, 2-20. And right as he said that, there was a clip of Earl Watson taking a charge. How perfect. We then wondered what else they'd show - maybe an opponent traveling or a good defensive rebound. Or maybe even practice footage. (sigh)

Oklahoma City makes a quick trip down I-35 to play the Mavericks Saturday night. That should be fun.

5 comments:

Steve H is a D-Bag said...

God the Thunder are just plain amazing under Coach Scotty. So much improvement. I can't wait until he gets fired and we get a new coach and get to improve some more - maybe 15 wins next season!?

AD said...

Actually Royce... in-game entertainment has improved steadily through the season (wish I could say the same about our team)...

Everyone keeps comparing the Thunder to the Hornets... as far as saying the Hornets were better in producing in-house entertainment... but what they are forgeting is that the Hornets werent all that great their first couple of weeks either... it built over time...

So much like the team... we're getting better... just give it some time...

and Royce... you and Joe (thunderguru) do a hell of a job... keep it up

when's the next Thundercast?...

Anonymous said...

You guys should have cheered louder - then OKC would have won. Wait, that's the way it works, right?

Walker said...

The Nuggets teams of the late 90s-early 00s and the Mavs teams of the 90s have NOTHING on your OKC Thunder. Complete dogshit.

I unfortunately caught some of that OKC/NO game about a month back. Tell me: do you guys at Ford Center still play the DE-FENSE beats when OKC has the ball? I know you guys don't know shit about the NBA, but for fuck's sake that was embarassing!

Anonymous said...

Almost feel sorry for you fans, but that lasts about ten seconds. Then I remember: you and the team owners/liars are getting what you deserve. Dismantle a team to stack up losses during the "lame duck" Seattle season so fans, politicians, sponsors lose interest, and spend 5 years recovering. Bennett-onomics or something? Good luck with that. No really, good luck suckas.

Almost forgot: Seen Delonte West lately on the Cavs?