Friday Bolts: Break's Over
After an eventful All-Star Break, that saw three Thunder players participate in the festivities (Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams in the Rising Stars game; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the All-Star Game), the Oklahoma City Thunder got back into action for the second half of the season in Utah. With a chance to hit .500, OKC dropped a heartbreaker in overtime, as SGA's game-winning shot rattled in and out. The Thunder had several chances to win--OKC led by 2 until Lauri Markkanen was fouled by Lu Dort shooting a three-pointer (and Markkanen made all three to give Utah the winning margin); SGA missed a free-throw in the possession before that would've given OKC a 3-point lead; and Isaiah Joe had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his shot was blocked at the rim.
OKC has to turn right around and play tonight in Phoenix against the new-look Suns on national TV (ESPN). But the big news is that Kevin Durant will not be playing.
Notwithstanding the loss, OKC has been a team gaining more and more attention. John Hollinger (The Athletic) urges fans to keep an eye on the Thunder.
But before we start back up, I want to point out the other story to keep your eye on over the season’s final two months – the rising “Os” in each conference. They don’t matter yet, but by this time next year, Orlando and Oklahoma City are likely to be significant forces.
Back to All-Star Weekend, the Thunder were a big part of the weekend. In fact, Rylan Stiles says OKC's players "stole the show."
During the Rising Stars game, Josh Giddey was mic'd up. How did this boy play ball talking so much?
The best part of the weekend, though, might have been SGA's jacket that was dripping the most swag seen in Utah since, idk, probably never.