3 min read

Game 8 Recap: Spurs (5-3) def. Thunder (3-5) 121-112

Game 8 Recap: Spurs (5-3) def. Thunder (3-5) 121-112

Time to officially remove “Lamarcus Aldridge going bonkers on the Thunder” from the “Blame Russell Westbrook” list. It didn’t matter that the Thunder starting lineup is 60% different than last season, the result was still the same when OKC faced off against Aldridge: pure ridiculousness.

LMA shot 19-23 from the field for 39 points, most of them the defended, long midrange jumper variety. You could put Ray Allen in an empty gym and end up with about the same result. At some point, you just have to shake your head and laugh, realizing it’s just not going to be your night when Aldridge is shooting like the lamest Avenger.

Just like every other game this season, the Thunder led for a good portion of the contest and kept it close and competitive throughout. The sample size is large enough now against quality teams to safely say that the collective talent of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari is going to have OKC performing like a fringe playoff team. And I don’t think I’m alone when I say this squad and their surprisingly high quality style of play is a lot of fun.

Ultimately, the game was still a positive result for OKC, as the Thunder’s possible trade pieces Paul, Gallo and Schroder all played very well and the Thunder’s young Kentucky guns SGA and Hamidou Diallo continued to shine.

The Thunder snapped a two game slide in the race for a top draft pick next year but it’ll be much tougher for OKC to lose on Saturday at home against the Golden State Warriors.

Game notes:

  • Seriously though, do the Spurs know they’re allowed to miss shots?
  • From the very first time I took my first basketball class at Deer Creek Middle School, Coach Branam taught us that a contested midrange shot was the worst shot in basketball. Apparently Coach Branam was a liar.
  • The Thunder could send a triple team of Tony Allen, Dennis Rodman and Andre Roberson on Lamarcus Aldridge, and he’d fade away, one footed, and hit a midrange jumper.
  • While he was no LMA, Gallo had his best game as a member of the Thunder. He scored 27 points on only 10 shots, including 5 of 6 from 3. And somehow was a team worst -13 in the plus minus column.
  • After back to back games scoring 10 and 17 points, Darius Bazley performed like many rookies do on the road in a hostile environment. Bazley scored 0 points on 0-4 shooting. And somehow was a team best +4 in the plus minus column.
  • I know basketball is slightly more complicated than this, but it seems like the Thunder should just have Steven Adams dunk the ball every time.
  • Am I the only one who has a mini panic attack every time Gallo falls down or absorbs any kind of contact? I wish the Thunder would issue a bubble wrap jersey for him. He’s precious cargo: a living breathing future 1st round pick. As long as he’s healthy.
  • Chris Paul out here playing lately like he’s an Oklahoma City Hornet.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be an all-world Twister player.
  • Diallo just continues to make plays. I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out because he’s a second year second round pick, so he’s not supposed to be good. But we are 10% into the season and Hami is averaging nearly 10 points and 5 rebounds a game in just under 22 minutes a game. He’s swiping over a steal a game and half a block. Hami is shooting over 47% from the floor, and that includes a literal roll of the dice 16.7% from 3. Those are solid rotation player numbers. He attacks without hesitation, finishes well at the rim, has active hands and length and tenacity on D, and energy and bounce for days. And he hit a 3 tonight!
  • After 8 games, the rebuilding OKC Thunder have the same record as the Western Conference finalists Blazers and a better record than the Western Conference Champion Warriors.
  • The great thing about the Thunder this season: there are no losses. A win is a win. A loss is a win.
  • This loss drops the Thunder to 3-5 on the season. The next game for OKC  is at home against the Warriors which improves the Thunder’s record to 4-5 on the season.