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Monday Rewind: March 18-24

Monday Rewind: March 18-24

Father Prime Strikes One Last Time, Heat Top Thunder 116-107 at the ‘Peake

  • The Thunder’s funk continued in this one. In fact, I started getting some 2017-18  flashbacks. I hated last season, and it really started to feel like the team was slipping back into whatever that was.
  • If you’re into that sort of thing, it was a pretty cool game for D. Wade, who was playing his last game in Oklahoma City (barring a Finals matchup…?) 25 points on 10/17 shooting, four rebounds, and five assists for Flash. Thunder fans recognized the occasion and gave him a warm ovation:
  • The Thunder got off to a hot start, but quickly blew their lead. The Heat closed the first quarter on a 23-8 run. I’m not sure what Billy Donovan has against calling timeouts to try and break-up runs like that, but it’s something he needs to start trying.
  • We’ve seen a lot of foul trouble recently from starters. I don’t hate it. The Playoffs are physical and this Thunder team could excel in that department.
  • Is it dumb of Steve, who had four fouls, to try to run through this? Maybe. But I don’t think officials are calling this in a playoff series. Consistency is always a major gripe with officials, I can see why Big Kiwi might be a bit frustrated with this flop.
  • This loss just felt gross. No reason for it, but at the same time, it felt like a bit of a wake up call for this team.
  • Hopefully it’s a wake-up call for Russell Westbrook, as well. This team needed him against Miami and he was suspended. Is complaining warranted? Yes, but it’s not working. Calls are still not going the Thunder’s way. If nothing else, look at it as a strategic move next year: be nice to referees.
  • Jerami Grant needs a pat on the back. What a season this guy is having. Through thick and thin, Jerami has been getting better and better. He had his career high in points (27) in this loss.
  • I love Antonio Daniels. I’m not sure how anyone couldn’t. He’s such a breath of fresh air after listening to Fisher & Cage for multiple hours. I believe he’s the perfect balance of honest and being a homer. I REALLY wish he was making these speeches in the locker room and not on television though.

Thunder Spiral Further Down the Standings, Fall to Raptors 123-114 in Overtime

  • Whoa, boy. After this L, the Thunder were in a tie for *whispers* 8th place in the Western Conference.
  • Let’s talk about the Thunder retiring Nick Collison’s jersey
  • The Thunder production team stumbled upon the coolest shot ever for the Nick Collison jersey-retirement. It was Hair Jordan inception as present day Nick looked at past Nick looking up at the Jumbotron.
  • Here’s what’s good: Retiring Nick’s #4. Seriously, I’m 100% behind this. This isn’t the basketball Hall of Fame, and anyone who thought it was dumb just doesn’t “get it” in my opinion. The Thunder have tried to set themselves apart from other organizations with their culture, and this is a big part of that. The Thunder made a statement: You don’t have to be a superstar to be important in Oklahoma City. You don’t have to score points to be remembered. Loyalty, hard work, and professionalism matter.
  • That may sound cheesy to you, but it’s important. In a city that can’t offer the crazy nightlife, beach access, and Hollywood opportunities, the Thunder are constantly creating reasons to come play in OKC. I like it, and if you’re a Thunder fan, you should like it.
  • Here’s what’s bad: that banner! SERIOUSLY, guys!? You make a big deal out of Collison’s legacy, you cause me to defend this jersey retirement until my death, and this is what you hang in the rafters:
  • The shield logo. Those random navy alternates? This banner. There is someone somewhere in the organization making these calls. I need to speak with them.
  • Anyway, congrats, Mr. Thunder, here’s your giant bed sheet with blue paint on it.
  • Let’s skip to the end where the Thunder didn’t play great the entire game but then made an incredible comeback… We’ve seen that story a lot lately.
  • It was SUPER entertaining the first few times the Thunder made late charges this season, but now it’s just annoying. Just lock in for a whole game and, who knows, you might get to rest in the fourth quarter? I’ve heard that can be nice.
  • In what should have been a perfectly poetic ending, Dennis Schroder took a charge towards the end of regulation to give OKC the ball for the win. If you looked closely, you could see a tear fall down Mr. Thunder’s cheek.
  • BUT… the Thunder didn’t get the happy ending. Instead, OKC did not score in overtime until there were 31.5 seconds left.
  • It’s almost funny isn’t it? Just how weird this team gets.

Thunder Find Their Groove Up North, Beat Raptors 116-109

  • Speaking of weird.
  • The Thunder looked really good in the second half against the Raptors. THIS is why losing to the Heat really stinks, because the Thunder in this game could win a lot.
  • The Thunder tend to do a lot of the same things when they find success this year: Russ triple-doubles, OKC making its threes, PG scoring in the 30’s, Jerami being that third option, Schroder scoring off the bench.
  • I know, I know. I pretty much just said the Thunder plays well when the players play well. I think Westbrook is the key here. A calm, collected, defensive-minded Russell really makes the Thunder cogs run smoother. More confident/petty Russ, less mad/technicals Russ.
  • Interesting play in the second half of this one. Serge Ibaka steps underneath Schroder when he lands after a shot. Flagrant 1 called on Serge.
  • I really hate when players do this. It’s dangerous. It’s dirty. I’m a big Serge fan, but he’s done enough in his career to carry the dirty tag with him, right?
  • Despite the play, there’s still love between former teammates. Maybe.
  • It’s funny because Steven is joking, but he’s also not joking. And Serge knows he’s being funny, but also has that slightly concerned look.
  • The Thunder played a good team and won by seven. Much needed end to the 4-game losing streak.

Everything Else:

  • Anthony Morrow has signed on to play in the Big3 next season:
  • Those Love’s patches are hideous. My grandma even hates them. She said they were gaudy and I completely agree. I didn’t mind them at first, but there is some sort of optical illusion that makes them seem bigger every game. Either that or they’re actually getting bigger every game, idk.
  • March 20 is now Nick Collison Day. That’s pretty cool.
  • It’s always hard for me to hit the panic button, but the Thunder have looked terrible down the stretch, and it’s definitely a cause for concern. SO much can happen in the next nine games, though.
  • Who would you like to see first round? I’m going with Utah, but at this point, everyone is good.

Weekly Forecast:

  • Huge week for OKC as they face a few teams they should get wins over. Every single game is important, so hopefully the Thunder are salivating at chance to play a team like Memphis right now.
  • Predictions:
  • Win @ Memphis | 85% Confidence | OKC could really use a 20+ point win right now to get right + get some rest in the fourth.
  • Win vs. Indiana | 75% Confidence | Hopefully the Thunder plan ahead for that Sabonis matchup this time.
  • Loss vs. Denver | 65% Confidence | This one will have a playoff feel to it. Hopefully OKC has that intensity from the start. I don’t trust this team’s sense of urgency more than I trust Denver’s, though.
  • Win vs. Dallas |80% Confidence|Dallas is scoring a lot of points, but I’ve got a feeling OKC gets rolling by the end of this week. Fingers crossed.