The Oklahoma City Thunder had us all hovering over the panic button this past week, as they started 0-4 with losses to the Warriors, Clippers, Kings, and Celtics. As awful as 0-4 was, 0-5 was going to feel a lot worse if the Thunder lost to a Devin Booker-less Suns team. Luckily, that crisis was averted, as the Thunder wrapped up the week with a 117-110 win over Phoenix last night in OKC.
Here’s a bundle of thoughts and social media from throughout the week of Oct 22-26.
October 25: Thunder blow double-digit lead, lose 101-95 to the Boston Celtics
- Billy Donovan moved Jerami Grant into the starting lineup for this game. This is great for two reasons: 1. Patrick Patterson was riding the struggle bus pretty hard, and he’s looked decent coming off the bench. 2. I REALLY want to get the nickname “The Peake Freak” going for Jerami Grant. This helps that cause.
- The Peake Freak shot 4-10 from the field, scored 10 points, and grabbed 6 rebounds. Meh. Patterson: 7 points, 7 rebounds… meh.
- The Celtics looked so bad in the first half. It was one of those games where you knew it was a fluke, but you didn’t care because “Hey! We’re 0-3… we’ll take what we can get.”
- Led by Paul George’s 13 points, the Thunder held a 50-34 lead at the break. Things were finally looking up — until, suddenly, they weren’t.
- A lot went wrong in the second half but there was a portion of the game where OKC let the Celtics shoot approximately 10 wide open three-pointers over the span of a few minutes. What’s sad is, I don’t feel like that’s an exaggeration. It really might have been one of the worst defensive stretches of basketball I’ve seen since I coached my last 3rd-4th grade basketball festival. (Seriously… I had a group who COULD NOT figure out how to simply stand in their spots in a 2-3 zone. Parents, please work on the fundamentals at home.)
- Westbrook finished the game with 13 points on 5-20 shooting. The Brodie looked like his legs weren’t underneath him just yet. A lot of shots falling short. Definitely too many field goal attempts from Westbrook late in this one.
- “Presti has to put an emphasis on shooting ability, period. Of course we don’t want wet noodles on defense, but there has to be a balance somewhere. OKC has been a terrible shooting team for so long. I could understand if we had some elite defense but as of now we are middle of the pack… We are 0-4 for a reason.” – MJOKC (Daily Thunder Comments)
- Yeah, that’s warranted. I think frustration from fans is completely justified when you’re sitting at 0-4.
- OKAY, WHOA NOW…. Pump the brakes a little bit, Facebook.
October 28: Thunder get their first win of the season, beat the Suns 117-110
- The final score was no indictment of the game. The Thunder were soundly ahead most of the night.
- The Suns did not have Devin Booker in this one. The Thunder were without Steven Adams (last minute scratch, calf tightness) and Hamidou Diallo (DNP-Coaches Decision, missed walkthrough).
- Diallo has to know better. I’m sure it was a simple mistake, but the rookie has actually been a pretty solid player for this team, and at 0-4, I was kind of worried we might miss him.
- You to laugh at the fact that some fans have been calling for Billy Donovan’s head as of late and then he up and “suspends” everyone’s new favorite player.
- When was the last time a Thunder player was “punished”? McGary? It’s really hard to think of other instances like this. This probably speaks to the professionalism surrounding the organization.
- As stated above, Steven Adams missed the game with calf tightness. Considering it was a pretty late scratch, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Also, it led to a pretty fun coming-out party for Nerlens Noel.
- Further proof that Russell Westbrook has rocket thrusters somewhere on his body. Completely blows up Josh Jackson on this offensive foul.
- Paul George has been hoisting half-court shots during pre-game shoot-around this season. It’s apparently paid off:
- Listen, I know it’s the Suns. And I know it’s just ONE game. But Nerlens Noel looked awesome. 20 points, 15 rebounds, 4 steals. More than anything, I love that his confidence seemed to grow as the game went on.
- I definitely heard some rumblings over the past month concerned about Westbrook having another knee surgery before the season started. Let’s put that to rest… Westbrook looked FAST Sunday night.
- 23 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists. That’s more like it, Brodie.
- This all but confirms the City Edition design we’ve seen leaked. Anxious to see the shorts, but these should be *fire emoji*:
- Almost had to do a double-take on this one. Scot Pollard as Big Kiwi is amazing:
- My Bad:
- Shout out to the Red Sox! On a completely unrelated note, check out how the Red Sox social media team is handling Twitter trolls from the beginning of the season.
- Also, big ups to Ronda Rousey for successfully defending her Women’s Championship against Nikki Bella. Pretty good match between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, as well. Great night for Women’s Wrestling.
Until next week.