Good day, everyone. I am back after my load management of last week, fresh and available for the playoffs. Shout out to Weston Shepherd, our hyper-intelligent sports writing robot, for covering last week.
Did you miss any games? Here are the recaps:
Closing the Regular Season
- What a week, right? The amount of things that had to go right in order for the Thunder to play the Blazers first round was unreal.
- Off the top of my head: A PG game-winner, beating the Bucks, a 6-man Blazers squad with a massive comeback, a Nuggets comeback in the closing minutes… And that was all within a 24 hour span!
- Russ wrapped up his PE collection of the Why Not Zer0.2′s this week. This week’s installments: a tribute to the LA (OKC?) Dodgers, the Game of Chess, and a mix of his past colorways. Great pictures as always from Kelsey Amy, Promo PE Designer at Jordan Brand.
- So about this anonymous players poll… The one that said Russell Westbrook is the most overrated player in the league.
- I’ll save you the math: Only 47 players answered this particular question. That means approximately eight of them said Westbrook was the most overrated player.
- Eight. People. I mean there are probably eight people at my work right now that think Whataburger is overrated. Those people are dumb and we shouldn’t post their opinions in such a way that make it seem like they matter.
- Moving on. I definitely think the Thunder could beat the Rockets in a seven-game series. But it depends on how it’s officiated, right? The officials were all over the place during Tuesday night’s game against. That alone scared me to death.
- I mean, how have officials not seen enough Harden tape by now to not be fooled by this:
- That PG game-winner was awesome. Being there in person? So much fun. Anyone else get flashbacks to Russ vs. Denver two years ago? That quick back-and-forth Russ-to-Steve-to-Russ…
- But instead of taking the shot, something probably 98% of us expected Russell to do, he dished it to PG. Game. Set. Match.
- The game vs. The Bucks wasn’t as interesting as following the other games that night. It was a blast in the Up The Thunder / Daily Thunder Slack thread cheering on Denver and the Portland Suicide Squad.
- (I do realize that this currently seems very ironic that we wanted the Blazers in the first round, but come on… we all know this is the best matchup……. right?)
- The Thunder took care of business, sealed the 6-seed, and Westbrook stayed in a couple minutes extra to take another step further into the record book:
- This poll actually got over 66 thousand votes. (more than eight)
- Okay, so the Thunder lost. And when OKC loses, they somehow manage to make it look way worse than it actually was. Seriously, I had to go back and look. The Thunder only lost by five!?
- Portland shot lights out to start the game. I mean, they couldn’t have started out better. It was good for their fans, who seemed to be into the game most of the afternoon.
- Man this was awkward, yeah? Listen, I was a big Enes Kanter guy. He, for sure, has defensive shortcomings, but the dude can play. Does it make me a bad fan that I did not feel bad at all that Big Turkey was giving OKC the business yesterday?
- Kanter in Game 1: 20 points, 18 rebounds, +15 +/- in 34 minutes. Apparently you can play Kanter.
- OKC lost, so the highlight of the afternoon came from Steven Adams. This is way fun to loop on Twitter:
- Listen, Westbrook is going to show up. Not just because he’s Russ, but because he’s going up against Damian Lillard. These two love going at it.
- What we need is Paul George. And we don’t even need that MVPG-level of Paul George, we just need an average Paul George. Some are worried about the shoulder, but he just seemed rattled early on Sunday. I think once a few shots fall in a row, it’ll be curtains for Portland.
- The Playoffs are awesome because one single game can change everything. The Trail Blazers have momentum right now, but OKC taking Game 2 completely shifts control to the Thunder.
- I still like Oklahoma City in 6, but I’m sitting at about 70% confidence right now.