Throughout the week some of you drop some brilliant or at least somewhat thoughtful comments and so this is a try
at highlighting some of them. Disclaimer: It’s not that I necessarily agree with all of them, but they were interesting and for the most part, well put. Consider everything [sic’d].
I asked Berry Tramel if people (as in The Ultimate) were serious about wanting to give up on Russell Westbrook as a point guard. He gave an outstanding answer. (Berry Tramel): Yes, they’re serious. They’re also silly. Here’s the problem. None of us knew anything about the NBA when it came. Some people want to be experts, though, so they say something, then they cling to that to prove their mettle. Russell Westbrook is a four-year project at least. All 20-year-old point guards are. That’s the price you pay when you decide you’re going nowhere with Luke Ridnour.
Pressure? What do you know about PRESSURE? (B-RY): I think the tape really shows just how small the difference can be between good and bad play in the NBA. It also says to me, that Durant is feeling too much pressure to perform at the moment. He found the open man early, but when it mattered, he got tunnel vision – as did Westbrook.
As the “best player on the team” (a phrase I despise) he also felt undue pressure to make things happen on his own, which is never good.The good news is, these are things that come with time and experience. He had a rough couple of games against two really good opponents when the whole world was holding its breath and watching, waiting for something amazing to happen.
The thing KD needs to realize is that this is not last year’s team. He doesn’t have to carry the load when everyone around him is playing at the level they did that night. He needs to understand that you don’t ALWAYS have to be the guy…. at least not for a couple more years. I think all the great ones go through this same thing, the guy is barely 21 and everyone expects him to be Lebron or Kobe already. It’s too much for him right now, but eventually it will give him those icy veins that Kobe showed against the Thunder and again against Houston.
Pressure again, et cetera, et cetera. (Dan): The team is just too young, and they have no experience playing meaningful games against the best teams in the league, they are melting under the pressure. The contrast between the Sac game and tonight’s game says it all, when there isn’t pressure, Westbrook is patient, doesn’t seek to force anything, Durant and Green get open looks, obviously against a poor defense, but Westbrook, and to an extet Durant and Green, try to force the ball inside too much in crunch time.
If you watch good playoff teams, they are patient all the time, they keep their rhythm, and, because of experience, know that forcing the ball, doesn’t win games. Sure Westbrook and Green drive against 3 guys and make it once in a while but there were far more needless and sloppy turnovers. If we eliminate those kind of plays and are more patient, we can hang with anybody. And if KD is actually on for the entire game, we can beat anybody.
Failure for young players can destroy their confidence, but KD is a different breed, and if the past is any indication, the league should be afraid of his new reason to work and play harder. If the first 3 games are what Durant looks like when he is off, then I can’t wait to see what he looks like later in the season. Also, Harden needs to be on the floor more, he plays like a seasoned veteran on offense and is starting to get it defensively, Thabo is just playing too well to give his minutes to Harden.
Mmmm, roasted toast. (Andy Sweeter Than Candy): that is one thing that roasts my toast, some people, especially lakers fans that dont understand the game, are always under the impression that kobe can do no wrong, and are surprised when not everyone else agrees with them, kobe commited 5 fouls enough said, the whistle blew, get over it, true most of the time refs swallow the whistle for superstars and i think that spoils the fan in thinking that said star is allowed to get away with fouls or able to play more aggressive without fear of consequence…although one of the fouls commited on thabo was a little suspect to me…
oh well that always seems the case that there is a”their guy gets away with fouls all the time and our guy just gets whistled for being a good aggressive defender” bias, i know my grandpa flips #@*$ when cole aldridge gets away with being a “big goon” when he plays ou but when he plays against osu or texas is just good defending…guess we just need to get used to the othersides’ bias, bc u know we have one of our own.
Hear, hear. I concur. And agreed. (Brett): This is an excellent start for this young team. Obviously 3-1 or 4-0 would be so much sweeter than 2-2, but we are still at place where moral victories matter. We aren’t the Lakers or Cavs where only real Ws count. Our team is playing solid basketball against very good teams. When Durant finds his stroke again, it should change the dynamic of our offense and open up more opportunities (hopefully more assists and fewer turnovers). If/when Harden gets comfortable with his shot, that’ll give our bench more firepower.
We’re still getting our feet underneath us. If they can keep up this level of intensity (hopefully while giving KD and Uncle Jeff more rest), then we’ll win a bunch of games this year that would have had us destroyed last season. I still think mid-30s for a win total, but we’ll be competitive more than before. That could swing the win total in our favor. Let’s hope we beat the teams we should beat and play with that same fire that we brought last night.
At this point, consistency is just as important as anything else. Let these guys LEARN how to win and how to compete, and they’ll take the world by storm. With as hungry as our players are, they won’t stop until they get everything they want.