That was fun wasn’t it? Box Score.
The Thunder jumped out to a nice fat 17-7 lead in the first quarter and never trailed in the smackdown of the Washington Wizards before a reported sell out crowd. How cool is that?
The score isn’t really indicative of the game though as the Wiz did pull even at 32 apiece to start the second quarter. Later the Wiz were just down 1 at 65-66, but for most of the game the Thunder seemed to have a lead that vacillated between 5 and 10 points. Grant Long said it well tonight when he was talking about the Wiz when he said something along the lines of the Wiz having all the talent a team could want, but for whatever the reason the pieces don’t seem to fit. I see his point.
I personally think the Wizards problem is defense, or a lack of it to be more specific. The Wiz matchup very well with the Thunder at every position but their supposed “stopper” is Deshawn Stevenson who only saw 12 minutes of play.
I also thought it sort of funny that Brian Davis in the pregame quoted Scott Brooks with saying something like “we are going to put our stamp on this game with our defense” (or something close to that). By the third quarter I was thinking that the first team that played defense would probably win. I was wrong, neither played any defense to speak of, but we scored more and scored more efficiently. Hey, it wasn’t a thing of beauty, but I will certainly take it.
- Our superlative defensive standing is taking a bit of a hit. Going into the Orlando game we were allowing 99.5 points per 100 possessions tied for 3rd best in the league! After that debacle we were down to allowing 100.4 pts./100, or just 7th best. Tonight we allowed 109.1 points per 100. But it’s just an observation, I am glad for the win.
- Along those same lines, our somewhat anemic offense was running at just 102.3 points scored per 100 (25th). Tonight was a bust out game offensively at 128.3 pts/100.
- I enjoyed the Westbrook/Arenas matchup tonight. They are very similar players. Both are probably more actually combo guards than true points, and both shoot a lot. RW had a fine game offensively and was the more efficient player. Gil took 20 shots to get 23 points–RW had 26 points on 12 shots.
- Nicky C only got into the game for a mere 2 minutes tonight. It had to be all about matchups. Blatche and Jamison are both perimeter shooting Power Forwards and Nick just isn’t built for defending that.
- What ever happened to Mike Miller? This guy was nails for years. He is a 29 year old 10 year vet who has averaged between 10-14 field goal attempts per game for his whole career and played around 32 minutes. Just a dead eye shooter who was fearless. Now, this season and last just about 7 shots per game in the same minutes?? It’s not like he’s in there for defense? Rookie of the year, sixth man of the year, forgotten man.
- It seemed like Etan didn’t have a lot of love for his ex-teammates.
- How about that no look pass on the break in the 2nd quarter by Harden to Sefolohsa.
- Speaking of Sefolosha, I love it when he drives the ball. I can really see him expanding his efficiency and scoring if he would make a point of driving to the cup on a regular basis. Gerald Wallace is a great comparison for him. Gerald can’t shoot a jumpshot for the life of him but he is fearless attacking the rim.
- Jeff Green had a double double at the half!
- Did it seem like KD was especially passionate about the outcome of tonight’s game?
- Somebody help me remember: wasn’t it Chad Ford or David Thorpe or one of those basketball geniuses that had Harden as only the 11th best rookie last week somewhere in print? Pfft!
- Harden was stellar again shooting the deep jimmy, but how about those 4 steals? Mr. Versatile.
- KD got some big minutes tonight at Power Forward. First alongside Etan thomas with Krstic out and then later alongside Green. Brooks ran the last five minutes with a lineup of Westbrook, Harden, Sefolosha, Durant and Green. It’s sort of like Warriors “small ball”, except they really aren’t small.
- Funniest play of the night: Green guarded by the smallest player in the league Earl Boykins on a drive and pullup jumper: airball.
- Second funniest play of the night: KD getting a steal and going coast to coast. He was rolling full speed for the cup and going for the slam. Mike Miller didn’t want any part of taking that charge. He just sort of stepped back out of the way even though he was in position to contest.
- James Harden is really figuring out his offense. He is using screens really well now and finding lots of open looks.
- How about Harden and Westbrook each giving each other no look passes on the break for the Harden slam?
- How about Westbrooks no look over the shoulder pass to Sefolosha for a KD jam?