Thunder Journal: OKC Loses to Lakers, but… Poku, man.
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Let’s get the necessary details out of the way so we can talk about Poku.
The defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers defeated the world champion of our hearts Oklahoma City Thunder 128-99 before a sold-none crowd at The Peake. In my very expert opinion, the reason for the Thunder’s loss is because the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis and OKC does not.
If you’d like to read a half page recap of why the Lakers are more awesome than the Thunder, this is not the http for you. Serious analysis breaking down the particulars of why LeBron and Co. beat George’s Kids can’t be taken seriously. The Lakers have parade plans, the Thunder have tanking tactics. Wins are calculated differently this season for Thunder fans, and this 29 point blowout was filled with victories both small and extremely tall and lanky.
(Sit tight, Poku prattle is coming soon.)
After efficiently scoring 20+ in four straight games, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a down game… and still scored 17 points on 12 shots in only three quarters. If not for the bloated box score for the Lakers, SGA would have kept the streak going. But sharing the stage with the Second GOAT and The One Brow, Shai looked like he belonged.
(Hold on, gotta talk about a couple more dudes first.)
Lu Dort hit three 3s and is now shooting 44.4% on 5 attempts per game from long range on the season. At what point do we stop worrying that Dort’s shooting is a fLUke? Now. Now is the time we finish fearing Dort will morph into Thabo 2 or Dre’s Double. He won’t continue shooting like Ray Allen, but he’s not going to turn into Ton Allen, either.
(Get your fanny packs ready.)
Isaiah Roby started his second game in place of a resting Al Horford and had his second great game in place of a resting Al Horford. The preseason fan least favorite scored 11 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and handed out 4 assists. It’s an Isaiah Thomas sized sample, but Isaiah Roby is averaging 8.2 and 4.6 in only 17.8 minutes a game and shooting 61.9% from the field and 41.7% from 3.
(Poku after this paragraph, pinky promise.)
MidFirst Bank owes Hamidou Diallo $20,000, or what the dancers in New Jersey are about to make nightly, for swishing a more than half court shot at the end of the third quarter. While Diallo didn’t get the chance to stretch his double digit streak to four games because of limited minutes, he continued to look electric on the court. Hami has scored 9 or more points in seven straight games, and he’s shot 50% or better in each one.
(It’s Poku Go time!)
Aleksej Pokusevski pulled a classic TFerg by breaking out against the LA Lakers. Let’s count down all the boss things Poku did by ascending awesomeness.
He had a Poku put back slam while LeBron, Alex Caruso, Markieff Morris and Montrezl Harrell looked up in wide eyed wonder.
He hit a 3 in Markieff’s face, which will go down as a greater Thunder footnote than anything Morris did while in an OKC jersey.
He ran down quick Quinn Cook full court and blocked him from behind LeBron style.
He swatted Talen Horton-Tucker’s drive off the dribble so ferociously that THT hilariously fell to the ground and hoped for a whistle to mask the embarrassment.
He finished a monster jam off a feed from Kenrich Williams that would’ve put Horton-Tucker on a poster had he not slid away from the Serbian Slammer.
He curbed Kyle Kuzma on a drive starting from the 3 point line and ending in Poku pinning a layup against the back glass.
And finally… POKU HIT A 3 IN LEBRON’S FACE!
Poku’s final line for the night: 10 points on 4-9 shooting including 2-4 from 3, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks.
Now you might be thinking to yourself: “Did this man really just write a whole article dedicated to a guy that scored 10 points?” Well partner, if you don’t like reading over the top hyperbole about young foreign prospects, you may be disappointed in my next 61 or so journal entries.
Because this Thunder season, those are the necessary details.
- Tankers rejoice: the Thunder are now out of the playoff picture and are currently tied for the 12th worst record in the league.
- Speaking of top draft picks, how about that James Harden trade? With Houston currently at 3-6 and the #5 pick, adding Victor Oladipo to John Wall, Christian Wood, Eric Gordon and Boogie Cousins (PJ Tucker is likely gone), should make the Rockets good enough to stay out of the 1-4 protected zone but bad enough that OKC gets a low end lottery pick. *Chef’s kiss*.
- Thunder are now 0-5 at “home.”
- OKC starters + ages vs the Lakers: SGA (22) Dort (21) Bazley (20) Roby (22) Hill (chaperone).
- Dennis Schroder wasn’t able to get the Loud City ovation he deserved, so OKC did him a solid and put Lu Dort on LeBron.
- The streak continues: Lu Dort has hit at least one 3 in every game this season.
- LeBron hit three 3s while Dort was on the bench… then hit the side of the backboard when Dort closed out on his next attempt. Coincidence?
- Shai and Schroder’s patty cake pretend fight smilefest was not exactly Russ vs KD “I’m comin'” Part 2, but it was much more wholesome.
- Darius Bazley hurt his ankle and didn’t return to the game. We’ll find out more about the injury on Thursday morning.
- Mark Daigneault on Poku: “Poku I thought was good tonight. You can tell he’s starting to get more comfortable on the offensive end. His defense is ahead of his offense, he’s been playing good defense.”
- Shai on Poku: “As young as Poku is, he knows how to play on both ends of the floor. He knows what he’s doing. He’s making hustle plays, the extra plays; he’s getting better every day.”
- Poku keeps it real: “I get blocks ’cause I’m a big guy.”
- Remember when POKU HIT A 3 IN LEBRON’S FACE? Thunder won. I don’t care what the final score says.
- Up next: Billy’s Bulls visit The Peake. Will Donovan be the first Thunder coach to get a win in OKC this season?