May 16, 2013
I didn’t even watch due to a book I’m writing, but as with that awful title I produced, I’ll produce this equally awful cliche/pun: The Writing Was on the Wall. I met with my parents for lunch today in the Oklahoma Panhandle as they make their annual journey to Colorado for the Summer Season, and my mother – who never had an interest in the NBA until I started telling her a couple years ago that the Thunder were playing – is now the most unhinged Thunder fan I know. Her judgement was the same as mine – “This series was over before it began,” or something similar. As soon as Russ went down, that was that. This excerpt from a Thunder fan who writes for Grantland, sums it up nicely:
Right now, minutes after that loss, what I want to say about the Thunder is this: There was a time in sports when it was easy. When being a fan didn’t mean proving your loyalty through suffering but also didn’t mean taking the team for granted. When it was just happy — and there were whole seasons, whole years, when following the Thunder was just happy. When you could show up and scream your throat raw and watch the unicycle acrobat catch plates on her forehead at halftime and have T-shirts cannoned at you and most of the time leave feeling good, because even if they lost they’d done at least as well as anyone could have expected. That probably changes now, or if not now then soon, because as soon as you expect to be happy in sports you’ll find that it gets harder and harder. A fan base can only stay innocent for so long. Suffering can be innocent, but resentment can’t be, and in the late talk-radio era resentment is bound to follow suffering sooner or later. But for a while, in the early years of Kevin Durant’s career, in Oklahoma City, it was innocent. I’d like to remember that — that it happened. I’m sure this isn’t the only time it’s happened, but it’s the only time it’s happened to me. I wish everyone who loves sports could experience something like it.
via Oklahoma City Thunder lose to the Memphis Grizzlies – Grantland.
April 23, 2013
My Thunderz are blazin’ this year, but unfortunately they’re the best team that’s not Miami, and he’s the best player who’s not The King. Some day, but not this year barring a shockah, although KD v. LJ has the potential to be Magic-Bird on steroids. Go Thunderz, and I’m still watching:
There will come a day when the Oklahoma City Thunder will win an NBA crown if they keep this core together. There very likely will be an MVP or two in Durant’s future. There may well come a day when we acknowledge Durant as the best player in the world right now I would say he’s the best scorer in the world, just ahead of ‘Melo, but he doesn’t have LeBron’s all around game.
via Kevin Durant: “I’m tired of being second… I’m done with it” | ProBasketballTalk.
March 4, 2013
Yeah, thunderly probably isn’t a word, but whatevz:
Not this season. This season, the Thunder seem to have more of a chip on their shoulder, a little bit of an edge. There’s an institutional cold-bloodedness — dealing James Harden rather than being held hostage by a season-long “will he or won’t he” narrative, and snatching Derek Fisher from the Mavs. Then there’s the team’s on-court demeanor. Maybe it’s the long-term, good-bad influence of Kendrick Perkins, who could seemingly get into a shoving match in a room by himself. Kevin Durant, who has racked up a surprising amount of technicals in an effort to prove how not nice he is, has said as much about the former Boston tree trunk.
via NBA Short-Attention-Span Power Rankings: The Rolling Thunder Revue – The Triangle Blog – Grantland.
Other than my two weeks in Utila, I’ve watched all the Thunder games, and it’s not wrong to say they’re playing with attitude this year. They’re either losing the odd extremely close game, or they’re blowing teams out of the gym. I don’t think they can beat the Heat, but for now, I’ll take what they’re giving.
Kevin Durant’s turn to a technical machine has been a strange one. Although every player eventually gets tagged as one thing or the other that’s beyond their control, Durant’s penchant for mouthing off to refs and getting teed up is a strange development. Be like Mike, KD, he never got teed, he just kept winning.
I love RW’s intensity and Perkins has turned into my favorite of the Thunder lineup – I like the fact that they don’t wanna be known as nice guys, but they’re starting to get into the Bad Boys of Detroit thing, which I don’t want. They’re too good for that, honestly.
December 5, 2012
Fairly sophisticated analysis precedes this close at Grantland:
Even more remarkable: The Thunder starting lineup is actually functioning offensively! It is officially more watchable than a Tayshaun Prince isolation! The starting five has so far scored 106.7 points per 100 possessions, below the Thunder’s sterling overall mark, but still the equivalent of a top-five scoring rate. Even more shocking: This five has assisted on 63.9 percent of their made baskets, better than the Thunder’s overall mark and just about equal to Boston’s assist rate — the second-highest in the league.
It’s hard to overstate what a massive turnaround this is. The Thunder’s starting five has long been miserable to watch, and last season assisted on just 45.8 percent of baskets — significantly below the Thunder’s miserable (and dead-last) overall number.
via The Thunder Are Better Than We Thought They Were Going to Be – The Triangle Blog – Grantland.
I’ve watched most of the Thunder games this year. I wasn’t thrilled about trading Harden, but Kevin Martin’s come on like gangbusters and Russell Westbrook’s guard play has improved dramatically. As fun as the Thunder were to watch last year, this year is akin to the circus getting a fourth ring.
Pro basketball isn’t even an acquired taste – you either like it or you don’t, although less extreme than hockey in that regard. Last night’s game at Brooklyn was wildly entertaining – the Nets were getting blown out, then a 38-point Q3 sparked a crazy Q4, which ended with a close Thunder win.
[Yep, I went ahead and added Thunderz category. I doubt anyone but me ever browses the categories, and even though Tags increase site traffic I'm horrid at using them. As noted many times before, I suck at Blogging 101, but I do this for funz. /brex]