Monday, February 28, 2011
Victory slipped away from their hands.
Or rather, the appropriate thing to say would be - the ball slipped from OKC Thunder's hands at the last seconds. Both humble Durant and James Harden had the chance to tie the game but both 3-pointers couldn't find the rim.
“It felt like nothing could go our way,” Durant said. “We missed shots and layups … These losses are tough.”
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 22 points, six rebounds and six assists while Durant had 21 points. They showed up but nevertheless, none of the new team members played.
Pau Gasol was the one who led the Lakers straight to victory with 18 points and eleven rebounds.
OKC made it especially hard for the Lakers during the first quarter when they kept the lead with as many as 14 points. Meanwhile, the halftime was particularly welcome for the latter since they came out much stronger defensively and blocked Westbrook from shooting at will.
Even though Sefolosha and Harden did an outstanding job at blocking Bryant, he still managed to score (only)17 points and seven assists.
The last 4.9 seconds of the game held everyone's breath when Durant's attempt to tie the score failed. However, hopes were revived again when Nick Collison tapped the offensive board back out top, at which point Harden had an open look with 2.8 seconds left, but also failed.
"We wanted a three for KD at the end, it was a tough look but when we got the rebound James (Harden) had a good look. So yeah we wanted the three to tie and if that wasn't there try to get a two and get fouled." - said coach Scott Brooks.
This game was the third loss in a row for OKC this season.
Next up for the Thunder is the game against Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Until then, thunderup!!!
Friday, February 25, 2011
Where is the “good” in goodbye?
The Oklahoma City Thunder is now officially a team with three new players. In order to obtain the services of Nate Robinson and Kendrick Perkins (Boston Celtics) exchanges were made. The ones that "suffered" were forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic.
“It is never easy to make decisions such as these and I thank Jeff and Nenad for their contributions to the Thunder organization and to this community. They define professionalism and I wish them the very best in the future,” Presti said.
Thunder general manager said acquiring Perkins is not a quick-fix move. “That’s not how I think,” mentioned Presti. “It was more of, ‘We love Perkins. We want to get him in the program. We want to keep him in the program.’ He is so in our DNA.”
Perkins is expected to miss at least one week due to a sprained ligament in his left knee.
His appearance at the NBA (8th season) is crowned with career averages of 6.4 points. He appeared in 12 games this season with Celtics, with an average of 7.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in 26.1 minutes.
Robinson who won the Slam Dunk three times in a row (the only one in NBA history) is currently in his 6th NBA season. He possesses career averages of 11.3 points. He attended 55 games with the Celtics, averaging 7.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in 26.1 minutes.
As much as he's excited with the new players, Presti also acknowledged the fact that it was very difficult to trade Green.
“Jeff Green is like my son. I love that kid,” Presti said. “This is by far the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make since I started this job.”
In an individual deal, the Thunder traded shooting guard Morris Peterson and forward D.J. White to Charlotte in exchange for center Nazr Mohammed.
“We would like to thank both D.J. and Morris for their many contributions here in Oklahoma City on and off the court,” said Presti.
“For the past three seasons, D.J. has been the ultimate teammate and one of our hardest workers. Morris has been a consummate professional and I wish them both success. Nazr will bring veteran leadership and playoff experience to our roster and we are excited for him to join our team in Oklahoma City.”
In 747 career regular-season games, Mohammed holds career averages of 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game. This season he is averaging, 7.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game.
“I like Nazr. I always have,” Presti said. “I know his approach. I know his attitude. I know his work ethic. He’s an unbelievable pro. Perkins’ and Mohammed’s professionalism are off the charts.”
The best things said come last. People will talk for hours saying nothing much and then linger at the door with words that come with a rush from the heart. - Alan AldaThank you guys for everything.
You will be missed.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday night marked the sixth win for San Antonio Spurs over OKC Thunder (105-109).
Six was also the number of available seconds Jeff Green had in order to tie the result. This attempt however, ended with an off-balance 3-pointer.
The atmosphere at AT&T Center was similar to a playoff game. San Antonio was trying to win their 26th game at home while the Thunder was trying to win for the first time this season against the Spurs.
Tension was building up when Gary Neal received a seemingly unintentional elbow from James Harden and especially when Parker got fouled from Collison on his way to the bucket.
The ones that received technicals for this were humble Durant and Tim Duncan.
OKC entered the fourth quarter with a result 88-80, but with a pair of 3-pointers made by Harden and Cook, the Thunder managed to lead by two points.
During the final seven minutes, Harden had the chance to raise the margin by five points if he wouldn't miss a three.
Tony Parker took advantage of this situation - he got the rebound, got fouled, hit both shots and tied the result.
KD scored a high number of 30 points and nine rebounds in comparison to the two previous games against the Spurs (he averaged less than 20). Russell Westbrook contributed to the team with 25 points.
For San Antonio, the player that had the highest number of points was Tony Parker (20).
In case you don't have any plans this Friday night, turn on the TV and watch Thunder's next game against Orlando Magic.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin was welcomed with an enthusiastic ovation back to his hometown in Oklahoma City. However, the moment the game started he was treated as any other rival by OKC fans.
Tuesday night, the Thunder won for the first time in Oklahoma City against the Clippers with a result 88-111.
A pat on the back goes to Jeff Green for scoring 22 points, Durant 21 and Harden who came off the bench and contributed with 19 points. Besides them, the bench altogether scored as much as 44 points.
"It was a good win, everybody chipped in and helped us win this game tonight." - said coach Scott Brooks.
Thunder center, Cole Aldrich made his first appearance after several weeks. He played 11 minutes, scored two points, had four rebounds and blocked a shot.
The credits for the Clippers' attempt to win, go to Blake Griffin who led his team with 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
OKC now has won eight of their 11 games. Three of their last four games were won with a noticeable margin; 121-105 at Utah, 126-96 over Sacramento and last night's 111-88 win over the Clippers.
Next up for the Thunder is the game against San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.
Good afternoon, and in case I don't see ya, good evening, and good night!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Weekends are good.
Actually, they're more than good - they're great, especially when you get to watch basketball for three days in a row as your favorite players from different teams play side by side.
This weekend made no exception. Us, the ordinary people, had the chance to catch a glimpse of the oh-so-far-away stars, on and off the court.
Before sitting in front of the TV with friends, family or snacks, and just a few minutes before seeing Durant, Bryant, James, and other stars, all eyes were on Josh Groban who sang the U.S National Anthem.
Unsurprisingly, his magical singing was flawless and fluid.
During the national anthem, instead of putting their hand close to the heart, most of the women (taken away by his voice) kept them under the chin while each one of them hummed the song "Killing me softly" as Josh kept singing.
After that moment, everyone's attention was directed to the game. The competition was amazing between the two teams. This was noticed especially during the fourth quarter where the West had difficulties but managed to win the game with a result 148-143.
With James, Bosh and Wade you could say the team of the East was the beast, but the team of the West was the best.
To the tremendous 148 points, Durant and Westbrook together combined for 46 points. KD contributed by scoring amazing, 34 points and a perfect eight for eight from the line. He also had a pair of steals and blocks.
Westbrook's 14 minutes were crowned with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists.
“It was a great feeling. It was fun to be back at home in front of my family. I had a good time.” - said Russ on his first AS game.
Back to Durant, his 34 points line him up as the 14th player in AS game history to score 30 or more. This number of points ties him with Tracy McGrady, Tom Chambers, Julius Erving and George Gervin for seventh best scoring performance in NBA history.
The MVP went to Kobe Bryant who scored as much as 37 points, but KD was second best.
On the post-game news conference Bryant mentioned that when it comes to getting the spotlight, it’s time for him to step aside and make room for the young guys.
Besides being proud of playing aside Bryant, humble Durant was especially proud of Westbrook.
“I’m so happy for Russell, just making the game and being in his home town. For him to come out and play the way he played, I’m proud. Hopefully this is the first of many more. I’m sure you’ll see Russell in the starting lineup in this All-Star game in a few years.”
Other Thunder players who participated at the AS game were Serge Ibaka at the Dunk Contest (had a great appearance but didn't make the finals) and James Harden at the Rookie Challenge who scored 30 points.
Now that the weekend's over, OKC's players are back in Oklahoma. Tonight the Thunder is playing against LA Clippers.
Our guys may be a little tired but don't forget what Tommy Lasorda said about doing something you love: Guys ask me, don't I get burned out? How can you get burned out doing something you love? I ask you, have you ever got tired of kissing a pretty girl?
No matter the circumstances, I know it and you know it - they love this game.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Daequan Cook scored 20 points as he helped the Thunder prepare delicious, 126 points against Sacramento Kings Tuesday night.
He also contributed with five rebounds while Durant had only 17 points and collected seven boards for the Thunder.
OKC had seven players with double figures - Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic both scored 16 points, Serge Ibaka had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
James Harden contributed with 12 points and Russell Westbrook had a double-double of 10 points and 11 assists.
Thunder's entire starting lineup watched the game from the bench in the fourth quarter as the rest of the team took the lead by 25 points.
"We did a really good job of coming out and playing good defense. We played about as good as we can play. Kevin (Durant) talked to the guys at shoot-around this morning about the importance of coming out strong and we did." - said coach Scott Brooks.
The moment Westbrook did a monstrous dunk during the first minutes of the game, the Kings knew things were going to get tough. DeMarcus Cousins put this into words for us:“That really got their blood flowing…They smelled blood.”
Besides scoring a team-high nine boards, Ibaka jumped everybody out of their seats by rejecting a dunk attempt by Jason Thompson in the final two minutes.
OKC now goes into the All-Star break with seven games won of the last ten.
Next up for the Thunder is the game against LA Clippers on Tuesday, but before that, we have three OKC Thunder representatives (Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka) at the All-Star weekend.
Don't forget to watch them as they will return to Oklahoma with nothing but the best - victories.
Monday, February 14, 2011
"We just made too many mistakes to win tonight." - said Nick Collison whose words describe Oklahoma City Thunder's game against Golden State Warriors.
OKC failed to win last night as they fell to the Warriors with a result 94-100. Kevin Durant scored 29 points but committed three turnovers. Stephen Curry, except doing a sensational work of scoring 23 points and 13 assists, he also did a good job at throwing Russell Westbrook off his usual game.
Nick Collison had a season-high of 10 rebounds for the Thunder. James Harden scored eight straight points as OKC held a 28-25 advantage. The lead changed six times as both teams kept fighting for this victory.
Later on, the Thunder didn't give up as Jeff Green scored a three-pointer to make it a one-point game at 93-92.
OKC's focus at stopping Curry and Ellis proved to be a bad call since Reggie Williams took advantage of the gap and scored a three-pointer with only 47.2 seconds left.
After humble Durant made two free throws, David Lee finished the game with a nice dunk.
Next for the Thunder is Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.
See you then.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Oklahoma City Thunder bounced back after losing to Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Saturday marked an important victory of OKC against Sacramento Kings (99-97) - the fourth in five games.
The Thunder took the lead thanks to Eric Maynor's 3-pointer which also ended the first quarter. This advantage continued almost throughout the whole game - OKC almost gave up during the final moments.
Our team was leading by only two points with 5.8 seconds remaining when Durant missed both free throws which gave the Kings one more opportunity.
All Thunder fans wiped their forehead - including Durant and the rest of the team when Tyreke Evans missed the three-pointer.
Even though he missed those free throws, humble Durant finished the game with as much as 35 points. James Harden had a career-high five steals.
Kevin Durant twisted his left ankle during the third quarter but kept playing.
"Yeah, it should be alright. Twisted it a little bit tonight in the third quarter. But you know, I kept pressing and putting my weight on it. If it was hurt too much I would have come out of the game but it was cool for me to finish the game and hopefully it will be cool tomorrow." - said Durant.
Next up for the Thunder is the game against Golden State Warriors.
Thunderup people, thunderup!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
For the second time this season, the Thunder showed to Utah Jazz what is it like to play for the name in front of the jersey not the one on the back.
OKC won over Utah with a result 121-105 Saturday night as the crowd at EnergySolutions Arena watched magic happen silently.
Russell Westbrook proved to everybody he's one of Oklahoma City Thunder's main pillars as he scored 33 points, 10 assists and a marvelous, career-high four 3-pointers.
Humble Durant scored 21 points and 12 rebounds, Jeff Green had 20, while former Jazzman Eric Maynor came off the bench and scored 10 points in the first half.
The Thunder had a few problems at the beginning of the game with Utah scoring their first 11 shots. But shortly after that, our guys bounced back at their usual majesty which they make it look so simple.
OKC took the lead of the game on the second quarter when Green switched over a three-point play by changing it 57-56. Green didn't stop at this - he continued scoring another three-point play to help the Thunder leave behind Utah with a result 62-57 at halftime.
This game marked the fifth victory of their last six games which contributed at Thunder leading the Northwest Division.
Next for the Thunder is Memphis, Tuesday. Until then, don't forget - THUNDERUP!!!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
It was one of those games.
You know, the ones where even the snow storm can't stop Durant from scoring 43 points; 10 rebounds were also added by him to mark an important victory over the New Orleans Hornets (104-93).
Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook also contributed by scoring 12, respectively 10 points and eight assists.
Serge Ibaka also did a great job by scoring eight points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.
"I think his first three possessions he gave us three rebounds and that's what we want from him every night. I thought he was really good. He was active tonight, and that's what we need from him."- Brooks said.
This was Thabo Sefolosha's third straight missed game because of his sprained left knee. His status remains day-to-day.
OKC's defense was at their best during the third quarter, limiting the Hornets to only 17 points on 4-for-20 shooting. With time running out, Durant grabbed a rebound and nailed a step-back jumper at the buzzer.
David West led the Hornets with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Chris Paul added his share with 15 points and five assists. Hornets' forward Trevor Ariza left left the game during the third quarter due to a sprained ankle.
Although they tried their best, the only worth-mentioning highlight from New Orleans Hornets was when their bus got stuck and they had to switch to another one. While doing so, Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza decided to throw snowballs at coach Monty Williams, who playfully said he has yet to determine their fines.
Thunder's next game is against Phoenix, Friday night. Until then...