Archive - January 2012

3-on-3 – How Do The Thunder Look Now?

AP / SA

Took some bloggers and discussed on how, after 12 games, the Thunder look.

Thunder, meeting expectations or underachieving?

Chuck Chaney, ThunderObsessed.com: I think they’re just on par for what I would expect. Oklahoma City has played a decent schedule and won the games they should have. However, lost a game that they shouldn’t have (Dallas) lost. Great team chemistry with or without the Westbrook-Durant debacle, or lack there of.

Ed Kleese, Fan Blog: Not sure how anyone can say a team is underachieving while they are winning at an 80% clip. As a matter of fact,

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Thunder Exterminate the Hornets

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Oklahoma City struggled early in the first half against a less talented Hornets team. The Hornets jumped up 8-0 on the Thunder before OKC would get on the board. Hornets led by as many as 10 points before OKC finally turned it on, and pressed for the lead in the ball game.

Kevin Durant finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Russell Westbrook had 22 points and seven assists, and James Harden added 14 points for Oklahoma City, which won its fifth in a row and is tied with the Bulls for the best record in the league at 10-2.

Durant almost singlehandedly led Oklahoma to a big lead in the third quarter. After knocking down a midrange jumper, he scored on a layup, a free throw and a pair of 3-pointers. On the second 3, he was wide open at the top of the key and buried the shot off a pass from Westbrook, giving the Thunder a 69-57 lead and forcing the Hornets to call a timeout.

Oklahoma City would lead 73-70 after the end of the third quarter. The Hornets pulled within four early in the fourth, but never threatened after that. New Orleans would score only 15 points, as one of the worst offenses in the NBA struggled to find shots in the fourth. Oklahoma City would pull away with the 95-85 victory. Pushing the Thunder to the 10-2 record. New Orleans dropped to 3-7 on the season.

Post season grades Read More

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Game Day #12: Thunder at Hornets

Oklahoma City Thunder (9-2, 4-1 road) at New Orleans Hornets (3-6, 1-3 Home)

 at

Where: New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA
TV:
 FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Hornets:

Obviously these are not the same Hornets that you saw when they were in Oklahoma City. They don’t even have Chris Paul or David West anymore. Doesn’t mean they’re not competitive. However, they’ve brought in some good players to replace those that have departed. So, New Orleans is not exactly the push over you may think. They have wins over Boston and Denver.

The Hornets come into tonight’s game 3-6 on the season, and just 1-3 at home. However, they’re not the offensive team that we’ve come to see. They’re averaging just 87.3 points per game. That’s good enough for just 27th in the league, respectively. At home, they’re averaging just 89 points per game. So, this could be a big win by the Thunder if they play up to their ability.

Oklahoma City is coming off a nice win over the Memphis Grizzlies, where they held par on a five point lead to finish with a 100-95 win over a scrappy Memphis team. Russell Westbrook had 30 points, Kevin Durant had a double-double. It was a pretty good performance by the Thunder.

Keys to the game Read More

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Thunder win 100-95, League Best 9-2 on Season

Russell Westbrook was back to Honey Badger status on Tuesday. Westbrook had 30 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists leading the Thunder in a very hard fought win over the Memphis Grizzlies 100-95. Memphis dropped to 3-6, while the Thunder are now tied with the Chicago Bulls with a 9-2 overall record.

The first quarter was the Westbrook show. Westbrook had 12 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in the first quarter alone. In a quarter that was led most of the way by the Grizzlies, Westbrook kept the team afloat while the reserves came in and helped the Thunder take a 26-25 lead after the first quarter. It was the seventh straight game that OKC has led after the first quarter.

The second quarter was a quick quarter, led by Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Thabo Sefolosha contributued again by getting starting by hitting three point shots in key situations. After the end of the first half, Oklahoma City led the Grizzlies 54-42.

Really impressed by Serge Ibaka and James Harden’s play in the third quarter. Kevin Durant was something special there as well. When Memphis came back and took a 66-63 lead, here came OKC. Next thing you knew, Thunder were up 75-67. The Grizzlies would battle back in the third quarter to cut it to OKC 75-71 lead.

Post game grades Read More

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Game Day #11: Thunder at Grizzlies

Oklahoma City Thunder (8-2, 3-1 road) at Memphis Grizzlies (3-5, 2-1 Home)

 at

Where: Fedex Forum, Memphis, TN
TV:
 FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Grizzlies:

Well, some stuff has changed since the last time the Thunder and the Grizzlies took the floor. Oklahoma City lost Eric Maynor for the season and the Grizzlies lost Zach Randolph for 6-8 weeks (about 5-7 weeks now).

Grizzlies are 3-3 since the last time they faced the Thunder, and have struggled rebounding as the cause of Randolph being out. Not to mention the Bulls beat the pants off the Grizzlies by 40 on the day Randolph was hurt.  Looks like Mike Conley will play tonight as well. He was injured early in the first matchup.

Oklahoma City with the loss of Eric Maynor looked to miss no beats as they smoked San Antonio Sunday night. While the loss of Maynor is significant, rookie Reggie Jackson stood in his place well enough to help OKC get the big victory.

Keys to the game Read More

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Thunder Links – January 9, 2012 – Rankings Edition

NBA.com rankings has OKC 4th. Rookie Reggie Jackson has big shoes to fill. Eric Maynor, lost for the season with a torn ACL, was part of a bench crew that almost always pushed the scoreboard in the right direction for the Thunder. Even this season, Maynor had a better plus-minus mark than all of the OKC starters.

Mark Stein of ESPN is third. Six teams have had a back-to-back-to-back set already, and all six, bizarrely, won the third game after teams went 28-36 in that situation during Lockout 1999. Only OKC, though, went a perfect 3-0 … despite losing Eric Maynor for the season in the middle of it.

Fox Sports has OKC 2ndRead More

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Thunder Kicks Spurs 108-96, Wins Third Straight

The Thunder finished off an impressive stretch of three wins in three nights by downing the Spurs 108-96 at the Thunderdome Sunday night. The win came only hours after receiving news that back-up point guard, Eric Maynor, will miss the remainder of the 2011-2012 season due to an ACL tear. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 21 points on 5-9 shooting, who played his best all-around game of the season.

Durant was involved in all facets of the game. He was in legitimate triple double territory, finishing with ten rebounds and seven assists. Had Durant played his usual allotted minutes (he only played 29), it is likely that the headline would have been about Durant’s first career triple double. Also, put all the free throw fears away because Durant nailed all ten of his free throw attempts.

The Thunder became the first team in the NBA this season to win all three games of a back-to-back-to-back stretch, which says a lot about this young team. The Thunder had a six-point lead going into halftime, but the Thunder outscored the Spurs 37 to 21 in the third quarter to essential put the game away. A big question mark coming into this contest was how the second unit would respond in the first game without Maynor. Rookie PG Reggie Jackson filled Maynor’s roll wonderfully playing 23 minutes, scoring 11 points, dishing 4 assists and only turning the ball over twice.

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Maynor Tears ACL. Will Miss Rest of Season

Eric Maynor, Oklahoma City’s back up point guard, tore his ACL in the fourth quarter in last night’s win over Houston. He will miss the rest of the season.

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Game Day #10: Spurs at Thunder

San Antonio Spurs (6-2, 0-2 on road) at OKC Thunder (7-2, 3-1 at home)

at

Where: The ‘Peake
When
: 6:00 p.m. CST
TV
: FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Spurs:

This team has been an Achilles’ heel for the Thunder. Since the 2009-2010 season, San Antonio has won 4 out of 5 games against the Thunder. Including a couple of heart breakers. We all remember last year’s game in San Antonio. Jeff Green misses a three late in final seconds, and the Thunder fell. Also there was the previous year when the Thunder traded baskets and Thabo Sefolosha was left open for a three point attempt, which he missed it horribly. The Spurs walked out with a stolen win from OKC.

This Spurs team is just as good as in the past. They come into the game 6-2, and winners of their last three. Including a 121-117 win last night over the Denver Nuggets. While Manu Ginobili is out with a broken bone, Tony Parker and Gary Neal keep the offense running with out missing a hitch. Tim Duncan isn’t the same 20-10 guy he used to be. However, he still makes himself a presence on the floor while he plays. He still averages 25 minutes a game.

The Spurs are a veteran crew. Average age is 27. Nine of the 14 players on the roster are 27 years old or older. This team can still score and put the W’s in the win column. Last year they were first in the Western Conference. They finished 61-21 last season before being upset by the Memphis Grizzlies

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Thunder Win Nail-biter

(AP Photo/Eric Kayne)

Oklahoma City came on on fire, shooting 57.1% in the first quarter, jumping out to a 17-10 lead early in the quarter. However, Houston was not to be out done after last night’s beating, they fought back to make it 23-21 after the end of the first quarter.

Nazr Mohammed tried to keep the Thunder afloat in the second quarter, scoring 11 first half points, but the Rockets pushed out to a small 38-33 lead midway through the second quarter. That’s when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant came in and helped push the Thunder from a five point deficit to a two point lead at halftime at 48-46.

Most of the third quarter was all about the Rockets. Rockets came out shooting lights out. Oklahoma City, turned the ball over and didn’t do well for most of the quarter until Russell Westbrook had enough. Russell Westbrook scored 10 points in the third quarter and helped the Thunder close out the quarter on a 12-0 run to tie it after three quarters.

That’s when the two-time scoring champion, Durant, took over late in the fourth. Rockets had gotten down by five points, and then fought back. Durant then traded buckets with the Rockets. Durant finished with 13 points for the quarter. Not to be done before he hit the biggest shot of the night. With 13.2 seconds left. KD caught a quick pass from Westbrook and hit a jumper, giving the Thunder a 96-95 lead. After missing a three and going out of bounds off Kendrick Perkins, Goran Dragic threw the ball out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left to preserve the Thunder’s 98-95 victory. Oklahoma City’s second straight win improves them to 7-2 overall, while the Rockets drop to 2-6.

Post game grades Read More

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