1. Well, my daughter will be happy. Last year the Thunder hosted the Bulls on her birthday. It was a Wednesday night so we were wary to let her attend on a school night. Oh, and it was an 8:30 tip so we were like no chance. But she persisted and we caved. So she got to stay out until almost midnight on her 8th birthday. She has generally been a good luck charm at games, but things didn’t go well against the Bulls that night. It was one of the Thunder’s worst outings of the season and probably their worst home effort. Chicago got out big early and the Thunder never threatened. Blowout city. She had a really nice evening, but she was super bummed that they lost. She is not yet at the cynical age where she would get upset with HER team for their poor performance so she took it all out on the Bulls and blamed them for “ruining her birthday.” She has brought up this anti-Bulls sentiment many times since. Many times. She really hates the Bulls now. I wasn’t with her tonight so I look forward to telling her the final score tomorrow. She will be thrilled.
2. And if getting thrilled when the Bulls lose is a thing for her, then she is going to be thrilled a lot this year. When 100% healthy the Bulls are arguably the worst team in the NBA (I’m looking at you Suns and Mavs). When not 100% healthy like tonight, the Bulls are ABSOLUTELY the worst team in the league and one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen. For the love of Bill Wennington, that is one dreadful team. They have NOTHING. Mirotic is OK, but he’s out. And he’s out because his teammate (Bobby Portis) broke his face with a punch in practice. So now their best player is out injured and Portia is suspended. And they suck balls. Sweet start to the season for Bulls fans. I was mildly insulted we let score over 50 tonight. So the level of competiton should be factored in when assessing this game.
3. It’s not OKC’s fault that Chicago isn’t a real NBA team. All the Thunder can do is take the floor and get out of there with a stress-free victory. They did just that. Chicago hung around for a quarter and a half and then the Thunder put them away. I didn’t think the Thunder put forth an amazing effort, but they did what they needed to do to establish and hold the big lead. Second half offense was really lazy and they weren’t working for shots at all. But they did keep up the pressure on D, so I was fine with it. Best thing to see was PG13 getting involved early and producing an efficient offensive night. He looked more comfortable tonight and perhaps this will be the start of something good.
4. Fourth quarter was a basketball tragedy. Outside of Felton, the bench crew that closed the game for the Thunder looked atrocious on the offensive end. And the Bulls saved their worst for last. That was a brutal 12 minutes of a hoops train wreck. Again, no reason to fret it; guys deeper on the bench often struggle when they don’t have someone to play off of. My biggest early concern is Abrines. He doesn’t look very good and his defense hasn’t improved. I think the door for him will remain open for quite awhile, but he doesn’t want to be on the outside when it shuts.
5. Last night was tough, tonight was easy. Tuesday will probably be in between. Milwaukee is solid, but not special. The Greek Freak is exactly that; he is an early MVP candidate as well. He can do it all. But so far this year the team around him has been disappointing. This will likely be the first game I watch this season with at least a slight sense of urgency. Their three wins so far are all against below average to bad teams. Milwaukee is significantly better than that. Seems like a good time to get your first semi “good” would be Tuesday.
Ed Kleese is a long-time Thunder season ticket holder and a smart Thunder fan. You can read all his work on his own personal blog.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!