Author - Matt Tierney

Getting Down in Detroit: Game #62 Recap

Wow. That ending was not what any of us expected.

It was an OKC double digit lead on and off for most of this one, but Detroit kept it close with excellent 3PT shooting. It didn’t matter if it was Knight, Wood, or that guy from Kansas whose name I can’t spell, they were raining them from everywhere.

But we know this Thunder team and what it’s done in the 4th quarter. Doesn’t matter if it’s a playoff or a lottery contender, you have to finish games strong. They did that tonight.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander deserves immense praise. Tonight will be one that we look on years from now and say “this is when we knew he was gonna be a star”. He scored 27 points on just 15 shots. No that’s not a typo. 15 SHOTS. The man was deep in his bag of tricks again, and looked as smooth as a greased up pig that just ate a buttermilk biscuit with a side of butter cream.

He wasn’t the only key player tonight. Gallinari went 3/8 from deep, with the most important one coming with 21 seconds to go up one to make it a two-possession game. Chris Paul was efficient with 7/10 from the field, and Schroder was racking up the assists (9) to go with his 23 points.

Regardless of the opponent, this win felt critical. OKC was coming off two very bad losses, including the largest deficit in franchise history against the Bucks. They needed some momentum and they got it, albeit with a less-than-ideal ending. Regardless, it is momentum they can carry into their next game Friday against the Knicks.

And now, for your regularly scheduled postgame notes. Please note the capitalization change when things become quite tense in the game.

Notes:

1st Half

  • Michael Cage is talking a little too much about the distinction between “creep” and “creeper”. I’m quite uncomfortable.
  • So many 3’s. Give me all the 3’s. *insert Elmo raising hands behind a bed of fire gif*
  • Dennis Schroder has transformed from the guy who fouls 3PT shots to the guy who draws 3PT shot fouls. You love to see it
  • Thunder should be up by 50 in the 2nd but they forgot how to rebound. It’s almost like they have Andre Drummond OH WAIT.
  • Steven Adams is now stealing passes like they are interceptions. It’s possible he thinks they are on a(n) (American) football field.
  • I’ve said it countless times: Chris Fisher and Michael Cage are a divorced couple that are getting along for the sake of their kids. It’s the exact same energy
  • The fact that it’s still a single point lead close to half is worrying me. We should be much farther ahead
  • OKC was so close to shooting 69% from the field but Gallinari missed the next shot. Not nice.
  • Gallinari is such a weapon. He’s taller than any perimeter defender and faster than most post defenders. You just can’t stop him if he’s cooking.
  • Ferguson is playing aggressive offensively I repeat Ferguson is playing aggressive offensively.
  • Correction to the above note. OKC shoots 69% from the field with 69 points at half. The nicest of nice.

2nd Half

  • Shai has returned to his ultimate, buttery-smooth form that has not been present the last couple games.
  • I’m stealing this from Andrew Schlecht because I feel the same way but every time Ferguson makes a three I feel like I’m cheering on my own hypothetical child at their basketball game.
  • Steven Adams tried to shoot a full court shot at the buzzer and Detroit fouled him. Everyone says that was a dumb foul but I say that’s high IQ basketball. Everyone knows Adams is the deadliest shooter behind the halfcourt line.
  • T-Ferg’s three is waived off between quarters, and then we get an offensive foul on the first play of the 4th quarter.
  • Time for the 4th quarter CP3 midrange buckets. Like clockwork.
  • What the hell is going on with Detroit? Every player is deadly from 3PT all of a sudden this game
  • I REPEAT DETROIT HAS FIVE STEPH CURRY’S ON THE FLOOR IT’S RAINING THREES HELP
  • IT IS TIME TO PANIC DETROIT JUST TOOK THE LEAD ON 3PT SHOTS ALONE
  • DANILO GALLINARI AKA DANNY ICE MAKES IT TWO POSSESSION GAME WITH 21 SECONDS LEFT
  • Christian Wood nearly hit a banked 3PT shot and to be honest I thought it was gonna go in based on Detroit’s shooting the rest of this game
  • OKC just won this by the skin of their teeth. What a game.

 

The Thunder look to make it two wins in a row at Madison Square Garden. Until then, Thunder UP!!!
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Pumped for Pistons: Thunder Gameday #62 Preview

Before we begin, I must make a statement. Yesterday, in both my preview and game recap of the Clippers game, I included “Game #60” in the title. It was, in fact, Game #61. I apologize for my actions and hope the Thunder community can forgive my transgression. I fully intend to do better in the future.

Oklahoma City Thunder (37-24, 17-11 away)

vs

Detroit Pistons (20-42, 11-20 home)

Tuesday, March 4 // 6:00 p.m. CST // Little Caesars Arena
TV Coverage: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
LineOKC (-8.0) @ DET :: O/U 210.5
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game NotesThunder | Pistons

INJURY REPORT

THUNDER

Darius Bazley: Right knee bone bruise; re-evaluated in 1-2 weeks

Andre Roberson: Left knee injury recovery; out indefinitely

 

PISTONS

Derrick Rose: Ankle injury; out indefinitely

Blake Griffin: Knee injury; out indefinitely

Brandon Knight: Knee injury; listed as questionable vs OKC

Thon Maker: Ankle injury; upgraded to probable vs OKC

Luke Kennard: Knee injury; out indefinitely

Bruce Brown Jr.: Knee injury; downgraded to doubtful vs OKC

Sekou Doumbouya: Leg injury; upgraded to probable vs OKC

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

THUNDER: Chris Paul (G), Luguentz Dort (G), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (F), Danilo Gallinari (F), Steven Adams (C)

PISTONS: Svi Mykhailiuk (G), Langston Galloway (G), Tony Snell (F), Christian Wood (F), John Henson (C)

 

CHECKING THE CLIP BOARD

  • The first matchup was a 108-101 Thunder victory. OKC shot 22% from 3PT but 51% from the field.
  • Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 28 points in that game. He was bought out last week and joined the Clippers.
  • The Thunder are 17-5 all-time against Detroit. The Pistons have not won in this matchup since the 2017-2018 season.
  • OKC is currently on a two game losing streak, while Detroit lost their last game against Sacramento.
  • The Thunder are 16-4 on the road since December, the best in the league over that stretch.
  • After last night’s home loss, OKC now has a better road win percentage (60.7%) than home win percentage (60.6%)
  • Since February, Christian Wood is averaging 19.3 points on 51% FG and 38% 3PT.
  • Over the same time, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 18.4 points on 50% FG and 41% FG. He also leads the league in minutes played (2,158).
  • Chris Paul ranks 25th among guards in True Shooting (TS) percentage at 60.4%. Nerlens Noel ranks 8th in the league at 71.6%.
  • A piston is the moving component contained by a cylinder which is held gas-tight by piston rings. It is designed to transfer force from expanding gas in the cylinder to a crankshaft.
  • Alternatively, a pump is reversed so that force is transferred from the crankshaft to the piston for the purpose of compressing or ejecting fluid into the cylinder.

Grab your Little Caesars pizza (not a sponsor) and tune in to Fox Sports OK at 5:30PM CST for coverage. Tipoff at 6PM CST. Thunder UP!

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Thunder Get Clipped: Game #60 Review

Turns out that when the Clippers are fully healthy, they are really, really good.

The first half felt like a series of runs. Clippers handled the first quarter, then OKC settled in and came back to make it a one possession game. But in the blink of an eye LA had a 14-point surge to end the half, and things never really got better from there.

The Thunder offense actually looked decent last night, and their defense was pretty locked in. It just boiled down to talent and depth, and the Clippers have more of both when. Although this was the third time these teams have faced off, it was the first in which Kawhi and Paul George started. Add in Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, and Landry Shamet, and you’ve got a problem.

As the final buzzer sounds, OKC finds themselves in another blowout loss 109-94. Should we be worried? Is this the Thunder falling back to Earth? Are we not as talented as we’ve come to believe and now must succumb to the law of averages? No, to all of the above.

Look, last two games have been against the Clippers and Bucks. Arguably, two of the top three teams in the league. This is expected. Even for this highly overachieving OKC squad, they lack the raw talent other title contenders posses. Tomorrow’s game in Detroit is an expected win for the Thunder. This will provide a more accurate litmus test of our capabilities than these last two games.

That said, the energy towards the end of these two games has been disappointing. It feels like the team is putting in 80% of the effort they usually give in 4th quarters. Granted the Bucks game was over before the 4th quarter started, but this Clippers game was still within reach. But simple mistakes and unusual misses kept them out of striking distance. As we’ve seen all season in close games, it’s the little things that change the entire outcome.

So without further ado, let’s jump into the notes

Notes:

  • The most important moment of the game was Steven Adams successfully landing a water bottle face up and immediately going into the dab. A god amongst mere mortals.

  • OKC looks like the could have theoretically been on a three-day break from basketball. Theoretically.
  • Sometimes SGA does a little hop as his floater goes in and it’s the most adorable thing ever.
  • Lu Dort is legitimately stopping Kawhi with consistency and that just blows my mind. Is he a top 10 defender? These are the questions no one is asking. But I am. I’m asking. I need answers.
  • The half time performance was ELECTRIC. If you missed it go Google it. The guy is an acrobat and a dog trainer, the most ridiculous combo of talents these eyes have ever seen.
  • It’s worth repeating that Lu Dort is still clamping down Kawhi. He might be the best defender in the league. Nobody wants to talk about it. But I am.
  • Nerlens Noel blocking Reggie Jackson into another dimension was a top three moment of my day, and I had a pretty good day.
  • I wish the guy that energizes the crowd during the OKC timeouts was around me at all times throughout my day. There would never be a dull moment.
  • I imagine if Montrezl Harrell stubbed his toe and yelled in pain, the nearest person with a whistle would blow it. It’s just a natural phenomenon.
  • Doc Rivers calling a coach’s challenge up 19 well into the 4th is just immensely rude. Having that challenge accepted is just outright spiteful.
  • Michael Cage really wanted everyone to know that he had his number retired first at San Diego State, before Kawhi. So this is me acknowledging it.

 

OKC looks to bounce back in Detroit tomorrow, despite the very short travel time. Pistons are 20-42 on the season without their star player Blake Griffin, out indefinitely with a knee injury. Let’s hope we can get back in the win column. Thunder UP!
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Thunder Game Day #60: LA Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23, 20-12 home)

vs

Los Angeles Clippers (41-19, 16-13 away)

Tuesday, March 3 // 7:00 p.m. CST // Chesapeake Energy Arena
TV Coverage: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
Line: LAC (-3.0) @ OKC :: O/U 226.0
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder | Clippers

 

INJURY REPORT

THUNDER

Darius Bazley: Right knee bone bruise; re-evaluated in 1-2 weeks

Andre Roberson: Left knee injury recovery; out indefinitely

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

THUNDER: Chris Paul (G), Luguentz Dort (G), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (F), Danilo Gallinari (F), Steven Adams (C)

CLIPPERS: Patrick Beverley (G), Paul George (G), Kawhi Leonard (F), Marcus Morris Sr. (F), Ivica Zubac (C)

 

CHECKING THE CLIP BOARD

  • OKC and LAC have split the series 1-1.
  • In their last meetup, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a season high 32 points.
  • OKC is 6-4 in their last 10 matchups, with a 0.9 net rating during that stretch.
  • The Thunder lost their last game in Milwaukee. Prior to the loss they were on a five game win streak.
  • OKC is likely to start CP3, Dort, SGA, Gallinari, and Adams. The Thunder are 10-2 with this starting lineup.
  • The Thunder currently have a better winning percentage since their 2015-2016 season, in which they made the Western Conference Finals
  • LAC has won their last four games which includes two current playoff teams, the 76ers and Nuggets.
  • Reggie Jackson, newly acquired in a buyout from Detroit, will return to OKC with his new Clippers team for the first time.
  • Paul George visited OKC early to open up the new fishing dock at South Lakes Park
  • The Clippers head to Houston after tonight’s game to face the Rockets and the surging Russell Westbrook.

 

Coverage begins on Fox Sports OK at 6:30PM CST. Tipoff at 7PM CST. Thunder UP!

 

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Ranking Every Thunder Win After More than Three Days Rest

How do you drown out a Thunder loss on a back-to-back? Talk about Thunder wins exclusively after 4+ days of rest.

After diligent research it turns out that there are 13 examples of such victories in OKC franchise history. As you might expect, almost all examples are either the first game following the All-Star break, or the first game in a playoff series. The first game of the season doesn’t count, you sly weasel.

Ranking was meticulously conducted over several minutes upon several factors: the relative importance of said victory, the strength of the opposing team, and sentimental value associated with the performance.

Let’s begin.

10. Lakers at Thunder: February 24, 2017

Here we see the raging behemoth of a 2K god mode player, specifically 2016-2017 MVP Westbrook.

But tonight was one of those rare occasions in which Westbrook didn’t lead his team in scoring – that title belongs to none other than Andre Roberson, who scored a career high 19 points. Despite Westbrook’s poor shooting, he notched his 28th triple double by racking up 17 points, a paltry 18 rebounds, and a ghastly 17 assists.

On the other side was well-known Lakers bust DeAngelo Russell scoring 29 points, getting tremendous help from the likes of Tarik Black and known cocaine-lover Nick Young. Safe to say this didn’t end well for the team named after lakes in a city with zero lakes.

 

9. Clippers at Thunder: Feb 23, 2011

Shoutout Damon Fontenot. The early 2010’s clothing style really was a wild place. Not to mention the extreme advancement in media development since this point. Powerpoint-style transitions between interviews will never not make me laugh.

A little blast from the past with a youthful KD, Jeff Green, and Blake Griffin. It really brings back some nostalgia.

This 4+ day rest also came All-Star weekend, at which we saw Griffin’s iconic dunk jumping over a Kia. [An aside: he jumped over a car sideways. It’s definitely something most people can’t do, but would I say it’s one of the best dunks? Probably not. I didn’t want to put that in the article because OU people would get mad at me, so I put it in my aside. Okay carry on.]

Griffin, just drafted by the Clippers, returned to Oklahoma for the first time since his tenure at OU, and boy did he give us a show – 28 points to go with 11 rebounds and 8 assists.

But he had very little help on the night. In fact, he was sans help. No CP3 means no lob city. No lob city means no wins. This game was never really close as OKC throttled them 111 – 88.

8. Mavericks at Thunder: February 16, 2010

Again, crazy how far media production as come. These days you would never see a postgame analysis where they just overlay still shots of players instead putting in the highlight videos. Also I forgot Berry Tramel did these sideline reports. What a weird site to see.

Blast from the past, part 2. Baby Westbrook and KD were just coming on the scene. The Mavericks being the powerhouse they were – Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, JJ Barea, Shawn Marion – would go on to win the title next year. Which means this particular win was a resounding message to the rest of the league of “Hey, maybe pay attention to us. Or don’t. We’re about to obliterate you either way”.

Despite the Mavericks rolling in the 1st quarter, OKC came soaring back scoring 40 points in the 2nd while holding Dallas to just 11 points in the 3rd quarter. Despite a poor shooting performance, Durant dropped 25 points alongside Harden and Westbrook’s 17 points apiece, which is even more impressive when you realize KD and Westbrook were only 22 and Harden was 21.

7. Lakers at Thunder: May 14, 2012

The funniest part of this video is watching Perkins run. It’s like when you’re crossing a walkway and a car is trying to get by, so you act like you’re running to let them through but going the exact same speed as before.

Everyone remembers this Thunder team’s explosive offense, but I think what gets lost is their crazy good defense. Harden is deflecting passes left and right, Ibaka is doing Ibaka things, and Westbrook is creating countless fast break opportunities. This was the first game of what would ultimately become OKC’s best playoff run to date, going up against an aging but still very talented Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers to start.

The now infamous “what could have been” three-man group of KD, Westbrook, and Harden combined for 69 points (nice), while Derek Fisher and Nazr Mohammed (yes, THE Nazr Mohammed) provided value bench minutes. OKC won the game handedly, 119 – 90, and would go on to win the series, 4-1.

[An aside: Here’s a fun fact. Nazr Mohammed never took a 3PT shot in his entire 16-year career. Not even a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. He wanted nothing to do with it, and I respect the hell out of that]

6. Thunder at Kings: February 23rd, 2018

How old was this Kings team? You have Vince Carter, a very old Zach Randolph, Buddy Hield who’s like 10 years older than we thought, and then basically 5 other washed up players. Just absurd.

Few things are better than a Brian Davis buzzer beater call on the mic. “RUSSELL WESTBROOK DRIVES A DAGGER INTO SACRAMENTO’S HEART” is an all-time quote. And this buzzer beater always makes the highlights of Westbrook moments.

The only reason this is lower in the rankings is that it’s the Kings. And we blew a 23-point lead. We probably should not be in a position where that shot was necessary, but it happened nonetheless.

“Got to find a way to get space with one second left,” said Westbrook to a group of reporters who apparently needed to know that information. OKC won 110-107.

5. Thunder at Nuggets: February 21, 2020

In case you forgot, we beat the Nuggets a week ago.

Another post all-star break example, but one where we featured two Thunder players. Chris Paul had to dunk in the All-Star game, can you imagine what his knees were going through after that? Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly “long rest” like some of these other examples.

As we’ve said before about this game, having a nationally televised game to feature CP3 and this scrappy squad really helped others see what we can do. Although it didn’t help that the very next nationally televised game was the worst loss in franchise history, but whatever.

4: Thunder at Warriors: May 15, 2016

[An aside: I forgot this game ended with Westbrook getting away with a travel. I don’t want the Westbrook stans to come after me for this one so I’m putting it in the aside. Carry on.]

OKC fans have talked about this series non-stop since it happened, but man was this game 1 crazy. Both teams had plenty of time to rest, and it was blow after blow til the end.

Say what you want about KD, but this man is a cold-blooded killer in the playoffs. The jump shot with 31 seconds to essentially ice the game was awesome to watch.

Nothing gets the blood pumping like watching your team beat the mighty 2016 Warriors, even if just for a game. Thunder got this one 108-102. How the rest of the series went down is for another article.

3. Thunder at Jazz: January 23rd, 2017

We now return to our regular program of MVP Westbrook smacking the living Christ out of everyone in his path.

You know who was jazzed up at this game? Not the Jazz. Westbrook, who was not chosen to be an All-Star starter after Steph Curry and James Harden beat him out. Mind you, this is MVP Russell Westbrook.

Then we have Rudy Gobert giving Westbrook the finger wag after Westbrook nearly posterized Gobert while not even coming close to touching the ball on the way up. Combine that with a tough shooting performance by Westbrook up until the 4th quarter.

There was no chance in hell he was gonna let this one get away. So when push came to shove, with the clock about to hit zero, Westbrook was gonna make it. No two ways about it.

After Hayward’s three to tie it with 10 seconds left, Westbrook casually comes back the other way to hit a midrange with only 1.7 on the clock. Thunder legend Alec Burks can’t answer back, and the game is over 97-95.

2. Jazz at Thunder: February 23rd, 2019

Shoutout Abdel Nader in this one. He’s not gonna get any of the credit for this win but he was huge in extra minutes. A clutch three with seconds left in OT and then a steal that led to another three in 2OT. Big time plays.

This was a classic. Paul George, still very much an MVP candidate, was proving the haters wrong that said he couldn’t make game winners. He just had one a few weeks before against Philadelphia, and he did it again tonight.

In what might be the highest arcing tear drop I’ve ever seen, PG just gets it above Gobert, landing in the basket with less than a second left in 2OT to give OKC a one point lead. Crowd goes wild.

This would be one of the last games in which PG had two healthy shoulders. Rest in peace.

1. Heat at Thunder: June 12th, 2012

The energy in Oklahoma City before this game was like nothing we have seen before. Every restaurant, store, and building in the OKC area had Thunder decor. The arena was even more electric than ever.

The Thunder faced a Miami team with a drive for revenge after the 2011 Finals loss. Lebron had just finished almost single-handedly dominating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. They were playoff ready and experienced, facing a young explosive OKC squad.

Looking back, this was two of the greatest wings of all-time facing off. Lebron started this game with so much power to the rim that it felt unstoppable, but then the OKC defense rose up again and KD took over to come back from a 13-point deficit to win 105-94. 

We all know what happened the rest of the series. OKC just didn’t have the experience that Miami did, and were going up against arguably the best player of all-time in his prime. Despite all of this, it was the first NBA Finals win in franchise history. No one expected they would accomplish this so soon after moving from Seattle. The future looked bright, and will always be one of the greatest “what if’s” in NBA history.

 

Thanks for reading this doozy of an article. Feel free to voice your opinion if you have a different one. Or if it’s the same. Either way I’m interested to know which of these games you enjoyed the most on its own (not taking the series or season into account).

Thunder will be back in action Tuesday. So until then, Thunder UP!

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Thunder Digested: Just Some Notes

The Thunder were absolutely molly whopped by one Giannis Antetokounmpo who was on a quest to find his one (1) skill. Throw in this feud with Harden and OKC’s depleted lineup, forced to travel overnight after playing in OKC just hours ago, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Last night was a historic one for the wrong reasons. Not since January 2007 have the Thunder lost by at least 40 points, and tonight broke the franchise record for the large point deficit. It’s truly a testament to how dominant this Bucks squad has been throughout the entire league, not just the Eastern Conference. Let’s just wrap this one up.

1st Half:

  • ESPN did a preview of Celtics/Bucks before the game for absolutely no reason. They don’t play today. They don’t play tomorrow. Why are you doing this ESPN.
  • Giannis leads the league in fast break points and points in the paint. Pretty good.
  • CP3 has that Kraft cheese craftiness tonight. That’s peak craftiness.
  • Turns out Kareem just chills out in Milwaukee. Pretty good.
  • It’s unfair that if Brook Lopez isn’t shooting well they can just do a switcharoo and Robin Lopez nails it.
  • This James Harden / Giannis feud is ridiculous. Does James Harden think more assists equals better passer? Steven Adams is a great passer and doesn’t rack up assists.
  • Billy Donovan said in a sideline interview that we need to get more rebounds. That’s nice and all, but you also have four guards in the starting lineup. They probably won’t get rebounds over Giannis.
  • I think if fans in the arena went completely silent during free throws that would be so much more effective. Just food for thought.
  • This probably wont show up in the stats but T-Ferg is guarding Giannis like it’s his last opportunity to play basketball. Such intensity.
  • Abdel Nader is a tremendous bench player. I can’t believe people were calling for his head back in November. What fools.
  • Jake from State Farm is black?? When did this happen? Like, it’s fine if they want to do that, but when did this happen??
  • I’m not happy about this game.
  • I cannot remember the last time Steven Adams got a technical foul
  • OKC was down one possession with five minutes to go in the half. How they are down 26 at half is beyond my comprehension.

 

2nd Half:

  • Alright look. This half freakin’ sucked. Do you even care about what happened? Didn’t think so. The bench lineup was out there by the end of the 3rd quarter. Bucks won by a billion, end of story. Let’s just remember the good times, okay? We had nine straight home wins, just allow yourself to wander back into that state of mind.

 

Fortunately for OKC, they get a three day break to shake this one off and face the Clippers back in OKC. Paul George makes his second return to his favorite fishing grounds. He was pleasantly surprised by the lack of boo’s from OKC fans the first time around. Reggie Jackson, the newest buyout acquisition for LA, will also return where I wouldn’t expect the same type of reaction. The last time these two teams faced off SGA went off for 32 points in an OKC victory, 118-112. Here’s to more of the same.

Until then, Thunder UP!

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!

Thunder Ingest: Buckle Up for the Bucks

The OKC Thunder play the Bucks tonight. Say it with me now, everyone. We will win this game despite not starting Gallinari. We will win this game despite not starting Gallinari. We will win this game despite not starting Gallinari.

I’m totally not doubting that the Thunder can win this one. Against the best team by far. With the best player in the league. In his home court. Also we’re on a back-to-back. It’s all perfectly fine and normal.

Here are four reasons why we will win:

 

1.  Head to Head Matchup

Since 2003, which is as far back as the website I’m using allows me to go, OKC is 19-13 against the Bucks, including two of their last three. Eight of those wins were on the road, which means there’s only a marginal home court advantage. Since Giannis has joined the Bucks, he has only won four of the last 13 matchups against the Thunder. Looks like the numbers are not in Milwaukee’s favor.

 

2. Road Team Champs

As mentioned previously, OKC as won nine straight road games. In terms of defensive efficiency, OKC is ranked 15th at home but 5th on the road. Likewise, their average scoring margin is +4.6 at home (13th), while +1.6 on the road (5th). Clearly they seem to be a better road team than most in the NBA. What are these same rankings for the Bucks you ask? We don’t have time, let’s move on.

 

3. Steven Adams Will Save Us

So with Gallinari out, Steven Adams is likely the matchup for Giannis. Get this: when Steven Adams faces off against Giannis, he is 8-3 over his career. Steven Adams is the Giannis kryptonite, no two ways about it. Steven “the Giannis killer” Adams, as I like to call him often.

Also remember that one time Jerami Grant blocked the living hell out of Giannis last year? Great times.

 

4. There is no fourth reason

Look guys, the Bucks are really freakin good. Giannis is a 7-foot freight train that can do a euro step from the free throw line. Khris Middleton hasn’t missed a 3PT shot this calendar year. I’m just trying to be impartial here, but I’m also putting all of this in italics so it doesn’t count. That said, I think the Bucks win.

 

In conclusion, all signs point towards a decisive Thunder victory to keep the winning streak and road game winning streak alive. No further questions.

 

Thunder UP!

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THUNDER DIGESTED: Sacramento Kings Postgame Notes

It seems like Billy Donovan’s plan was “let’s do the exact opposite of what we did in Chicago except for the part where we win the game” and everyone gave him a standing ovation in the locker room.

This game had its fair share of questionable calls by the refs, but ultimately felt pretty evenly-sided. The key factor that helped OKC was their free throws – 29 attempts, most of which came in the 4th quarter. When you enter the bonus with almost 10 minutes left to go, that’s just gonna happen. Surprisingly, there was hardly any fast break production – the only points were on Gallinari’s and-1 dunk (yes you heard right, Gallinari dunked).

OKC makes it five straight wins, but have to quickly turnaround to face the Bucks in Milwaukee. Gallinari has already been reported out for this one, so size is gonna be a big, big, big issue. (An aside, I looked up Giannis’ height and he’s listed as 6’11”. Biggest lie on the internet I’ve ever seen. There’s no chance he’s not a 7-footer.)

ALERT: OKC is in sole possession of the 5th seed

To conclude, here are my notes that I take throughout the game. I’m sure you all will relate to many of them.

1st Half Notes

  • Michael Cage is having a real tough time pronouncing Bogdanovic. More details to come.
  • Nothing rings in a new game of Thunder basketball like a Steven Adams slam dunk. It happens no less than 90% of the time and no I didn’t look it up, I just know.
  • Gallinari missed a 3PT in the first quarter. He should be benched immediately until further notice.
  • Buddy Hield made everything. Well not everything, he didn’t make Earth and stuff, but he just made everything, you know?
  • The refs are just… no comment.

  • The Kings had approximately 89 and-1 fouls. Approximately.
  • I was gonna write Bogdanovic has been poo poo this half and then made a half court shot. Well played, Bogdan.

 

2nd Half Notes

  • Sacramento needs to stop shooting 3’s. Think of the children.
  • Never thought I would see the day Diallo lost a jump ball, yet here we are.
  • It will never not be surprising to see Gallinari dunk.
  • Sacramento went 9 minutes of game time without a basket. That’s honestly impressive. You have to really try to do something like that.
  • Steven Adams would get so many fouls if he just sold it even a little bit. I’m not a fan of flopping but at least fall down a little. We all know you’re an oak tree but that doesn’t help if people are doing MMA moves on you to get the rebound.
  • Why do I ever doubt Chris Paul will show up in the 4th quarter. I am ashamed of myself for even considering that he wouldn’t.
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THUNDER INGEST: Pregame Stats You Don’t Want But Need

It’s Game Day, y’all. Buckets? Buddy, there will be buckets. Dribbles? Absolutely. Many of these things and more will be accomplished by your Oklahoma City Thunder tonight.

Oklahoma City hosts the Sacramento Kings featuring the 3-point champion Buddy Hield, Vlade Divic’s biggest regret AKA Marvin Bagley II, and DeAaron “quick as a fox” Fox. The Thunder are coming off their ninth straight road win, a franchise record, and fourth win in a row. Sacramento comes in with their own win streak of three games. By the looks of it, we have a class win streak off.

What do you need to know about this game? Well, here are three stats that you don’t want, but really need.

1. Steven Adams is Back

If you haven’t noticed, Steven Adams has been much better since he trained his dog (coincidentally, that was also during the All-Star break). His stats have been crazy over the last three games.

What’s also crazy is his extremely consistent improvement in FT%. Get a load of this.

  • October = 29%
  • November = 48%
  • December = 58%
  • January = 71%
  • February = 77%

That is insane. Basically everyone on our starting roster and get free throws done at any point. Imagine how important that will be in a close game down the stretch.

2. Shoot Shoot Shoot

You want some numbers? Here’s some numbers: OKC ranks 2nd in Team True Shooting (TS) % over the last three games (126.5%), behind only the Houston Rockets. The Thunder also rank 3rd in Team TS% at home (117.3%), while Sacramento is 20th on the road (111.7%).

Expect many shots to fall through the respective netting of the OKC Thunder, and less so for the netting of the Kings.

3. Thirsty Thursday

The Sacramento Kings have a losing record every day of the week except for Tuesdays (4-2) and Thursdays (3-1). It’s a Thursday. That means we have a problem. Although OKC also has a winning record on Thursdays (3-2), they better come out very prepared for the Thirsty Thursday juggernaut Kings, as many call them.

4. Gambling Corner

Everyone knows my picks are guaranteed winners, so I’ll let you all in on my choice tonight. Think I’m gonna pick OKC? WRONG.

The Thunder have the best record against the spread this year, but most of those wins are as the underdog. Tonight they are -7.0 according to the most recent Vegas odds, so it’s not wise to take them. You could go money line, but that’s for suckers.

I recommend taking the over. Although marginal, OKC hits the over more at home and the Kings hit more on the road. Similarly, OKC is above .500 on the home while the Kings are over .500 as underdogs. All the stats point towards a statistically likely over, currently at 222.5 based on Vegas odds.

To top things off, let’s look at some more numbers and key players to watch. Danilo Gallinari AKA Instagram thirst trap Danny Dimes is averaging 20.0 points per game on 46% 3PT shooting over their four game win streak. Terrance Ferguson looks to keep up the production following Tuesday’s performance in Chicago, going 3/5 from behind the arc (he made one 3PT over the last eight games prior to that). Last but certainly not least is Luguentz Dort, who had one of his first breakout games last time OKC faced the Kings, scoring 23 points on 5/6 3PT shooting along with a steal and a block.

Tip-off is 7PM CT on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Thunder UP!

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Hilariously Bad Thunder Trades: Part 2

We’re back to review some more tremendously terrible trade ideas on the internet.

NOTE: This article was created prior to the chaos that ensued Tuesday night / Wendesday morning. Because of those trades, two of the ideas were removed since they are irrelevant now.

Magic-Suns Three-Way Trade

Right off the bat we have a problem that begins with “S” and ends in “GA”. Sure, that Phoenix 1st round pick gets juicier by the day. However, the logic is that we are trading SGA for a pick that will someday hopefully develop into a player like SGA. It’s a backward trade. Also Mo Bamba lol no thanks.

 

Clippers-Pistons Three-Way Trade

When I first saw this I thought “Well, Roberson is the only player we give up so eh why not?” But then I looked at the picks. We give our 2020 Denver AND the 2022 unprotected Clippers pick? For Maurice flippin’ Harkless? And no picks? Are you on crack? Should I call the police?

Also, why does every Pistons trade have no more than 7-8 players involved? What is going on with their contract situation that causes such chaos? So many questions, so little time.

 

Jazz Trade for CP3

Quite possibly the most useless trade in the history of existence. At this moment, CP3 is fairly better than Mike Conley. Ed Davis is a wash with Mike Muscala. This trade doesn’t even help the Jazz that much, if at all. I refuse to believe CP3 will wear a Utah jersey during his lifetime. No thank you.

 

Knicks-Nets Three-Way Trade

Alright, there’s a lot going on here. First, why would the Nets want Gallo? They won’t need him this season because they’re not competing for the title, and they can’t afford to pay him this offseason because they just got KD and Kyrie on max deals.

Second, Bobby Portis. Again. Why are people so determined to get this guy in OKC? Also Joe Harris needs to be on a championship contender, not a rebuilding team. I love him, but he deserves better.

Also Kevin Hervey lol. Why is he in here? It’s not even for salary purposes, he’s just thrown in for no reason. That made me chuckle.

Thanks for tuning in to Part 2. There may or may not be a Part 3.

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