Tag - Roberson

Suns Meltdown 3.2.18

Sure, the Suns have been a thorn in the side of the Thunder for a couple of seasons. However, Russell Westbrook exercised those demons last night. The Suns fans were witty and not too insulting. They were riding the tank train the entire way.

  • Smelling a Westbrook quadruple-double With turnovers and offensive fouls not called.
  • Cough L Cough
  • booker airballing an open 3?
  • that might be the only time it ever happens remember this moment
  • Nice “camo” on the Purple Tank tonight…
  • we’re actually playing…well?
  • Booker is going for 4000 points in this game alone and he will not be denied.
  • Josh Jackson just put him in the spin cycle…
  • What is this winning? I may be mistaken
  • refs always f***ing with booker
  • Harden has ruined the meaning of continuation
  • nice sequence, Chriss actually helped
  • We need to start playing some shred of defense
  • Nice to hear the crowd again.
  • The thunder are like the new blazers. No matter how good they are or how bad the Suns are, the Suns seem to have their number.
  • MAn for whatever reason we just own the thunder.
  • That block probably should’ve been a foul lol…
  • My favorite half of the year
  • Dallas plays Yogi Ferrell in crunch time we have no chance of outanking them
  • Are the Suns sweeping the Thunder?
  • PIstons have a losing record since trading for Griffin, maybe we should’ve traded for him to help the tan
  • If the Thunder’s defense is this bad without Roberson, they weren’t going to get far in the first place
  • Suddenly my stream switched to a Agua Caliente Clippers game
  • Amare calls Payton’s hairdo “the wave.”
  • OKC looks like they didn’t plan on playing defense tonight.
  • This is flat out unacceptable We can’t have this guys. they’re just showing way too much effort right now.
  • Westbrook used to have great games against the Suns when we had Bledsoe. He seems uninterested now though.
  • Alright, lets turn on the fouls now
  • I’ve seen Westbrook do some amazing stuff. I’ve seen him jump over the most athletic guys in the world, average a triple double, and none of that compares to him picking up a mop. Good for you, Russ.
  • perfect tank execution
  • The thunders are tanking?
  • Screw Len man
  • Aaaaaaand it’s falling apart
  • Need to lose to keep pace lol
  • OKC getting some home cooking… on the road. Two bad calls against Jackson.
  • Wtf is this lineup?
  • book cold
  • this is one ugly game
  • if you came here for defense, well youre gonna be disappointed
  • warren used to be good at getting in position to receive passes
  • Are we really up 1?
  • Not anymore
  • I hear tank tracks…
  • RIGHT NOW If you want to lose, you have ice in your veins
  • Did Westbrook just rebound his own air ball?
  • Who are all the people that were going crazy on that dunk? Are there basketball fans from Oklahoma in Phoenix?
  • I would like to one day see Westbrook play in person, even though I’m a suns guy.
  • As a Suns fan I was oooooing and aaaaing at that dunk. Westbrook is a great player.
  • Adams hugged Bender from behind and no call
  • okc just played like crap but we tank harder
  • the degree to which okc is pumped up by beating this Suns team shows how screwed up they are. What a crappy underachieving team
  • Close, but we pulled out the loss.
  • My most hated half of the year
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Trade Deadline Tracker

It’s that time of the year again, NBA deadline day. The Oklahoma City Thunder are an unknown at this point. Most of the fan base wants the Thunder to make a move. It’s assumed they will but I, Chuck, am under the belief it could be a quiet afternoon of events. Sam Presti has proven me wrong time and time again. That said we’re running our annual live trade deadline tracker here.

Here’s how it works. Every rumor. Whether little or not, will be posted here, with a link back to the article we’ve written on it. That article gives you some insight to the deal, if we can paste it together.


All posts will be corresponded with a tweet or article linking to the verified source. When a tweet is posted, the user will have the Twitter blue check mark for their verification.

The tracker will run to the top, too. So, When you scroll down, you’ll be able to see the most recent rumor.


Feb. 8

9:21 a.m.

Not a trade but the Thunder are front runner to sign the former Florida Gator, Joakim Noah. Noah is scheduled to make almost $38 million over the next two seasons. Knicks would have to buy him out.

Feb. 6

Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting the Thunder have branched out on the Utah’s Rodney Hood.

They will be hard-pressed to replace what Roberson gave them defensively, but Hood would offer them a shooter with size who can score.


Feb. 5

Oklahoma City has once again been tied to Avery Bradley. We here at Thunder Digest do not condone this trade for moral reason.

Feb. 4

KC Johnson of the Chicago Sun-Times has reported the Thunder reached out to the Bulls about newly acquired Tony Allen.

League sources said the Bulls and Thunder have engaged in talks with at least Tony Allen’s expiring deal involved.


Feb. 1

Michael Scotto of The Athletic says the Thunder aren’t going to be too busy come deadline day.

Oklahoma City isn’t actively chasing a major upgrade via the trade market due to the team’s chemistry.


Jan. 31

Thunder have reached out to the Grizzlies in hopes of snagging Tyreke Evans, the former Rookie of the Year. With Lou Williams signing a three-year $24 million contract on Feb. 7, Evans could be a high item on deadline day.

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Thunder drop third straight

The Thunder fall to the Pelicans at home 114-100 for the first time since Anthony Davis’s buzzer-beater back in 2015. Adams monster game and Russ’s triple-double just wasn’t enough to stop the red-hot shooting of the Pelicans.

Oklahoma City falls to 30-23 on the season and now have lost three straight.

Having been in three different time zones within the last few days, the OKC Thunder had themselves back home to face a pretty depleted and injury-ridden Pelicans team. With no Roberson to help protect the wing, the Thunder have had some defensive struggles over the past two games without him.

After giving up 72 points in the first half against the Nuggets yesterday, eventually to lose on a buzzer-beating three by Gary Harris, the guys in blue were determined to tighten up their defense against the Pelicans. The Thunder only gave up 22 points in the first, and thanks to a 23-6 run starting at the 8:45 mark, the Thunder built a lead of 10.

One thing that noticeably changed was the tempo at which the Thunder ran their offense. When its speed up, they got into a rhythm and started hitting shots and getting open looks. That started to slow down towards the end of the second quarter and the Pelicans cut the Thunder lead to single digits.

Sloppy defense and quick offensive possessions by the thunder kept New Orleans close by to eventually start making shots. The Thunder struggled in the third losing it 36-25 and had to stop the bleeding if they were going to pull a win out.

Sadly, that didn’t happen.

Westbrook finished with 16 points (7-of-21 shooting), 11 rebounds and 14 assists. He also had nine turnovers.

Steven Adams with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 12 rebounds. Paul George finished with 15 points and Carmelo Anthony with 13 points.

The problem for most of the game was the Thunder’s inability to get defensive stops and turn them into transition points. The Pelicans got hot from three-point range (13-of-24) and the Thunder would come up empty on quick, inefficient offensive possessions.

Clearly, the Thunder are missing Roberson but for now, they’ve got to find a way to do it without him.

Oklahoma City will take Saturday off and rest up as the Los Angeles Lakers will be in town for a Sunday matinee on ABC. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. Brady Trantham will be in arena for your game day coverage.


Limit Threes: D

The Thunder did a very bad job at doing this. Plain and simple. They gave up 13 of them, no bueno. The Thunder are clearly missing Roberson’s perimeter defense and it showed tonight.

Bench: B-

Felton had five points and four assists off the bench, but got into some foul trouble later in the game and just couldn’t spark the second unit enough. Grant, however, had a pretty nice game with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He was a monster on the boards and brought some needed energy to a clearly fatigued basketball team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough

Rebounding: B

The Thunder won the rebounding battle 52-41, but the presence on the boards didn’t really show. OKC’s problems came mostly from the perimeter. While they did give up many points in the paint (56) that’s not what ultimately beat the Thunder.

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76ers Meltdown! 1.28.18

Sure, the Thunder are 2-0 against Embiid and the 76ers but what’s more important is the Thunder are on an 8-game winning streak and show no signs of slowing down. Most of the Sixers fans seems rational. One wanted a a player to attack Russ, that was different. Enjoy!

  • Yes prime time, it’s nice outside but I’m going to be glue to the tube
  • It got real personal the last time between Embiid and the Thunder. Hope the animus is still thick as Pinky for this game.
  • I do wonder at times if Embiid is hurting our cause to bring in Free Agents by taunting them…
  • Adams should also be a tough defender at the post for Biid.
  • Adams is freaking huge – great matchup for Joel.
  • Scott O’Neil should have purchased a baseline ticket and flew “double middle finger guy” out to OKC to get Westbrook shook.
  • I think we’re gonna win.
  • okc does a prayer before every game? wtf
  • Did they play the It’s Always Sunny theme at the beginning?
  • embiid, please dunk on westbrook and talk trash to him.
  • The pace of this game not favoring the Sixers so far. Thunder scoring far too easily. We gotta win with our D.
  • OKC’s arena is annoying af.
  • Westbrook is the least tough tough guy I’ve ever seen.
  • Westbrook looks like he tweeked something… Oh well good for us…
  • refs with these ticky tack fouls. fkc them
  • Westbrook is so salty.
  • Just weather the early flurry. The Thunder will fizzle out in the 2nd half. They’re on a back-to-back.
  • This is trouble.
  • felton’s still in the league
  • how the hell does adams get so many offensive rebounds. f****
  • lol stop fouling Adams he’s not an offensive threat.
  • I love Adams game.
  • I totally forgot about ole’ Mo Cheeks on the Thunder bench…. I must admit the Cheeks era was not nice…
  • Brown tell Embiid to sit the **** down
  • OKC is such a hatable team.
  • simmons why
  • Why the refs keep trying to give Justin Anderson flagrants?
  • Chuck Norris looked at the basketball. The other team went home.
  • Westbrook is completely off tonight.
  • stfu russell
  • Paul George elite defender? Maybe 5 years ago.
  • Yup, pregame prayer to the whistle god, indeed.
  • Where the **** is Dario????
  • How did i not go to this game, I’m an idiot.
  • damn, tlc is really allergic to the rim on layup attempts
  • OKC’s defense is cheeks without Roberson.
  • Offensive foul on Saric? That was kind of weak…
  • Oh boy, this is where you need a veteran. SMH
  • Could someone tell me why TJ was playing up on Russ like he has blazing speed? LOL!!!
  • its so easy to hate melo.
  • Billy Donovan looks like an out of work actor that only plays vampire roles.
  • Wtf is booker doing?
  • Covington wake the **** up lol
  • Is there any more tired act in the NBA than Westbrook’s fake tough guy act?
  • Melo’s fake tough guy act.
  • …you’ve got to be kidding
  • Of course George is wide open twice on a three.
  • we need to talk about how Cov constantly **** the bed on national TV…..thats not good
  • I hope Westbrook makes another tount on us after this game. We deserve it.
  • Nobody cares about that baseline feed, anyway. They only use it for alternative angles on highlight plays.
  • Hahaha now Felton is getting his turn at the torture chamber of the death of PG line-up
  • At some point, OKC gotta feel the fatigue creep in.
  • Annoying as hell as Westbrook drives and Sixers defense looks like the parting of the seas
  • Someone needs to flagrant foul Westbrook. Not a dirty one, but knock his ass down, show him who’s boss.
  • Adams never does anything out of his comfort zone, what a great player, team guy to have.
  • Imagine if the morons would box out.
  • i f****ng hate steve adams. he’s too good lol
  • finally..**** westbrook
  • the Westbrook slurpfest is endless
  • TLC is an idiot. my goodness
  • Covington is such a dumb player. Seriously.
  • We are not winning a playoff game. Come on.
  • I lied, the duo of RoCo and TLC are the WORST!!!
  • Good gawd Melo is a DOUCHE!
  • 4 shot clock violations… i can’t with this team
  • I guess it’s Rhianna 1 (grammy with Kendrick) and Embiid 0 tonight…
  • How can any demographic of fans outside of angsty teens like Russell Westbrook?
  • We got outplayed tonight, fair and square.
  • Every time Westbrook throws down a huge dunk, he looks absolutely nuts. He kinda reminds me of Popeye in that he looks like he’s having a minor stroke.
  • Westbrook if hes hitting his outside shot is pretty much unguardable.
  • im okay with this loss. Westbrook and George both played amazing. Hard to beat them when that happens.
  • I hate losing to OKC.
  • I hate this team sometimes..
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Pistons Meltdown! 1.27.18

Even the Detroit Pistons fans realize the Dre injury was big. For the most part, all comments were pretty good and surprisingly clean. The editing all the curse words out takes more time than looking for the comments. These Poor Pistons fans are going through a lot right now. We’ll poor one out for each othe rnow.

  • We gotta win some time
  • This would be a game I’d love to go to but prices are ridiculous.
  • Smart move putting all those towels on the seats to make it seem like more people are there lol
  • Roll Call {from my parents couch!}
  • NBA basketball at 5 p.m.?…on a Saturday. Ehhhh….
  • Oh Bradley is playing. This could get ugly
  • Gotta win eventually. Well, probably
  • Ish is single handedly destroying our offense
  • How can an NBA coach watch this and just keep stubbornly playing Ish?
  • This offense is scary bad.
  • We have no lead guard thats a threat at all.
  • If Bradley is on this basketball team after the trade deadline, I’m done for the season. This is ridiculous.
  • Just as I tuned in OKC went on a 12-3 run maybe I should turn off the TV again.
  • I hate Ish Smith with a passion
  • That charge call. Come on, he’s coming down already. What is this Duke?
  • f*** me man geez this is awful
  • Westbrook just called for the ball from Dre. The old pickup trick
  • Westbrook calling for fouls all the time is really pissing me off
  • T UP Westbrook. He’s blatantly taunting the refs
  • Bitcoin Badly’s stock is so crushed.. I seriously do not think anyone’s gonna give him the full MLE
  • Paul George is such a good player
  • I never thought I’d be asking for more Langston Galloway but here we are.
  • Boban still getting zero respect.
  • Raymond F***ing Felton
  • Westbrook is too good
  • Please don’t bring Josh Smith back in
  • And Josh Smith in for Kennard. I’m done.
  • Westbrook is such a monster
  • This is so bad. Our starters can’t score on their starters
  • I’m so done with SVG
  • This team is just sad
  • Tobias can’t guard me on the couch!
  • Carmelo is making Tobias look super bad
  • OKC just has better players than us. It is what it is.
  • The Thunder are going to be a tough out in the playoffs.
  • They’re big three are all better offensively than anyone on our team
  • Is Rock Bottom in sight?
  • Stanley Johnson is ******* awful.
  • Pistons haven’t scored yet in the 3rd 18-0 run
  • Good halftime adjustments. Embracing the tank.
  • Does Avery have like 15 turnovers tonight or what?
  • I always forget how small Paul George’s forehead is
  • Did roberson just tear his achilles?
  • I hope not
  • That sucks for OKC
  • I think that’s a tailbone thing
  • S***, that looked really serious. Hope he’s alright!
  • Poor guy, that’s pretty sad smh
  • Roberson gets injured, maybe we can trade them Avery?
  • Stephen Adams is and has always played like a bitch
  • Tobias eatin now that Roberson is out of the game. Roberson is really, really good defensively.
  • Really Patterson Triples. Didn’t realize he shot 3s.
  • only down 9 – OKC just has to put their starters back in LOL
  • lol @ bradley being back in. WHAT. EVER.
  • If every OKC possession ends in a Raymond Felton 20-footer I’m good with that trade off.
  • That Westbrook guy isn’t bad.
  • Really feels like the refs sort of grabbed the wheel on this game and handed it back to okc, 4 straight terrible calls
  • Mo Cheeks haunting me.
  • 62 points from our bench… and we still lose…. what does that say about our starters?
  • This season is making me sad.
  • It started out so promising and has completely gone down the toilet.
  • OKC has a solid team. They’d be better than us even if we had reggie healthy.
  • the game is over, you can turn that s***ty arena music off
  • Anyone still watch this crap?
  • Hard to be sad after that Roberson injury. Gotta keep that dude in our thoughts tonight.
  • Why do you have to be a good guy after a loss?
  • Better than rooting for the Pistons.
  • Touche.
  • Stan Van Gundy is really lucky that his team’s owner doesn’t realize he owns an NBA team.
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Five Thoughts 1-25-18 (Thunder 121, Wizards 112)

Five Thoughts 1-25-18 (Thunder 121, Wizards 112)

1. “Energy” is a word that gets kicked around a lot in sports. I find it to be over-used for the most part. It’s an easy/lazy way to describe a team/individual performance when things aren’t going well. Players are often the main culprits as it is sometimes easier to diagnose yourself as having “low energy” as opposed to acknowledging you might just be inferior. That said, energy isn’t fake news. It is a real thing and there are occasions where it affects the outcome of a game. The weird thing about it is that if one team has none of it, then it’s hard for the other team to deliver it as well. Tonight, the Wizards were absolutely lifeless in the first half. They looked terrible. Thunder defense was good, but the Wiz were a train wreck. Thunder looked like they came to play, but Washington was so plodding and emotionless that it was hard for the Thunder (or the crowd) to really fully get into the game. They did a fine job, carrying a 14 point lead into halftime, but it felt a little weird. In essence the Wizards killed them to sleep. And when Washington came out for the second New with a renewed attitude it was difficult for the Thunder to respond. Finally late in the third, both teams seemed to land on the same emotional plane and the game was rather well played down the stretch. I thought the Thunder did a nice job of recognizing it was time to turn it back up before it was too late.

2. Adams DESTROYED Marcin Gortat tonight. Polish basketball fans are probably hanging their heads in shame. It’s cliche to say that a player has an impact that goes beyond the box score, but I don’t know how else to say it in regards to Adams. He had 12 and 10 which is a solid night, but it doesn’t come close to illustrating the utter chaos he causes. Beyond the points and rebounds, he also had three steals and who knows how many tips, taps, shoves, arm-bars, scrambles, dives, and floor burns. There is an old saying about what gives when the irresistible force meets the immovable object…but what about when the irresistible force IS the immovable object? Gortat is a large man, generally a physical player. Tonight, he was reduced to virtual rubble. Emasculated by a Kiwi Monster. Gortat had one rebound. It was all Adams was willing to allow. The West is beyond loaded so I won’t say Adams not making the All Star team was a snub. But make no mistake, he has turned into an All Star caliber player. And he’s only 24.

3. Thunder lead the league in steals and they are near the top in several other defensive metrics. From a less formal point of view it is hard to imagine any team in the league makes bigger game-swinging impact plays than they do. It’s pretty remarkable. Washington played really, really well offensively in the second half. Beal was on fire and their shots were falling left and right. Sometimes it’s hard to cool down a hot shooting team. One way to do it is by not allowing them to shoot. Thunder has some huge steals/forced turnovers in the fourth quarter that allowed them to get stopes without the Wiz having to actually miss. PG and Roberson are the maestros of the steal show, but it also rubs off on everyone else. The starting five combined for 14 steals. That’s a massive number. And it doesn’t take into account any forced turnovers that didn’t get recorded as an official steal. The five Thunder starters now have a 15 game winning streak when they are all available. Clearly it’s an effective lineup. And it starts with stellar D.

4. As good as the starting five has been all year, they were actually -6 in the plus/minus category tonight whereas the bench was an eye-popping +51. After a called them a group of cadavers a few weeks ago, the bench has been far better. The development of TFerg is interesting.. and potentially extremely important. He is beginning to look very comfortable and on defense he is at the very least playing his heart out. I questioned Donovan going to these bench-only lineups to start the 2nd/4th quarters, but I’m starting to get it. This is helping to define roles and I also think it is empowering the bench players individually. It appears Donovan has landed on a rotation and he should ride it as long.

5. Pretty amazing that we are at Thought #5 and I’ve yet to mention the guy that had 46 points on 19-29 shooting. I ran out of words for Russ about midway through the season last year. Now I often just shake my head in amazement. It’s hard to see someone do that on blog. So just shake your head in amazement and you will get the idea. It’s a joy to watch him game in and game out. Six in a row ties the season high. Team is playing at a high level and looking very confident. Pretty tough back to back Sat/Sun with Detroit and Philly. Not brutal, but not the end of the world if they lose one. Thunder caught Minnesota in the loss column tonight. Here we come. Just lulled everyone to sleep early.

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.
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Oklahoma City uses fourth quarter comeback, beat Brooklyn 109-108

It was an electric fourth quarter, as the Oklahoma City Thunder stormed back from being down double digits, to win the game versus the Brooklyn Nets 109-108. Thunder were ignited by Raymond Felton, who started the fourth quarter on fire, scoring 10 straight points after Oklahoma City was cold offensively for most of the night. The Thunder have now won five in a row, the NBA’s current longest winning streak. Oklahoma City is now also 27-20 on the year.

It was looking like another game where Oklahoma City was going to lose to another lesser squad, as the Thunder could not get anything to fall offensively. Even though they put up 30 first quarter points, nobody outside of Paul George could find a rhythm.

George single-handedly kept the Thunder alive in the first half, racking up 16 first quarter points, and had a total of 18 at halftime, on 50 percent shooting from the floor.

The Brooklyn Nets were on fire from deep for most of the night, hitting 16 total three-pointers. Joe Harris led the way, as he hit all five of his three-point attempts off the bench.

For Oklahoma City, it was quite the opposite as they could not hit anything from deep, until the fourth quarter. Heading into the final period, the Thunder had hit just two from deep, on 15 attempts. For the most part, they were all good looks that just refused to go in.

That changed in the fourth quarter, as they hit five threes, two of those coming from Felton to begin that final quarter. If not for the hot start by Raymond, Oklahoma City is probably putting another game in the loss column. After Felton got it going, Oklahoma City fed off of that which ignited a huge run.

The Thunder put up 35 points in the final frame, while holding Brooklyn to just 23 points. It was a quarter that made up for a lot of bad play from Oklahoma City in the first three quarters.

Even with the massive fourth quarter from the Thunder, it was still a nail-biter till the very end. For much of the last six minutes, it was back and forth buckets from each team.

After Spencer Dinwiddie hit a layup with just seven second left, it seemed it was going to be another special game for a guy in Dinwiddie who has hit quite a few big shots this year.

But, then Russell Westbrook happened. On the ensuing possession, Westbrook went straight to the rim and immediately regained the lead for Oklahoma City with just three seconds left. It was key defense by Roberson on Dinwiddie that finally sealed the win.

“I really thought this is one of the best wins we have had all year,” Billy Donovan said.

“Our guys just kept fighting and battling all the way through,” Donovan continued, “I thought our guys gave incredible effort.”

As for the big three, Paul George and Russell Westbrook led the way. They both ended up with big scoring nights, combining for 60 points.

George did most of his scoring in the first half, 18 of his 28 points coming in the first 24 minutes. Westbrook was a monster in the second half, including hitting the game-winning layup, but also putting up 20 second half points, ten of those in the fourth quarter.

Carmelo attempted just 12 shots, but had some very key buckets late in the game. Adams also didn’t put up many points but his rebounding was huge. He grabbed 14 total rebounds, nine of those being offensive rebounds.

Even though the Nets aren’t a great team record-wise, this win for Oklahoma City is big, as they have struggled against lesser teams this season. This is another speed bump they have now gotten over, as they continue to get better and better as we are inching closer to the All-Star break.

Oklahoma City now has three games separating them from now to Monday, all coming against Eastern Conference teams who are all playoff contenders. The Thunder could get their winning streak to eight, if they keep playing the way they have been in the past five contests.


Keys to the game: 

Third quarter: C

The Thunder definitely made a run in the third, after being double digits at halftime. They also let the Nets answer that run, and Brooklyn got their lead back to double digits heading into the fourth quarter.

Defend the three: D

Brooklyn loves to shoot the three, and tonight we saw why. They were on fire from deep, and made Oklahoma City pay over and over again. The Nets made 16 total three-pointers, but Oklahoma City did do a better job of defending the perimeter in the final quarter.

Rebound: A

Steven Adams continues to dominate this part of the game, no matter the opponent. Oklahoma City out-rebounded Brooklyn by five, and pulled down 16 total offensive boards compared to just eight for the Nets. Rebounding continues to be a huge factor in Oklahoma City’s wins and their losses, as well.

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Five Thoughts 12-27-17 (Thunder 124, Raptors 107)

Five Thoughts 12-27-17 (Thunder 124, Raptors 107)

1. Everything Thunder related was on fire in the second half tonight. Quite literally. I sit about four sections over from where the fire on the catwalk started. It was really odd. There were several loud “pops” and then smoke started billowing. But then there were actual flames shooting out as well. I figured the night was going to be more or less toast (no pun intended) from there. I assumed there was some sort of “play it safe” protocol that was going to require an evacuation and likely a long delay. I was pleasantly surprised that the solution was just to allow a few dudes to run over there with extinguishers or whatever and put it out. The delay was less than five minutes and the game commenced with a distinct smell of burning rubber/electrical in the air. No one freaked out or anything so it was cool. But yeah they might want to look into that. There is also no truth to the rumors that one of Roberson’s free throws went up there to cool it down. Bada bing!

2. I feel like I can make an Andre free throw joke because I’ve always been in his corner. Sort of like the whole “I can make fun of my family, but you can’t” type of deal. Except Andre and I aren’t family. Or anywhere close. But you know what I mean. On a night when the three stars shined as brightly as we’d all hoped they would, I was once again awed by Andre. He has become elite at basically all basketball functions that don’t require putting a ball through a hoop. Not only is he a lock down defender, he is also a massive disruptor of what the other team is trying to do in general. He is also an excellent rebounder. He’s even become a pretty good passer. He is moving the ball quickly now when it gets to him and it’s allowing the offense to flow instead of halt when the ball gets to him. Derozen is an all star caliber player and he was a church mouse tonight. Didn’t even know he was out there. As far as the free throws go; well, that’s still ugly. However, if he manages to start splitting them more often than not, the hack-a-Andre practice becomes less effective— especially if the Thunder are holding a lead.

3. Oh, and then there is Adams. Goodness what a monster he has become. It’s cliche to say he does all the “dirty little thing.” But in his case he does the “big dirty things” (this is getting weird) because the dirty things he does are plainly obvious to even a casual observer. He is killing people out there. And his offensive rebounding is demoralizing to opponents. With the Thunder offense rounding into shape it is crushing for the other team when they get a stop only to have it rendered moot by an Adams rebound. I doubt he will be because his numbers are more ordinary than his impact, but he should be an all-star this year. He is absolutely one of the best centers in the NBA. “The Dunk” tonight was one of the better moments of the season. As gregarious and approachable as he is, Adams really isn’t particularly demonstrative. So to see him flush it like that and then raise the roof to the bench was pretty badass. Entire crowd ate that up. So yes, on a night when Russ, Melo, and PG dominated I am almost to Thought #4 and haven’t mentioned them. That’s because Andre and Adams have been doing this all year. They are a big reason we were able to grind out some of those wins early on. They are a big reason we can lean on our identity as a gritty, defensive minded team. And now with the others arriving at their destination, it’s pretty awesome to see. The Thunder starting five is a lights-out combo (see what I did there) and it isn’t JUST because of the top three.

4. You don’t need me to tell you how well Russ is playing right now. But one thing I noticed tonight was how incredibly RELAXED he seems. There was a break in the action where Russ was doing a little dance/shimmy and yucking it up with a ref. That is not SOP for Russ. He I actually visibly and noticeably SMILING more and while he is always highly emotional, he seems more super charged than normal. No doubt he sees what we all see. No doubt he is feeling some relief and I imagine he is feeling some real excitement about where this all can go. He clearly is showing trust in his teammates and the offense they are running. Defensively, this is the best he has ever played. He is focused and not trying to make every cross-court steal. He is showing discipline and not hanging anyone out to dry on that end. Right now, he is playing better than he did last year. The dip in his numbers is simply an obvious function of having better/more reliable teammates and not having to do as much. But at this juncture I would actually say he is a slightly better version of himself. That’s pretty amazing.

5. So there you go. Now we are seeing the Thunder we all hoped we’d see this year. They were damn near perfect in the second half tonight. The month started shaky, but they were finding ways to win. Now they are winning and winning pretty. The offense is like ten times better than it was even just 3-4 weeks ago. Now, it should be noted that just like how early in the year there was no way they’d continue to shoot that poorly; there is now way they will stay this hot. They aren’t going to shoot 55% from the field every night from here on out. All three stars are smoking hot right now and there is likely to be some regression there— at least in select games. The good news is that they’ve already shown they know how to win even if shots aren’t falling. This team is capable of beating you 124-107 and they are capable of beating you 92-91. Two games left on the home stand; both against teams they should beat. Milwaukee is solid, but not on the level with Toronto and not in the stratosphere with Houston. Thunder are a bit due for a letdown, but right now I think it’s more likely the fire keeps burning. Ha!

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.


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Rockets Meltdown 12.25.17

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 112-107 on Christmas Day at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder improved to 19-15 on the year. Oklahoma City played really well on both sides of the ball and the Rockets fans couldn’t handle it. This one was a fun one. Enjoy your Christmas present, Thunder fans.

  • I’m just wondering who’s all available and if josh smith will be starting
  • Based on the way we played recently, this is a loss. It will be very ugly.
  • should just rest harden, ego, and ariza. F this rigged league and disney
  • I have been excited for every Rockets game this season, but, this Thunder game….I am not.
  • Harden goes for 75
  • the commentators are getting on my nerves with their never ending chattering. shut up for a bit.
  • Gordon scared by Westbrick…come on man
  • I missed you Clint
  • another game with pathetic defense
  • is zhou qi avaliable to play tonight
  • Amazing seeing how well OKC is playing
  • you can really leave roberson open now that his hand is injured.
  • westbrick is playing like a retard again.
  • Ariza brought the Threeza for Christmas.
  • Westbrick being saved by Adams
  • Predetermined officiating.
  • Nene swinging the meat.
  • Steven Adams is better than Capela but this board would never say that
  • Let Westbrick get his, get Adams in foul trouble by going to Nene down low.
  • Happy to be up after the 1st as OKC started really strong
  • Nene was hacked and no call smh WTF I NBA REFS!
  • Harden the brotha version of Santa with that beard
  • Wtf is Weber getting so much play. He got nudes on MDA?
  • eric gordon can NOT dribble to save his life
  • Westbrook was murdered ! Lol ! We know how you feel Westie
  • Westbrook is 0-6 with 0 points. Look for him trying to shoot out of a slump.
  • Lookin good so far. Beard hasn’t even gone super saiyan yet.
  • BS call ref
  • Melo and Adams are the only reasons this game is close
  • if westbrook had good bball iq instead of bricking shots he would start feeding Melo who has the hot hand.
  • 5 inch growth spurt in high school huh? I had several of those in High school.
  • Wow Westbrook is already 2-11 D:
  • adams out here playing volleyball and getting lucky. he’s a beast though.
  • adams really might be the best player on the thunder.
  • You forget that Adams is only a year older than Capela. Dude looks like a 35 year old man.
  • Westbrick all about that cocaine life
  • Stfu OKC crowd
  • Harden fookin’ lazy
  • This game is so much more fun to watch than the Cavs-Warriors game.
  • jesus christ what a tough shot by melo
  • rockets DUMBASS ERRORS keeping this game close.
  • Roberson is getting in Harden’s ass..
  • Harden sh!tting his bed against Roberson, what’s new?
  • This team sucks
  • Every pass is so lazy.
  • this is too painful to watch
  • damn harden gonna lose the mvp tonight.
  • Playoffs series against OKC will expose him big time. He can’t do sh!t against Roberson & PG13.
  • This game is over harden looks scared of Roberson.
  • Man how great would it be if we had someone like Melo we could just throw him the ball and have him create his own shot.
  • Falling apart
  • OKC is playing the best defense I’ve seen all year
  • What is this collapse we are watching?
  • Clint doing work…. clank clank clank
  • ryan anderson is so useless lol
  • The Rockets with crooked eyesight
  • Harden is being locked up by Roberson 1-1 (as usual). This is straight up embarrassing
  • roberson can’t shoot!!!! how is he still getting to the basket!!!!
  • damn westbrook went from like 0-7 to 9-19
  • NBA refs forever sucking @ss
  • The thunder have an incredibly mediocre team.
  • The thunder don’t impress me lol struggling against a injured Rockets team
  • ****kkk off ref
  • Refs coming in hot
  • alright all we need is to score 1 more point than them in Q4!!
  • when’s the last game the okc big 3 all shot 45% or better? i have 50/50 on never.
  • This OKC team isn’t scary at all.
  • Pretty good game if you’re a neutral NBA supporter here
  • harden forgetting that he was in an nba game
  • hopefully westbrook chucks them out the game.
  • Harden can’t even score on Felton, but Ariza is saving his pathetic ass tonight
  • This is gross lmao
  • Weber, do you not know how to take a charge?
  • What’s the purpose of Weber?!
  • felton’s fat ass (literally) fouled egordon
  • Here come the refs
  • LET WB shooot!!!! dont give up the drive ffs. do they even have a scouting report
  • Any foul… . Westbrook gets what ever he wants
  • Anderson is so disappointing man.
  • They haven’t missed a mid-range shot, contested or not
  • Hack Roberson NOW
  • These refs suck for both sides
  • Trapping Harden and Rockets have no answer..
  • george now at 58%. making 20 footers while having his arm grabbed. not much you can do when nba players are making contested jumpers.
  • If I were Adams I’d get Chinese shoe deal rather than continue to sport Derrick Rose kicks…
  • OKC can’t play any better. Mother filers hitting everything and getting every call
  • I cant stand Westbrick
  • roberson banks that **** in. **** this game.
  • Hacking is a sign of desperation.
  • How do you airball free throws as a non-big? Roberson is an embarrassment
  • that guy who is holding Harden to 6/17 shooting? yeah, what a bum
  • I’ve seen it enough. Westbrook > Harden.
  • Roberson….boy.
  • wtf was that…..
  • **** okc
  • Iso-Harden chucking ugh
  • Dammit Dammit Dammit !!!!!!!!
  • that was terrible.
  • Allowing a blocked 3PT ?!!?
  • Da **** was that last sequence?? I have no words….
  • **** MDA!
  • When does CP3 getback. ****!
  • Harden tried to draw the foul (and failed miserably), instead of making a shot. This guys is a fraud
  • God awful…what a terrible stretch with paul out…we pretty much are nediocre without him
  • **** the coach.
  • LMAO, with the game on the line, Harden tries to flop and get a call. Unbelievable. JUST DRIVE IT IN OR MAKE A REAL PLAY. DON’T PLAY FOR THE WHISTLE.
  • So ****ing dumb, what a terrible shot…
  • say what you want about westbrook, but he just be wanting to win more sometimes it comes down to energy and who wants its more
  • F*** u OKC
  • On that block of Hardens 3. I love……loooooooooove that he stands there instead of hustling back to help stop the open layup. Just infuriating. No heart.
  • It was just a matter of time where we get exposed
  • Westbrook will never win a championship with OKC
  • I don’t think we can beat okc in 7 game series.
  • F**** Morey and his crappy ass scrubs.
  • Regular season games don’t matter.
  • this team is ****ing stupid.
  • That was just ****ing pathetic.
  • I hate Christmas now.
  • **** you, RW and OKC.
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Roberson, Adams fuel Thunder’s Christmas win

Andre Roberson’s key block and lay up on James Harden clinched the victory. It was coupled with the fantastic defense and first half performance of Steven Adams fueled Oklahoma City’s 112-107 win over the Houston Rockets on Christmas night.

The Thunder beat the Rockets for the first time since Nov. 2016 and now have won five straight games. They’ve won those five straight over the span of only eight days.

“We defended really really well,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “We fouled too much and that was one of the things we talked about.”

Roberson defended Harden straight up, tipping a ball with 27 seconds remaining. Russell Westbrook gobbled up the rebound and found Roberson for the lay up. On the ensuing play, Roberson did it again, tipping the ball out and causing the final turnover for the nail in the coffin.

“I just try to play solid,” Roberson said. “I made a great play on the ball, I got a tip on the ball and it’s good.”

With Russell Westbrook struggling in the first half, it was Steven Adams who came up big. The Kiwi had 15 points and seven rebounds in the first half alone, six of those rebounds were offensive.

Houston used an 11-2 run to take their first lead in the quarter with 4:19 left in the first frame. A combination of James Harden and Clint Capela one-two punch really forced Oklahoma City to struggle defensively.

Oklahoma City used a Westbrook slump buster to tie the game at 38-all with 8:30 left in until halftime. Houston responded with no threes but a 9-2 run to take their largest lead of the half at 47-40 with 5:43 left until half.

Oklahoma City fought back and a Russell Westbrook burst to the rim gave Oklahoma City the lead right before the half and the Thunder took a 58-57 lead at the half.

Oklahoma City pushed their lead out to eight at 67-59 early in the third quarter, the Thunder’s largest lead at that point off the back of Westbrook’s ability to sprint out on the fast break.

Houston would answer back, taking the lead 76-75 with 4:35 left in the third on a Harden and-one play.

The Rockets built a 93-88 lead to start the fourth quarter as it felt the Rockets were going to pull away. However, Donovan inserted Westbrook into the lineup and he immediately went to work. Westbrook scored five straight tying the game.

Carmelo Anthony hit a pull up jump to give Oklahoma City a 97-96 lead with 7:07 left in the game and the Thunder would never trail again.

“I thought we did a great job of staying solid all night,” Roberson said.

Westbrook drove to the rim, giving Oklahoma City a 99-96 lead. George then had hit a bucket, garnering the and-one call. Oklahoma City’s lead grew to four.

Roberson finished with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting. HE also had five assists, four rebounds, four steals and two blocks.

George finished with 24 points and Anthony finished with 20 points and five rebounds.

His defense on Harden was spectacular. While Harden was able to get to the line a lot, 14 times, he struggled from the field, missing 11 shots. Harden was almost limited to 3-of-11 from three-point range.

I just try to commit to overages,” Roberson said. “We did something a little different this year than last year probably due to personnel.”

Adams finished 15 points and 10 rebounds, his 11th double-double of the season.

Westbrook started 2-of-12 from the floor but he was key, making 10 of his final 12.  Westbrook’s final line of 31 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and three steals.

The Thunder now will take their talents to Wednesday night against the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference. the Toronto Raptors. A traditional 7 p.m. tip-off is on the slate. Tune in for all of your social media and in-game needs here at ThunderDigest.com.

“It’s great being undefeated on Christmas,” George said.

Keys to the Game

Bench play: C

Oklahoma City’s bench gets a C. They didn’t do anything over the top and they didn’t hurt the Thunder tonight. Their 14 points is usually a low point. However, Houston’s bench only had eight themselves. Oklahoma City took advantage of Houston being shorthanded tonight.

Force turnovers: B

Oklahoma City only forced 14 turnovers. However, it’s what they did with those turnovers. Harden has six of those. The Thunder turned those 14 turnovers into 14 points. That’s what you want to see out of the Thunder’s really good defense.

Shoot well: A+

Oklahoma City’s starters shot 75 percent in the second half. No, that’s not a typo. Oklahoma City as a team shot 62.5 percent in the second half against a top 10 defense in the NBA. The Thunder were on a roll and couldn’t be stop. Oklahoma City’s defense clamped down and never let go.

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