Darci Lynn may have kept almost ever butt in the seat at halftime but the real show happened before and after intermission. Russell Westbrook and his tag team duo of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony lit up Chesapeake Energy Arena like the days of old.
It all started with Westbrook doing what he does best, finding his teammates open, except unlike last season, the shots fell. Which, the crowd took it upon themselves it to rattle the Knick’s eardrums for 48 minutes.
“I thought the first preseason game here was nuts,” George said. “I thought that’s what Loud City was. But obviously they can get louder. I’m looking forward to the next 40 of these and when we get into Playoffs.”
George’s 28 points led the Thunder in scoring but most importantly, the Peake, seemed to be back in old form. It ear throbbing, energetic infusion fun for everyone. The Thunder ran. Fans cheered. With only two minutes left in the game, that’s when the crowd finally started to file out.
This team and the building felt like it was 2015 all over again. Taking care of business against a lesser opponent. They dominated to the point the Knicks caved and brought in their reserves before Westbrook nabbed his 80th career triple-double.
The Thunder’s home court advantage felt like a playoff atmosphere. Not like the Knicks would know what that’s like any time lately. From the shirts on every seat, to the showstopping plays the Thunder did all night, the Peake returned in their season opener in playoff form.
There were fans from all over. Some drove up from Dallas, Tulsa and Wichita. A fan even flew in from North Dakota to see the trio assault the Knicks. One fan, who has been a season ticket holder since the beginning said “last year we had our fun. This year we’re going to work and fans sense it. They want to be apart of the history here.”
My favorite: Russ drops it off to George and Westbrook is a mile down the court already. He knew it was going it. The pointing to the sky, trusting in his teammates. All of that, despite some awkward moments, they were no where near how great the good ones were tonight.
With the two additions, this team can be special. The crowd knows it. They feel it. That sense of greatness. It’s a habit you cannot kick. You don’t want to kick. You’d sell your neighbor’s kid just to reach the NBA Finals again.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!