Tag Archives: Oklahoma City Thunder

Brief 2017 NBA Playoff Recaps: Volume 1 (Opening Weekend)

Four games in each day, to launch the 2017 NBA Playoffs. One paragraph per game, that’s all time will allow.

Saturday, April 15

Cleveland Cavs 109, Indiana Pacers 108 (Miles To Go Before I Sleep…)

(CLE leads, 1–0)

LeBron very good, rest of Cavs looked rusty…Kyrie 1 of 9 from deep…Cleveland dodges bullet when C.J. Miles misses fade-away at buzzer. Paul George is mad at C.J. Miles for taking a good look. Too bad Sir Lance couldn’t steal one for Indiana, that would’ve made things dramatic. (Lance is bringing it back to 2013, by the way)…Kevin Seraphin got 16 playoff minutes! Don’t wake the monster…

Milwaukee Bucks 97, Toronto Raptors 83 (Sir Brogdon At Your Service…)

(MIL leads 1–0)

Giannis in attack mode, such a beautiful sight. Half court to the rim in 3 strides. 28 on 18 shots…President Malcolm Brogdon ain’t a rookie, he’s a savvy vet! What do you need? I got your defense, your timely shooting, your smart passing. Just tell me what you need…Khris Middleton is the only human on the planet who can shoot 4 of 15 and finish +27 on the night. Three blocks by Maker made me squeal with delight. Lowry 2 of 11 and 0 of 6 from deep. Wrist rust be a problem. Casey needs to get Valanciunas more than 5 shots. This is going 7.

Dwayne Casey needs to figure some things out before Game 2


San Antonio Spurs 111, Memphis Grizzlies 82 (Kawhi Can’t This be a Forfeit?)

(SA leads 1–0….soon to be 4–0)

When we heard Tony Allen was out for the series, we stopped holding out any hope that this would be competitive. The Spurs were ordered by Adam Silver to wait until the 2nd quarter to annihilate the Grizzlies, so they cooperated, ending the first with a 5 point deficit. Then San Antonio won the next three quarters by 34. When you want to watch every series, it helps to have one like this.

Utah Jazz 97, Los Angeles Clippers 95 (Win One for the Gobert!)

(UTAH leads 1–0)

17 seconds after tip and The Gentle Giant, Gobert the Great, was on the ground, crawling and shaking his head. It was a painful, deflating sight. Anyone who was rooting for the Jazz felt hollow inside. Quin Snyder’s expression was more than concerned. Not exactly panicked, though. He held himself together, and the Jazz held themselves together. Players like Joe Johnson, Joe Ingles, George Hill, and Derrick Favors…pulled this one out. What a wonderful game. The Clippers have all the talent and the Jazz have all the grit. The Clippers are an empty vessel, with a ferocious point guard at the helm. They are less than the sum of their parts, while the Jazz are more than just a couple of Joes. What sweet music, Game One brought us. Joe Johnson has been reborn. Joe Ingles is the best YMCA gym rat in the NBA.

Slow-Motion Joe Goes With the Flow


Sunday, April 16

Golden St Warriors 121, Portland Trail Blazers 109 (McCollum Merely One Man…)

(GS leads 1–0)

C.J. McCollum was Golden State’s Gollum, they were never sure which way he’d go. Dropping 41 points on 28 shots, McCollum and his pal Lillard kept the Blazers afloat until the 15–2 Warrior avalanche began the 4th. Defensive Draymond opened the gates and the unassuming Ian Clark chipped in 7 of those 15. The first 36 minutes of the series may be the closest, though it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Blazers backcourt pull one out in the Rose Quarter.

Washington Wizards 114, Atlanta Hawks 107 (Chief Markieff Offers Relief)

(WAS leads 1–0)

The Wizards are probably the better team, and certainly the more interesting one of the two, but with time slipping away at the end of the half, the Hawks led, 48–42, and Washington’s Markieff Morris missed a contested corner three. The ensuing review showed that Morris had been fouled as time expired on the shot. Three free-throws and the lead was cut to 3, as they strolled toward the locker rooms. After the half, Morris opened up by hitting a 3, and the game was tied. Sometimes a game swings when you least expect it. The Hawks have little margin for error. The Wizards bench came up completely empty (except for Mr. Oubre). A few Tim Hardaway threes (0 of 6) and the Hawks might have pulled it out. Instead, Washington still holds home court for now.

Chicago Bulls 106, Boston Celtics 102 (Tragic Turn for Cs but Baby Please…)

(CHI leads 1–0)

What an awful turn of events for Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics. A tragedy clouded what should have been an exuberant first round home game in Boston. Despite it all, Isaiah showed up and did what he always does: scored. 33 points on 18 shots, 10 of 12 from the line, and 3 from deep. Isaiah finished with a +12. So did Bobby Portis, the Bulls 22 year-old who came off the bench with a fury. Those ten minutes without Isaiah belonged to Portis, who scored 19 on 8 of 10, grabbing 9 boards, dishing 3 assists and blocking 2 shots. After the Bulls sent Gibson and McDermott packing, Portis has seen his minutes grow. Once he started knocking down threes at the end of the regular season, his confidence apparently grew as well. Boston’s 53-wins and home court advantage are in the rear-view now, as they fight off Jimmy Butler and Bobby Portis, looking to even things on Tuesday night. Bradley and Horford did their parts, along with Isaiah. Crowder, Smart, Olynyk, and Jaylen have to give more.

Houston Rockets 118, OKC Thunder 87 (Roll the Thunder, Hear Their Cry)

(HOU leads 1–0)

No more debates, no more MVP concerns, just throw the ball up and play. The better team won. The better team has Patrick Beverley, whose offensive contributions (21 points on 13 shots) pale in comparison to the impact of his Westbrook-hounding. Russell can rampage all over the regular season, but he won’t rampage all over Mr. Beverley, who has never known the concept of fear or intimidation. Westbrook’s 6 of 23 line, and 9 turnovers were a big part of the problem. His sidekick, Victor Oladipo, was a dreadful 1 of 12 from the field, misfiring on all 6 three-pointers. OKC’s only hope is to contain Houston’s relentless attack, in which James Harden dissects their defense and makes life simple and breezy for Clint Capela and Nene, who shot a combined 14 of 17, feasting on lay-ups and dunks. Either redirect Harden away from the paint, or Westbrook has to play three times as well as he did tonight and Oladipo needs to wake up. This could be over in 5.


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Will update on a weekly basis.

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Steven Adams Is Not A Biscuit Dipped in A Cup of Loose Leaf Jasmine Tea

Steven Adams was not the original joker.                    (via @realstevenadams)

Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams is somehow anchoring the manic intensity of his teammates, providing a baseline of unshakable defense in the Western Conference Finals.

Steven Adams is not changing your baby girl’s diapers. Not anymore.

Steven Adams is thoroughly inside the head of Golden State’s Draymond Green, providing Green a proverbial dose of his own bitter medicine.

Steven Adams is not capable of stopping that incessant hammering noise outside your window.

Steven Adams is an impossibly agile human obstacle, which prompted Green to kick Adams in the nether region. Some claim this was accidental or inadvertent. Either way, it altered the balance of the series by uniting the Thunder faithful in a “Kick Him Out!” chorus, possibly deflating Green’s confidence, forcing the NBA media world to debate Green’s intentions, becoming the controversial sports topic du jour after Game 3.

Steven Adams is not going to return your lost library books.

Steven Adams is a stream of thick mud, arms flailing, clogging up the interior passing of Warriors big men.

Steven Adams is not an antipodean wandering albatross, one of New Zealand’s endangered species.

Steven Adams is a rare, but not endangered, species.

Steven Adams is not a licensed therapist, though he is clearly a young zen-master.

Steven Adams is the youngest of a family of giant, perhaps mythological, New Zealanders.

Steven Adams is not really of this planet, though New Zealand does exist, in an otherworldly sort of way.

Steven Adams is the enigmatic sorcerer of this year’s NBA playoffs.

Steven Adams is not willing to share his secret sorcery recipes, not even the homeopathic one you can make with ingredients from Walgreens’ first aid aisle.

Steven Adams is doing damage to the Warriors’ collective psyche; more damage than stats are able to measure (psychological torture is not yet in the box score).

Steven Adams is not a biscuit dipped in a cup of loose leaf Jasmine tea.

Steven Adams is a damn good biscuit, though.

(via allrecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9816/anzac-biscuits-i/


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Celtics Journal: Game 7 of 82, Wed 11/12, Thunder @ Celtics (Sriracha Mayo)

Game 7 of 82, Wednesday, November 12, 430 PST

Thunder @ Celtics

Sriracha mayo. It’s delicious. Spicy and creamy. Boil some chicken. Toss in some garlic and onion powder. A pinch of dill. Lemon juice. You’ve made yourself a spicy chicken salad. The Celtics offense is Sriracha mayo. It’s flexible. It works in many situations. It comes out easy and helps build big leads. Hmm. Builds big leads and sandwiches?


Sadly, those leads often appear as figments of the imagination. They evaporate all too easily. The baskets come without effort. Swish after swish. With three minutes left in the first quarter, the starters begin to take their rests and before you know it, the lead dissolves. You’re left with the sound of the mayo bottle when it’s nearing its end (plastic fart).

Fans start asking themselves if they missed something. Weren’t they up 15 after eight minutes? Go to the bathroom or forget to pause the game when grabbing something from the kitchen and you may miss a 10-point swing. The offense is Sriracha mayo. The defense is old milk. Milk that you don’t even want to pour down the drain, for fear of the aroma coming up from the pipes.

Reggie Jackson and Anthony Morrow are back in the lineup for Oklahoma City after early season absences. No Kevin Durant. No Russell Westbrook. Not a problem when point guard (and former Boston College star) Reggie Jackson is making people forget about the 1970’s outfielder who played for the Yankees and Athletics. Jackson splashed through that old milk for 28 easy points on 15 shot attempts. Reggie added 8 assists and lost the ball only once. He was the best player on the floor not named Rajon. Then there’s sweet-shooting Anthony Morrow, who may very well win a playoff game for these Thunder if they can squeeze into the bottom of the West’s playoff bracket in April. Like Memphis last year, the Thunder will be a ridiculously dangerous 7th or 8th seed if they can string together enough wins in the first 30 games. Morrow poured in 28 on 16 attempts.

Where was the perimeter defense? Brad Stevens missed rookie Marcus Smart last night. The new hand-check rules are a problem for Avery Bradley. Hopefully the referees stop over-emphasizing that “point of emphasis” soon.

Rondo for Naught

‘Tis a damn shame the Celtics keep wasting these scintillating performances from Rondo. Against OKC, Rondo once again contributed artistry, wisdom, genius and several sets of fireworks. He even connected on 4 of 7 from distance.

Rondo’s line: 20 pts, 12 ast, 9 reb, 2 stl, and only 2 turnovers.

Boston beat OKC by one point over the course of Rondo’s 36 minutes played. Unfortunately, Rondo cannot play all 48 minutes. These kinds of games should make any doubtful Celtics fans question their doubts. What we have in Rondo is what we will not find in any other point guard. A pass-first dynamo who is as good at rebounding as he is on the pick-and-roll. Stop listening to those who don’t appreciate Rondo. He’ll be worth every cent of whatever he gets next summer. He’s pure entertainment as well as substance. Any writer who claims he’s a “head case,” is mentally deficient. What he may be, at times, is ornery. Like most intelligent and highly-skilled athletes, he may not always listen well (remember Larry Bird?). However, he seems to be developing some solid chemistry with Stevens.

In Defense of Perk

Kendrick Perkins is an easy target for forgetful fans. From 2007-2012, Perk was an essential component of several championship-contending teams. First with the Celtics and then with OKC, Perkins thwarted the best big men in the game. Dwight Howard and Orlando. Bynum in the 2010 Finals with the Lakers. Tim Duncan and the Spurs in the 2011 West Finals. Zach Randolph and his elbows in Memphis. Of course, Perkins’ game has not aged well.

Never the most graceful athlete, Kendrick’s sheer strength and girth combined with intelligent positioning and extended arms have allowed him to frustrate opposing centers in the paint for over a decade. Everything Perkins does well is hard to quantify. Absorbing contact with his tree trunk legs and broad, bruising shoulders. Deflecting shots and blocking passing lanes with his extendo-arms. Interior positioning. That mean streak, highlighted by his infamous scowl. By contrast, consider Kelly Olynyk’s presence in the paint. Olynyk (minus 13 in this one) has been great on the offensive side this year, showcasing improved range and creative passing…but he gives so much back on the defensive end. To be fair, he’s playing out of position when paired with Sullinger. Olynyk is not a center, and never will be. He’s a power forward who needs a Kendrick Perkins by his side.

Everything Perkins doesn’t do well is easy to quantify. He never had anything resembling a mid-range shot. He takes hours to prepare himself before releasing a 10-footer. He has trouble catching the ball to begin with. In his early days with the Celtics, he insisted on bringing the ball down before going up to dunk, which resulted in all kinds of badness. He doesn’t pass well. Since the knee problems became chronic, he can barely move up and down the court.

NBA Twitter loves to abuse Perkins for all of the above reasons. He’s the easy target. His lumbering gait is magnified by the aesthetically-pleasing athletes that surround him in OKC. Watching him run next to Ibaka, Durant, Jackson and the high-speed train that is Russell Westbrook, Perkins looks like he’s drowning in mud.

Let’s give Perk some praise for all of his work during those playoff years from 2007-2010. He may not be easy to watch now, and he may not have always been easy to watch then, but he was absolutely necessary, scowl and all.

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