Monday, October 26, 2009

New New Site!

If for some weird reason you come across this page, I just wanted to let you know that we have moved yet again, this time to SBNation. Our new blog is at:

Have a most excellent day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We Have Moved!

Our NEW SITE is at Everybody Update your blogrolls and bookmarks.

If you're looking at this post at some point in the future, then here is the welcome post for our new site.

It's been a long ride here at Blue Blitz. We've experienced the unveiling of the logo, the the unveiling of the jerseys, and our first 10 losses here. It saddens me to leave our old Blogspot home, but we must move forward. We will have a link to this old site as "Blue Blitz Classic" if you ever want to pop by for a visit. But we have input all of the old posts into our new site, so, aside from the comments and design, this place is all but obsolete.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow....

-Zebulun Benbrook and Benjamin Luschen
Proprietors of Blue Blitz, formerly The Oklahoma City NBA Sports the Max!!!!

P.S. Visit Our New Site Now! Register for Bloguin and have access to other site! Listen to the New Podcast! Keep Track of the New Award Count! Have a Ball!

Game 10 Recap: Philadelphia 110, Oklahoma City 85

Coaching or taking a dump? With this team, what's the difference!

I know what you're thinking, "What, no Pregame? How will I get my nightly fix of God of Thunder?" Do not worry, it will be back. Even God of Thunder is only human (...wait...). However, it's easy to assume that had God of Thunder made a pick for the game in the City of Brotherly Love, it would have been a correct one. Anyone could have seen this beatdown coming. It seems no Thunder lead is safe. So, time for some more depressing analysis on your hometown NBA team!

It isn't like the 76ers have been very amazing thus far. With the Thunder win, they're still only at .500. The Thunder though, inversely, have been amazingly bad. Their performance today only suits to reinforce that point. They were outscored 64-43 in the second half alone, including 33-18 in the third quarter. Considering they were only down 6 at the break, this is the type of collapse only made possible by what may be the worst team since the expansion Bobcats.

The story is in the stats. Of the 9 players that got over 10 minutes of playing time in the game, only two of them (Green and Durant no surprise) shot better than 40%. Included in those 9 players were Robert Swift and Nick Collison, who combined to shoot 0-8 from the floor. These are two big men no less! Only two of our starters even went to the free throw line and only Kevin Durant took any more than 2 attempts (a very impressive 4).

In contrast, Philly shot much better than us, going a combined 46.9% from the floor (compared to our 39.5%) and a red-hot 42.9% from three-point range (compared to our 28.6%).

The bottomline is that they were better than us at every position last night, and it hurt us. It became painfully obvious that we can get no production from our anybody at the starting PG and C positions. Frankly, we were exposed...oh wait, everybody already knows about that.

I'm proud to say that Jeff Green was able to take home the title of Thunder Wonder. His 21 points on 66.7% shooting lead the team, plus 3 rebounds and 4 assists. I'm really beginning to think that this guy could be quite a player in the future.

Thunder Down Under honors go to...Johan Petro? Yes, the same Johan Petro who was absolutely useless as a starter and was recently given the ultimate slap in the face when he was replaced by Mr. Ink himself, Robert Swift. Tonight though, he was able to score 9 points and grab a team high 12 rebounds off the bench, which by far trumps what Swift did. He did have a terrible shooting percentage day, but one can't be too picky when trying to find the second best performer on this team...

Sorry Nick, but somebody's got to be Thunder Blunder

...On the other hand, when it comes to finding the worst performer of the night, the Thunder have quite a selection. Tonights Most Valuable Puker and Thunder Blunder is none other than Nick Collison, though. He did manage to grab a nice 6 boards, but other than that, nada. 0-7 from the floor, and scored 2 more points than I did. I'm sorry, but this has to be the final straw in the fight to keep him as a starter. As soon as Chris Wilcox comes back, park this sucka on the bench.

And tonight's Thunder Plunderer goes to Samuel Dalembert. It was a close call over forward Thaddeus Young, but Dalembert was able to both burn the Thunder with his scoring (13 points, 6-10 shooting) and rebounding (16 boards) not to mention his 3 blocks.

Next game: Monday night vs. the Houston Rockets (It's OSSM night at the Ford Center!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Game 9 Recap: New York 116, Oklahoma City 106

Noooo!!!! Please don't eat me!

Royce and I had very conflicting opinions about tonight. While I was telling the team to control the ball, make half court sets, work around for a shot, and play defense, he was preaching, "Just run with 'em!" Well, it looks right he was the correct one.

At the very start of the game, they tried running the fast break, but Earl Watson kept missing shots, so they went to the slow style, and it didn't work. It was almost painful to watch as the Thunder couldn't get anything going and were forced into bad shots and turnovers. It's a common misconception that smallball teams play bad defense....they're usually actually quite good at it if you get them into half court sets. I don't know how many times I saw the guards of the Knicks leak out after a missed shot. One of the Knicks superb rebounders would grab it, and throw it up court for an easy lay in, while most of our guys would still be standing on their own end of the floor.

But, we were yet again witness to a second half comeback. I think I've nailed our games against the upper 20 teams of the NBA down to a 3 type of game science:
Type 1: Just get destroyed. (Example: the Magic game)
Type 2: Show some promise in the 1st and have a good lead, let it whittle down to a tie in the 2nd, and then just let the other team push their lead up to 20 by the time the game is done. (Example: the Celtics game)
Type 3: Come out really crappy, realize what you were doing wrong strategy wise, correct it, and come to within just enough of a margin to win, but then crap out in the last 5 minutes. (Example: todays game at the Knicks)

No one likes the sad D'Antoni look. :-(

I really don't know what the deal is with our coach. P.J. Carlesimo has been in the league longer than most players, and he's learned from the best, Gregg Popovich. He's had this same team for a year before this. Why can't he figure out what to do until the 1st half is up? I mean, did losing Luke Ridnour really make that much of a difference in his game?

Tonights NBA flashback was Malik Rose. I mean, I had no idea that dude was still playing basketball! Much less in a run n' gun system under D'Antoni! I know there's no analysis here, but it's just kind of a wow moment.

I'm also finding myself really hating the FSN Oklahoma coverage. I'm really tired of Brian Davises voice, and Grant Longs insight is usually minimal at best. I was really psyched to watch the game tonight because I thought I could watch it on MSG with Walt Frazier, but DirectTV blocked me out (even though I have league pass) and forced me to watch Grant Long. If you think about their NBA careers, their broadcasting careers are about equivalent. And, I assure you, it's not because I'm sick of hearing the same guys. I really love the Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area guys, Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett. When I watch the Warriors, I love hearing Bobs voice, and Jims great old-school analysis, even if half the time he is reminding the team to trade the 2 for 1. Davis and Long just kind of have no personality for me. Maybe my opinion will change as the season progresses, but these guys are homers to the highest degree. "Did you just see Robert Swift pull down that rebound? Wow!" "We're within 15, looks like we have a good chance of winning!" Ugh, no way. Please get some new announcers!

As far as awards go, Kevin Durant had a typical Kevin Durant-y night. He scored a lot of points, which makes you think he did good, but then you look at his lack of other stats and his poor shooting and realize he had a crappy game. Who really exceled tonight was Russell Westbrook. He actually shot 50%....that's right, 50% from the floor tonight. He grabbed 10 rebounds, 5 of them offensive and tossed 6 assists, almost securing the all coveted triple double. Add on his 19 points, 6-12 shooting, and 1 steal, and you easily get the Thunder Wonder for tonight.

As far as the Thunder Down Under award goes, there are 3 who deserve consideration. Some might be tempted to go ith the black fingernailed Robert Swift and his 13 rebounds, but 4 points just won't cut it tonight. Some might be tempted to go with Jeff Green, who had 16 Points, 8 Rebounds, and 4 Assists, but his 7-17 shooting puts him out of contention. The real performer here is Nick Collison. 14 points, 7-8 Shooting, 6 Rebounds, and 1 Assist locks the award up for him. While his rebounds were kind of low, he still had an excellent and efficent scoring night.

Sadly, I have to give the Thunder Blunder award to Joe Smith. 4 Points, 2-3 Shooting, and 2 rebounds isn't totally bad in 16 minutes, but it was clear thst this was not his type of game. His 33 year old body simply can't handle such a fast game, and this was apparent for the large numbe ofr time he was standing around mid or quarter court watching a scoring play happen. He's much more comfortable in half court sets. Still, it wasn't that bad of a performance, as he din't really hurt the team all that much when he played, but nobody else on the roster really warrants it. I suppose one could just as well give the award to Johan Petro, but he was much more efficent with 6 Points, 3-6 Shooting, and 5 Rebounds in only 10 minutes. I really like Petro coming off of the bench, and I think that's where he should stay.

On the other side of the ball, David Lee gets the Thunder Plunderer award off of the bench. Since they were playing D'Antonis fast ball, everybody else has abysmal shooting percentages. With 18 Points, 7-8 Shooting, 6 Rebounds, and 1 Assist, David Lee definately earns the right to be the second Thunder Plunderer off of the bench.

Next Game: Saturday at the 76ers
If we go 1-9, I think I'll find that I have no mouth and I must scream. Our mater predicter had the right point differential, but he was 21 points behind on both scores. Still, that's somewhat good!

Okay, now that's what I like to see! :-D

Friday, November 14, 2008

Game 9 Pregame: Thunder at Knicks

Mike D'Antoni: Creepiest Coach in All of Sports

And the slaughter continues....

The Thunder are going up against a team that has for the past 5 years been an NBA doormat. In the United States biggest television market and with a storied franchise history behind them, it would take a complete nutjob to screw them up. Those nutjobs are Jim Dolan and Isiah Thomas. Dolan is the owner, a traditional Daddys rich boy son ho knows absolutely nothing about running a basketball franchise. The latter, Thomas, is a former Point Guard who won the Pistons a Championship back in the 80s. The recipe for a good coach, right? Well, not when he goes to great lengths to trade for selfish point guards and lazy centers and can't coach them out of a closet. Luckily, he left the team at the end of last year, with the entire city of New York hating him and his players.

Enter Mike D'Antoni. He is the 04-05 Coach of the Year, and is largely attributed for the popularization of small ball. (Don Nelson invented it, but it never caught on until D'Antoni.) D'Antoni basically braught the Suns to national championship contenders every year. But, he always fell short, so Suns management saw a need to change things up. Thus, they traded Shawn Marion for Shaquille O'Neal, probably one of the worst moves ever. The suns were a first round out, and D'Antoni was quite unjustly fired by the power hungry GM, Steve Kerr. D'Antoni then got offers from the Bulls and Knicks. He took, to everyones surprise, the Knicks.

So, we come to today. The Knicks are a team full of lazy, selfish players that New York hates, and wants to get rid of, and everyone predicts them in the area of 20-25 wins. But....the D'Antoni magic struck. He benched Eddy Curry, who came to training camp having gained a lot of weight, and benched Stephon Marbury, a Point Guard known for hogging the ball and taking bad shots. Lo and behold, the Knicks are 5-3, and the City of New York is loving it.

Backstory: The Thunder are going to have to pull out all of the stops in order to win tonight. D'Antoni is going to wanto to run up and down the floor, and kill us with his teams athleticism. In order for the Thunder to win tonight, they're going to have to control the pace of the game. Slow the game down, set the pick n' roll, don't throw up lazy shots.

Defensively, they'll have to keep it tight on the perimeter. Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson aren't afraid to throw it up if need be. At the same time, they have to keep aware of the inside scoring of Randolph and Lee. We shouldn't have too much of a problem with this aspect of it though, as we have a trememndous height advantage on them.

Basically, if you force them into bad shots on the perimeter, you should be good against this Knick team.

Earl Watson vs. Chris Duhon
Edge: Push

Chris Duhon is a good point guard in his own right, but he's spent his entire career behind Kirk Hinrich on Chicago until this season. At the same time, Earl Watson has played well lately, but can have off nights. It's really anybodys guess who comes out on top.

Kevin Durant? vs. Jamal Crawford
Edge: Durant

Both have equally bad shooting percentages, but Durant is far better defensively, and he can rebound and drive better.

Jeff Green vs. Quentin Richardson
Edge: Quentin Richardson
Quentin Richardson was once considered to be a borderline All-Star, but since then, he's basically been a bust. He's about at the same level as Jeff Green is now, except he's probably a better outside shooter. So the advantage goes to him.

Nick Collison vs. Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph had a bad year last year, but he appears to be picking things up. Finally out of his pot smoking jailblazer days, this guys is a scoring and rebounding force every night. Nick Collison is largely on and off.

Johan Petro vs. David Lee
Edge: David Lee

David Lee is an excellent rebounder, and Johan Petro is excellent at being completely average. David Lee was the diamond in the rough for the past couple of years for the Knicks, and I think he easily outmatches Trash-o.

Battle of the Benches
Edge: Thunder

Because of D'Antonis statements to some of the Knick players, their bench is very thin. The Thunders bench, on the other hand, is ready to replace any player in the starting lineup with someone slightly less crappy in a hearatbeat, and might as well go 12 men deep. D'Antoni would have to see all of the eligible players carried out on a stretcher before he played Curry or Marbury.

Coaching and Intangibles
Edge: Knicks

I'm not a fan of D'Antoni, but I've got to give him credit for the Knicks rebirth.

Player to Watch: Joe Smith. This veteran should have no problem trashing the big man midgets of New York.

I'm not qualified to do this, so I'll defer to my main man, Ben, for this last section.
God of Thunder's Pick: Knicks 95 Thunder 85

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Game 8 Recap: Orlando 109, Oklahoma City 92


Yahoo! Box Score

What can I say? It was quite an unforgettable performance by the Thunder, who were the biggest under-dog in the NBA last night and were able to back it up with a sound thrashing. I mean, all you have to know to grasp the beating was 1) Kevin Durant didn't play, 2) Dwight Howard had his first career triple double, and 3) Both Steven Hill and Mouhamed Sene were in the game.

The whole game is kind of a blur to be honest with you. It was all the same, from start to finish really, thorough domination of the Thunder all the way through. Kevin Durant playing would have made no difference at all. Talent-wise, the Magic dominate us and Dwight Howard was playing like a man possessed. Who really has a triple-double on blocks anymore? Ha, well, Dwight Howard apparently. Without Kevin Durant, this really isn't even an NBA team.

Really, the game itself isn't really worth talking about, even. We all know how the Thunder vomit all over themselves night in and night out; and this game is just more than that times 10. However, one positive of KD not playing is that it takes a shadow off the rest of the team's players. Let's see what we've learned about his anonymous team mates...

If any sort of positive can be drawn from this, it's that we now know that Jeff Green is legit. He was the leading Thunder scorer in the game and despite being the team's new number one option was able to continue his efficient shooting. I used to think that KD was the only real "cornerstone" the Thunder had to work with, everyone else being expendable. Now, I think that Jeff Green can be thought of in the same regard.

What did we learn about Desmond Mason as a starter? Well, we learned he was certainly suitable for the role when called upon. His performance was somewhat redeeming for last games Thunder Blunder caliber play. Still, he should stick to the bench, the only starter who needs replacement is Petro.

What did we learn about Russel Westbrook receiving extended minutes. Well, we learned he can do a variety of things on the floor, with 5 rebounds and four assists. He certainly hasn't gotten any better shooting from the field, but this is somewhat misleading as his offensive style is one where he tries to draw the foul. And in that regard, he was finally able to make his free throws, shooting 8-9.

What did we learn about Damien Wilkins, who finally got extended minutes for the first time since the Pre-Season? Well, uh, I guess we found out it wasn't the pre-season anymore. 2 points off 1-6 shooting and 4 boards. All that in a hefty 18 minutes of play.

Robert Swift's new 'do didn't help his offensive game any

And lastly, what did we learn about the useless 7 footers on our roster? Well, we were able to confirm that they suck. Hill, Sene, and Swift combined for about 24 minutes last night, for a combined 6 points, 12 rebounds, 0 assists, and 2 blocks. Even if you throw Johan Petro's 8 points and 2 rebounds in there, that's still combined for far less that one man (Dwight Howard) had for the magic tonight.

So, for tonight's Thunder Wonder, I'm going with the guy I praised earlier, Jeff Green. 25 points of 7-18 shooting, 10 rebounds, 3-6 from downtown, 8-10 free throws. He is clearly the second best offensive option on this team.

Thunder Down Under is...not Joe Smith for once! No, instead tonight we're going with Desmond Mason, getting some sweet redemption. He had 12 points off 5-11 shooting and 2 rebounds. Obviously couldn't fill the void that KD left, but not a bad performance by any stretch.

Thunder Blunder? God, just pick a player at random and you could almost certainly make a case for it. Sadly I'm going to go with Damien Wilkins. He certainly hasn't played up to potential this year, that is, when he plays at all. Like I said earlier, only 2 points and 1-6 field goals.

I'll give you three guesses at tonight's Thunder Plunderer. J.J. Reddick? Nope. Adonal Foyle? Sorry Zorgon, not him either. Dwight Howard? YEAH! Comeon, one of the best games in what is sure to be a fabulous career for the center. 30 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots! He was a man among boys last night.

Next Game: Nov. 14 at the Knicks

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Game 8 Pregame: Magic at Thunder

The Thunder continue their marathon with tonight's game against the Orlando Magic. It should definitely be a tough test for Oklahoma City, as the Orlando Magic are one of the better teams from the East and probably the best in their division. They'll bring a tad of starpower tonight, with Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, and last years most improved player Hedo Turkoglu. OKC, on the other hand, will have little to no star power tonight, as Kevin Durant will be a game time decision. Without KD, who's got the best name recognition? Joe Smith? Oh well, names don't win championships. It takes teamwork, defense, and talent. Oh wait, we don't have any of that either...

Backstory: What do the Thunder and Coke cans have in common. The both are crushed under pressure. OKC couldn't keep a lead to save their lives. Fortunately, they shouldn't have to worry about that tonight, because Orlando is far superior, especially without KD. Last I checked, all Orlando starters are averaging over 10 points per game, while the Thunder have yet to find someone to consistently drop over 10, aside from Jeff Green and the Great Longhorned One.

With or without KD, it makes no difference. Aside from last nights insanely good performance, Kevin Durant as been throwing bricks like they were made of tacks. It'll defintiely take some MAGIC, for the Thunder to win tonight (ok, that was bad, I know).

Earl Watson vs. Jameer Nelson
Edge: Nelson

I loved this guy back at St. Joe's, and was secretly cheering for him in the Elite 8 while they were playing OSU (I say secretly because my brothers a Cowboy fan). The Hawks dropped that game, but there's no way Jameer loses this one. His assist number are down somewhat, but hey, who doesn't beat Watson?

Kevin Durant? vs. Mickeal Pietrus
Edge: Durant

Well, if he plays, he has the edge. If he doesn't, and Russ Westbrook or Desmond Mason gets the start, Pietrus should handle them defensively and get the edge.

Jeff Green vs. Hedo Turkoglu
Edge: the Turk

He's got such a versatile game. Height, shooting, driving, rebounding. Jeff Green will give him a game, but Turkoglu gets the definite advantage.

Nick Collison vs. Rashard Lewis
Edge: Lewis

Rashard plays all over the court, so he shouldn't be in the power forward slot for too long. Dito everything I said praising Hedo for Rashard, except moreso.

Johan Petro vs. Dwight Howard
Edge: Howard

Let's see...the best center in the NBA or the lowest scoring Thunder starter? I'm noticing a trend of mismatches at this position. Note to Sam Presti: GET A CENTER WHO'S AS TALENTED AS HE IS TALL FOR ONCE!

Battle of the Benches
Edge: Magic

I'll say Orlando. The Thunder have the best bench player of the bunch, but nobody else is doing well. The Magic don't rely on their bench very much, but at least it isn't full of flops like OKC.

Coaching and Intangibles
Edge: Magic

Despite a crowd that's sure to be pumped for the game, Stan Van Gundy is a better coach and the Thunder have no momentum going into the game.

Player to Watch: No KD, eh? Here's a stretch, how about Robert Swift for tonight's player to watch. When facing a player like Dwight Howard, I'm sure P.J. will look to get a center more physical than Petro on the floor.

God of Thunder's Pick: Magic 102 Thunder 87

Robert Swift eats babies