Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pre-Season Game 3 Recap: Warriors 122, Thunder 102

A Season Preview: Kevin Durant and Johan Petro marvel at the floating basketball, while Marco Bellinelli actually goes and gets the ball.

The Thunder fell for the Warriors trap tonight, possibly injured Jeff Green, and played Kevin Durant and Damien Wilkins 34 Minutes.

Yeah, this is bad news.

The Warriors were absolutely torching the Thunder out of the gate. Bellinelli and Jackson were hitting easy 3s on the fast break, while the Thunder kept trying to low-post the best defensive Warriors, like Jackson and Harrington. But eventually, the Thunder moved into their own brand of the Warriors fast break game. They didn't hike up a lot of 3s, but drove to the basket, and were very successful at it. A hint to Carlesimo about future strategy?

After that, every time Oklahoma City got a little bit of momentum, the Warriors always stole their Thunder. The 3 point line was left far too wide open for the Warriors to possibly miss, and the Thunder would always lose points on ridiculous 12-Footers from Petro and Kevin Durant reverse hooks.

Some hilarious technical problems at hafltime. Brian Davis was barely audible, with a shot of the Oracle Arena ceiling continuing to pan ever-so-slowly right. A technician or Grant Long (don't know which, more likely the earlier) interrupted Brian twice, assuming we couldn't hear him. Eventually, he said, "We'll have more from the Bay City Area where the Warriors lead 70-55, we'll be right back." Right, the Bay City Area.

When they returned, Brian Davis said that the squirrel that runs their microphones went on a coffee break. Ooookay.

John Lucas III came into the game and really brought this team together. Since the guy is playing to survive, it's no surprise. After a great And-1 by Weezy off of the Lucas assist, the Thunder are only down by 8 heading into the 4th.

I think 1 statement can summarize the 4th: A whole lotta sparks, but no fire. The Warriors just kept hitting as the Thunder defense looked hapless and the Thunder offense looked mediocre at best. All of this while we were playing some of our best guys and the Warriors were playing almost exclusively bench.

If I have to hear those KSBI guys say that the Thunder are "brewing the late night coffee pot" or that fans have to "stay up late" to watch the came, I'm gonna break someones crayons. Hi-yah! Oh, and both of the guys just said essentially the same thing, one after the other. And then the dude barely got off the highlights. You know, there is a certain appeal about these broadcasts....I'll just miss the unprofessional hilariousness.

Anyway, now for tonights....

Thunder Wonder: Damien Wilkins
23 Points, 7-14 Shooting, 3-6 3 Point Shooting, 5 Rebounds, 3 Steals, 4 Turnovers, 3 fouls

I know I'm a sucker for this guy. But he's performed in all 3 games this season, and I've just gotta give it to him again. He proved that he can not only succeed in a slow paced, half court set game, but also prosper in a fast breaking, more wide open game. We also got a glimpse of his 3 Point Shooting. If anyone has to compare him to a Hornet, think of him as like....a way better Rasual Butler. Russell Westbrook missed a LOT of layups, and Kevin Durant fired up a lot of bricks himself.

Honourable Mention: Weezy, 15 Points, 6-11 Shooting, 8 Rebounds, 3 Steals, 4 Fouls, 3 Turnovers. He basically misses out because of Wilkins' consistency.

Thunder Blunder: Johan Petro
4 Points, 1-10 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Fouls

I really don't want to make Field Goal Percentage the main factor for being a Blunder or Wonder, but when you're a Center, 1-10 is baaaad. He looked almost comical on the floor tonight. A lot of missed turnarounds and hooks after posting up, and even a couple of clanked 12 footers. I don't know what he did in practice to get the green light to start doing this, but it better start showing in games. But, there's no harm in testing it out in the Pre-Season, so you can't really blame P.J. or Johan here.

Thunder Plunderer (AKA Warrior Wonder, shout out to my boys at Golden State of Mind!): Marco Bellinelli
22 Points, 8-13 Shooting, 3-6 3 Pointers, 3 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 2 Steals

This is Bellinelli at his best. This is the guy you WANT to see on the floor every night. He could just spot up from anywhere, have perfect balence, and sink the 3. It's as if his colourless shoes have magic in them! He was a great distributor, and scorer. But most Warrior fans are skeptical, as we've all seen this from him before. But, almost every time he's come into a real NBA game, it's been a whole bunch of turnovers and clanks. He'll definately see minutes with Montas injury and Barons leaving, but it remains to be seen if Warriors fans will be experiencing a whole lotta Beli-Swoosh or a whole lotta Beli-Clank.

Honourable Mention: DeMarcus Nelson, 8-10 Field Goal Shooting, 4 Rebounds, 7 Assists, 4 Steals, 2 Turnovers. It was wierd seeing "D.Nelson Technical Foul" or "D.Nelson Steal" on the game log. Still, this guy played his heart out, and don't be surprised if he captures a roster spot on the Warriors this year.

The Thunder's next game is vs. Houston in Tulsa at 7:30 CST.

We'll have an update on Jeff Greens injury later.

Also, just a little poll I'd like you guys to answer:

Thanks for letting us know.

Quick Update: Golden State of Mind has a game thread that I somehow missed earlier. Granted, none of them could see the game, but you can look at how they marvelled at the Yahoo Gametracker. And how they hate Clay Bennett.

Also: Royce's Recap
Joe's Recap