Monday, November 3, 2008
Game 3 Recap: Oklahoma City 88, Minnesota 85
Before I start this recap, let me just iterate the genius of my partner in crime. Okluschen (Ben Luschen) of Blue Blitz predicted the score of this game....EXACTLY. Exactly right. Why even go to other sites at all now? You might as well just forget it, captain. We got the experts up here in this crib.
The game tonight was awesome for Thunder fans. The presentation? Not so much. Now that all of the shine and glimmer of the home opener is gone, one realizes just how paper thin the game entertainment is. The drumline (by far my favourite part of the overall presentation) wasn't used during team introductions, and was only used once the entire game. During timeouts, the team really didn't have much to show. There was the Midfirst bank shot contest, but aside from that the entertainment mostly consisted either of looking at crazy fans or watching the emcee give free stuff to some guy who probably paid to get on camera. The music during the game was also horrible. Most of it just contisted of playing "Charge", "De-Fense", or "Everybody clap your hands". I swear, I think I'll have to kill whoever keeps playing "Everybody clap your hands". I mean, they played it literally 6 times, and thqat was only when I counted! Get something new! I think I'll get sick of Thunderstruck by the time the season is through, too.
Presentation aside, you've gotta love this game. The first 3 quarters went by a specific formula. The Timberwolves would get off to a huge lead, make things look like same-old, same-old for the Thunder. Then, the Thunder would come storming back to tie it by the time the quarter ended. By the 4th, the Thunder had things figured out, and a defensive battle ensued.
Needless to say, we we killed by Al Jefferson. Things never seem to change in Minnesota, becuase if you changed "Al Jefferson" to "Kevin Garnett", "Mike Miller" to "Ricky Davis", and "Craig Smith" to "Mark Blount", you couldn't really tell the difference between now and back in the day. But I digress. Al Jefferson with 24 Points, 11-17 shooting, 13 Rebounds, and 1 block easily earns the Thunder Plunderer Award tonight.
On our side of the ball, Kevin Durant had another horrible night with 18 points on just 7-21 shooting. While Darnell Mayberry thinks that his shots will start going in, it's my opinion that we're going to see a lot of off nights this season. About 1 of every 3 games he'll perform, but otherwise he'll stink it up to the extreme and hurt the team. Jeff Green was a little bit more productive, but was hardly deserving of the award with 13 points on 6-14 Shooting. Ditto for Russell Westbrook with 14 points, 6-13 shooting and only 2 assists. Granted, he did play some SG today, but that was for a short period at the end of the game.
Still, nobody had a worse night tonight than our lovable Frenchman, Johan Petro. In 17 minutes he had 4 Points, 2-4 shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and a -12 +/- ratio. The closest to him was Nick sollison at -6. He missed a couple of midrange jumpers tonight, and I really think he needs to get in the post more. Somebody give this man a lead pass! Or a screen! Here's hoping to better times, and more Thunder Blunderless nights, Johan,
Thus, the Thunder Wonder award has to go to Nick Collison. He didn't have a totally awesome performace, but he had a solid, liquid, and gas outing with 10 points, 4-8 shooting, 10 rebounds (7 offensive), 2 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. On top of that, he had a really awesome shot late in the 4th to put the Thunder up by 1, from which they never looked back. There's a reason they sell a "jersey shirt" for this guy.
The Thunder Down Under award is a tough one to decide. Whomever I give it to really doesn't deserve it. Since I'm infamous for hating inefficency, I'm going to give it to, you guessed it, Joe Smith. 6 Points, 3-4 Shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal all in 16 minutes. Early on he was getting burned a bit by Craig Smith, but it's nothing compared to the whopping that Jefferson was doing on Wilcox. He made a lot of hustle rebounds and recovering from steals in the mid 4th that really kept the Thunder in the game. Yeah, yeah, I know you guys are gonna call me a homer for this one.
Lastly, before I go, I'd really like to state that I miss Damien Wilkins. He's been getting next to none minutes, and appears to be stuck in Coach Carlesimos doghouse. Here's hoping he gets some minutes. His Pre-Season performance really makes him deserve a chance.
Next Game: Wednesday vs. The Boston Celtics