As I entered this game and saw the Bucks making a late first quarter run, all I could think about was how good the ball movement was on that team. Fortunately, while good ball movement may look pretty when they actually do score, it doesn't do a lot for winning games if the scorers aren't there. The team seemed to rely on a certain scorer getting hot an fueling the team. In the first, that guy was Carlos Delfino. In the second, that guy was Ersan Ilyasova. In the third, that guy was nobody. Nobody. They didn't score a point until there was 5:45 left to go in the third. Talk about total collapse. Needless to say, from that point on, the games was mostly garbage time, and the bucks never got closer than 10 from that point on.
You have to admire the complete shut down of Brandon Jennings. I really thought he'd take advantage of the fact that Mike Wilks was on the floor, but Wilks managed to hold his ground. I guess it was just an off night for him.
One has to admire the quality of post play that occurred on our side of the ball. Nenad Krstic was getting blocks and rebounds, Sefolosha got a double double, and, as a team, the Thunder destroyed them in the rebounding department. Ilyasova mostly concentrated on his mid-range game, Gadzuric was totally useless, Kurt Thomas is old, and former SuperSonic Francisco Elson only played in garbage time. This left all of the inside work to the undersized Hakim Warrick, who managed to do some extremely fancy dunks (one of which resulted in a BS technical foul call for hanging on the rim). Because of this, he earns tonight's Thunder Plunderer award. Unfortunately, he alone could not stem the tide of inside exploitation by the Thunder.
On our side of things, the game couldn't have gone more perfectly. Kevin Durant had another superb performance, with 33 Points, 12 Rebounds, and 5 Assists. That easily gets him the Thunder Wonder Award. And, as good of a job Sefolosha did going 13 and 11, I have to give the Thunder Down Under award to Russell Westbrook, for not only getting 20 Points, 6 rebounds, 7 Assists, and 2 Blocks, but also fro completely outdoing Brandon Jennings, who only had 12 Points, 3 Assists, and 3 Turnovers.
The Thunder Blunder of tonight is D.J. White, who did a bad job filling in for Nick Collison, who has a sore knee. 10 Minutes, 1-5 Shooting, 2 Rebounds, and 1 Assist? Eh. At least Ibaka, who didn't have too good of a game himself, managed to get 7 rebounds. Need evidence as to why both of these guys don't get minutes? Look no further than here, where they totally managed to screw it up on a day where the inside play was plentiful.
Also, you have to give props to the crowd. Obviously, they put on their best masks tonight, as it never would have been this loud if the Thunder were playing the Bucks normally. Still, it's nice to see them shop up when it's most needed, and show the nation what we're made of. I'll never re-watch the game on TV, as ESPNs coverage of the NBA is putrid, but I'm sure the announcers spent about 10 minutes commenting on "how loud it is in the Ford Center". And that's a good thing!
Next Game: Versus the Rockets, Sunday, November 29th, at 6 PM Central Standard Time
Bah, yet another annoyingly early 6 PM home game....at least I can look forward to what could become our tenth win!