I am an overseas NBA fan. Because of timezone difference, playoff Game 1 was the first one I was able to watch this season's Thunder team. What I saw at that game, Game 3 win and what I read about the team all season made me get up at 4:30 AM to watch Game 4.
Game 1 demonstrated Thunder's inexperience at this stage but also exposed Lakers' weaknesses and made me believe Thunder will give a hard time to the latest champs during this series. After this game, one can't help but begin to
dream about consider an upset.
What I like most about Thunder is watching them is like watching a good college team. You can feel the friendship, the chemistry, their hunger, their good relationship with their coach. They became giddy sometimes for a moment after a good play (especially Green) but don't lose their concentration. Even at his postgame interview Durant didn't look very happy provoking a question and reminded all of us that there will be a next game, the series is not over yet. This is the mindset of a great player who has a vision of long term.
Kudos to Coach Brooks for giving us fans a great team like this. I now understand better why he deserved the coaching award after watching this game. A lot of NBA teams have great young talent but mashing them like this, making them play active defense, make good decions at offense is a rarity.
Kudos to Thunder's young players to play way ahead of their ages. They sticked to the game plan and showed everyone their potential and having a good chance for an upset. Durant may be struggling a little bit but he showed me enough about the great player he became and how better he can be in the future. Russell Westbrook and other supporting cast showed me how much they can achive as a team. Durant is fortunate to have them and vice versa. If they can steal Game 5, they can even start their promising career with eliminating the number one seed. Even if they lose I believe an exciting and close Game 7 is waiting us.
Last but not least, what a crowd. Loud city indeed. Even with European standards they were crazy. I like what they gave to the team with their energy. Lakers shot 17-28 (.607) and Thunders shot a whopping 42-48 (.875) from the FT line. These numbers reflect how crowd affects the confidence of both teams in my opinion. You can feel how they love and believe in their team. There were a lot of funny dressings and signs as well. With a blowout like this you can see people leaving before game ends. Nobody left this game. As a side note I wonder how Seattle fans were feeling if they watch this game.
Houston overachieved last year for stretching the series to game 7 and even at that point not many believed they can eliminate the Lakers. Warriors' upset over Dallas was believed to be a fluke by most and it showed at the following seasons. But this team is for real and even if they can't pull an upset, they deserve and are destined for great achievements. This game was like a coming out party for me about coach Brooks, Durant, his teammates, and the crowd. I will always remember this game when they will fulfill their potential in the future.
To sum it up, as a fan of the game and the league I want to welcome all these parties to the NBA. I may be very late to notice this but Thunder has arrived. I wanted to share my happiness about this and offer my congratulations with this post. Thanks for reading.