Ah, the beloved Seynt Volantynys Day. Love, joy, and happiness abounds. I would probably trade it for a few extra offensive rebounds.
(Game recap coming later today)
Mayberry hits the key stats first: 20 turnovers, 14 rebound deficit (including a 20-2 shortfall on the offensive glass). Here is the number though - the Warriors took 40 more shots than the Thunder. I've been watching the NBA for a looong time, and perhaps it's because I've never paid attention to that stat, but I've never seen such a staggering disparity. If you add in the Warriors' turnovers (8), you get to the reality that the Warriors had almost 100% more possessions than the Thunder did. Even as I watched the game I couldn't believe how lopsided it was. And yet, they were in a one point game with under a minute to play.
The Daily Thunder guys don't quite want to classify this one as a bad loss, but I would contend that it is probably one of their worst since their blowout loss to the Knicks back in December. Teams get out-rebounded all the time. Sometimes you have a startling number of turnovers. That's fine. What stressed me out the most though was that it seemed like the Thunder had no idea how to attack this extremely poor defensive team.
Did you know that David Stern makes $15 million a year? That there is a litmus test if I ever saw one.
Mayberry writes about the contrast, on full display this weekend, between James Harden and Tyreke Evans/Stephen Curry. Here is one more big difference - going into each game, both Evans and Curry know that if they don't play well, their teams will lose. In a way it is a lot of pressure, but in another it is freeing because they can just go and do whatever it is they feel they have to do to get their points. Harden however lives in a much more rigid confine, and it is one where he doesn't always seem to know whether he is acting within the confidence of his coach and teammates. When Harden approaches the game with an "it's go time!" attitude, he flourishes because he allows his natural talent and skill-set to take over.
More links after the jump.
This story didn't get a lot of press over the weekend, but more details are coming out now. Apparently after the Thunder defeated the Kings on Saturday, there was an altercation between the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins and Donte Greene. Cousins was upset that Green had passed the ball to Tyreke Evans for the final shot, which turned out to be a missed 3-pointer. On its face it seems like immature sour grapes, but here is what I would like to know - what play did coach Paul Westphal call in the huddle?
This story sheds a little more light into the relationship between the Thunder and the 66ers. The Thunder organization has brought a stability to their D-League team which is extremely rare. As a result, the team has had both on-court success as well as provide an opportunity for young players to continue to develop their skill sets. The story also mentions that the Thunder have have availed their facilities to the 66ers from time to time. I would imagine that this gesture is huge - it helps keep the goal front and center for each of the D-League players.
An examination of the youth movement in the NBA. This article is ripe for fisking. Have fun.
Late in the game against the Warriors, James Harden was bumped and landed on his lower back. He didn't seem to come down hard, just awkward. And I'd like to add, it was probably the most egregious no-call of the night. The Thunder were trying to pull the game within one possession. The Warriors trapped Harden and clearly bumped him, which led to his fall. There was no foul though, and Monta Ellis stole the ball and got a breakaway dunk at the other end. It was a huge momentum shift.