Game 1 is in the books and OKC warmed the cockles of all our hearts by ripping out the Lakers.' The playoffs are games within games, so I am intrigued as to what the Thunder staff will do to try to iron out the few problems that still hindered the team (ORB's).
Sharp writes that this blowout may have been one of the most enjoyable from beginning to end in a while. I think it is not necessarily because he is a Laker-hater, but because we could see the pieces being put together and those components finally manifested in something we expected.
It is not just that the Thunder embarrassed the Lakers for a 1-0 lead, but rather how they did it that is important. The means OKC used to build up their big lead is repeatable, and the Lakers know it.
Kendrick Perkins appeared to tweak his hip again after he threw down a dunk and he immediately left the court. If OKC handles its business even half as well as they did last night, the coaching staff should seriously consider shutting him down for the series. His job is to hold off Bynum by himself, and if he's hurt, he can't do that. Better to let Nazr Mohammed, Nick Collison, and Cole Aldrich take a crack at it. Also as last night demonstrated, OKC can be willing to give Bynum a 20-10 and still come out pretty unscathed.
The big question for the Lakers now is whether they have the same resolve that Dallas showed in the 1st round. We know that Kobe Bryant does and Pau Gasol can get up for the big game, but Andrew Bynum and now Devin Ebanks are question marks. If Bynum checks out, the Lakers are completely finished.
Russell Westbrook busted up the Lakers in Game 1 just like he did against Dallas in Games 1 & 2. Most importantly, nothing came forced, as he scored a game-high 27 off of only 15 shots.
As we have noted here in the past, the Thunder's current trajectory was set in motion in part by the way they lost to the Lakers in 2010. Since then, they have added the pieces necessary to deal with LA.
Pelton notes that Russell Westbrook adjusted his game in a major way so that he stopped trying to attack the rim against the Lakers' seven footers. By looking for his free throw line jumper, he forced the Lakers defense to stretch out, thereby opening it up for him toss out nine assists.
Oddly enough, despite my lifelong distaste for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, interviewee has become quite enjoyable to me. There's something about when players reach a certain age that they stop caring anymore and are just honest. Surly and sarcastic Kobe is far more interesting than Kobe the Jordan-Clone.
Craig Sager is always welcome at my dinner table, no matter what he wears. This pour soul just wanted to get back to his seat though, and Sags was completely oblivious because he desperately wanted to point out a fan's sign.
Devin Ebanks was ejected in the waning moments of the 4th quarter last night. Ebanks only played four minutes, total. Kind of a weird reaction there.
That explains his inhuman passing skills, but what does it tell us about his horrible jump shot?