It was a pretty light week on the games played for the Oklahoma City Thunder but as always there are still many compelling things going on with the team. We had an on court outburst, an Uncle Drew sighting, and we witnessed a team get destroyed by the Thunder bench. We start this week where we start every week on Beyond The Arc.
Buffy Summers Award (Team MVP) - Kevin Durant:
After a week away KD reclaims the team MVP award. It was pretty close between Durant and Russell Westbrook for the award this week. Durant gets the edge over Westbrook based simply on how he stuffed the stat sheet. Durant stepped up his game on the glass with averaging 9 boards this past week. Add that to his usual efficient scoring and you get team MVP honors for the week.
Tom Haverford Award (Best Supporting Player) - Serge Ibaka:
In Air Congo's weakest scoring game this week he has six blocks. Let that sink in for a second. Six blocks. His ability to protect the rim is a big reason why James Harden was the more expendable asset. He still has his moments on defense where he bites on the pump fakes too much. But that is something you can live with when he has kind of games where he blocks six shots.
Prometheus Award (Disappointment of the week) - Russell Westbrook Outburst:
When I saw Westbrook get heated and emotional during the home win vs. the Grizzlies last week I began to shake my head. I did not shake my head at Westbrook and his actions but rather I knew it was going to be made into a bigger deal than it was. We all know Westbrook plays anger and out of control some (a lot) of times. That is what makes him such a high level player. Emotions run very high during something as competitive as a professional sporting event. Things happen and tempers run hot from time to time and then you move on.
I am a pretty emotional/reactionary person at times. There have been more than a dozen times where people (myself) get heated at my work place. Things get said and people yell and after that happens you move on. I work at a freaky radio station and those kind of things happen so I can't begin to imagine what it is like on a basketball court during an NBA game.
Wait...I take that back. I kind of do know what it is like. I have a group of very close friends who I play basketball with every week. Among the group I am the one who is the shortest of temper when it comes to losing. I hate losing basketball games. I hate playing poorly. Even if we are playing something simple like a game of 21 I get very upset if I lose. I have kicked basketballs and said many a curse word after a loss in which I played bad. I get that upset over one of my silly games of basketball and I am no where near as good as Russell Westbrook.
Maybe that is part of the reason I am a fan of Westbrook. I see a lot of my own personality and competitiveness in him. There are many times in my life where I let little things get to me a little too much and I have over reaction. Much like the one Westbrook had when Thabo Sefolosha messed up the spacing on that play.
Team About To Get Kill Bill'd Award - Golden State Warriors:
The Thunder are about to get some Quentin Tarantino style revenge on GSW. Thunder gave one away on the last road trip to the Warriors and now Mark Jackson's crew rolls into Loud City on the second game of a back-to-back. Lets not forget the Warriors just got smoked by the Houston Rockets last night and gave up 23 makes from beyond the arc. Last time I checked the OKC has some guys who can stroke some shots from the three points line. I look for this game to resemble a three point shoot out more than anything. I fully expect Kevin Durant to be standing over the Warriors like The Bride after she dispatched with the Crazy 88s.
Would Get A Technical Foul In Charity Game Award - Kendrick Perkins
Who else could possibly get this award. I love that his intimidation and toughness have as much impact on the game as his actually defense can but seriously man. Every time I look up it seems like he is getting into it with another person. Do you think Kendrick Perkins would hard foul his own son if he came hard down the lane? The answer is yes.
Walter White Empire Scale: 7 (Last week: 8)
OKC only drops one spot on the Empire Scale this week. The one loss they had this week was book ended by two wins vs. a pretty good Grizzlies team and a Dallas Mavericks team that took the Thunder to overtime in their two previous meetings. I don't find much fault or blame for OKC in the loss at Cleveland. The Cavaliers are not a good team if you look at their record but they have an elite superstar in Kyrie Irving. I know that is high praise to throw on a player in his second year but it is the truth. Uncle Drew is freaking legit. Irving is becoming a must watch on NBA League pass. He is fearless when it comes to finishing around the rim and has best handles in the NBA hands down. He steps up when the game matters most in the 4th quarter. When a superstar like Irving goes HAM on you there is not much you can do to stop him and win the game. The Thunder and Durant tried that night but Irving was not having it.
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