Jim Traber, Oklahoma City's resident "morally sound human being", isn't right about many things concerning the NBA. But he is right about many other sports topics. And when he states that, "as sports fans, we tend to look too much at what happens right in front of our face", he's right. We looked at what happened against the Rockets and the Lakers and assumed that since we were a hot team, the next game would be a piece of cake.
Boy, how we were wrong.
The Trail Blazers have always had our number, but now they're going to be famous for being the team that has our number. They play an extremely slow paced, defensive game, and we couldn't break through their wall of defense.
Below: Analysis, Awards
Let me break it down thusly. Whenever the Trail Blazers would get the ball, they would always slow down for a half-court offense, even if they had an easy chance at a fast-break dunk. Why? Because if they took that dunk, they would increase the pace of the game, and tire out their older centers, allowing us more easy buckets.
On defense, the Trail Blazers always got back on time. It hurt their rebounding a bit, as they always tended to scoot back once someone let a shot go, but it payed dividends in that it completely nullified the Thunder's fast break points and played to the strengths of their players.
On a side note, Marcus Camby is everything that Oden was. He's old, but in that slow paced offense, he can really thrive into his old age.
On to the Awards....
Thunder Wonder: Serge Ibaka, 10 Points, 5-6 Shooting, 5 Rebounds, 4 Blocks. In all honestly, he's the only guy who could go toe to toe with Marcus Camby and Juwan Howard on a consistent basis.
Thunder Down Under: Kevin Durant, 15 Points, 13 Rebounds, 5 Blocks. He had a good game, but not a great game. He missed a good amount of 3 Pointers, and he turned it over 5 times. Nevertheless, it's good enough for a Thunder Down Under in this type of game.
Thunder Blunder: James Harden, 3 Points, 1-5 Shooting, 2 Rebounds, 1 Turnover. He had a pretty worthless game, and couldn't score against the tough Blazer defense. It just wasn't his type of game.
Thunder Plunderer: Andre Miller, 26 Points, 6 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 4 Turnovers, 3 Steals. He was the orchestrator of the Blazers offense, and he stepped it up by driving to the hole and getting around the Thunder defenders numerous times.
Next Game: At the Philadephia 76ers, Tuesday, March 30th, 6 PM Central Daylight Time