Last night's loss hurt; the game and a statement were there for the taking. The Hornets are playing top three basketball right now, and the Thunder stayed with them on the road in the buzzing (/sigh) Hive. Hopefully the Thunder will carry that energy over to Minnesota tomorrow.
Mayberry lamented the loss but couldn't disparage the Hornets, both for the way they play ball and also because of the connection between the team in OKC. There also seems to be a bit of a rivalry growing between Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.
Royce is right - the Thunder played much better in last night's loss than they did in Saturday night's win. Two turnovers though in the final 14 seconds of a one possession ball game...not good. Not good at all.
Mayberry's deadline story describes the scene from not so long ago, when West was hitting game winners for OKC fans instead of New Orleans fans. Two games, two buzzer beaters, two outcomes.
Berry Tramel wonders, like I do, if playing the Hornets could be a good inspiration for the Thunder as for how to approach games. The money quote:
Play defense like this, and you’ll win ballgames. Play defense like this with CP3 and West available to run offense, and you’ll win a ton of ballgames.
Switch in Durant and westbrook for CP3 and West, and the same would be true for the Thunder.
More links after the jump.
He was a first round draft pick from a year ago, but now Cole Aldrich is playing in the D-League to get his talents up to snuff for a run in the NBA. I would imagine that it's gotta be hard to going from a top 15 draft pick to being told you're not good enough to compete yet, but Aldrich seems to be managing. The cool aspect about the situation is that the Thunder players have embraced him and stayed connected to him, even as he's been toiling away for the Tulsa 66ers.
His proposal? A super-Hall of Fame, qualifying him for the worst namer of interesting things this year. The idea has merit though, although I don't think the NBA HoF has gotten watered down the way the baseball HoF has. The first entrant for the NBA anti-super-HoF? This Guy; I mean, how does a guy like him even happen?
The Hornets reached a major milestone this season, hitting their attendance benchmark of 14,735 fans per game, which will allow the team to stay for another season. I hope the city values this team, because they play with a tenacity and attitude that doesn't come along very often.
On the other side of the equation, the Hornets meeting their attendance requirement means that they are less likely to move the team to Seattle, a city that is looking to finance and build an arena that will house an NBA franchise.