Hey Thunder Nation!!
Guess what? The Oklahoma City Thunder have somehow put together a 3 game winning streak against teams above .500. I don’t care if one was playing the second game of a back to back and another was playing with bench players, just over a week ago the Thunder couldn’t compete against a lottery team.
It hasn’t been pretty, but no matter how you cut it, a winning streak is better than a kick in the short breads any day. In fact, by orchestrating a 23 point turn around and winning by 6, the Thunder were downright impressive in the last 16 minutes vs the Jazz.
The Big 3’s shooting curse finally lifted and the Thunder defense stifled the Jazz after Utah took a 17 lead with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter. From that point, the Jazz hit just 8 of their remaining 25 shots, or 32%, while the Thunder shot 57.7% over the last 16 minutes nailing 15 of their final 26 attempts.
During this current winning streak, Steven Adams has averaged 22 pts and 8.3 trb’s, while converting 82.3% of his 11.7 shot attempts per game. The Funaki’s emergence leaves little doubt that he and the Thunder’s OK3 must form a permanent alliance and become the Fab4 moving forward.
How do you spell defensive relief?
The silent assassin of course, R-O-B-E-R-S-0-N.
He is a great defender on any given night, but Andre Roberson’s fourth quarter defense against the Utah Jazz was textbook brilliant. Thirty seconds in, the Thunder trailing by 12, Robes blocked Alec Burks at the rim and the defensive show was on.
With 8:55 remaining and the Thunder still down 7, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell re-entered the game. The Jazz’s rookie sensation had already posted 24 points in just over 27 minutes playing time, twelve points and 3 assists in just 9 minutes in the third quarter alone.
From the moment Mitchell came back in the game, Robes smothered him, hurried him, bumped him, blocked him, and pressured him into committing two key turnovers. And only fouled him one time. Coming down the stretch, Robes held Mitchell to just 5 meaningful points and then book-ended the quarter with a huge block on a key three-point attempt from the Louisville product with 1:05 remaining and the Thunder clinging to a 3 point lead.
It doesn’t matter if he only scored 2 points. If watching Roberson play defense last night didn’t light you up, you don’t have a pulse.
Stock up on the Coffee
If you long to see the Thunder get their first 4 game winning streak of the season and work the morning shift, horde some extra joe for Friday because the Thunder don’t tip-off against the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City until 10pm est.
My question? Why the late start? Both Oklahoma City and Mexico City are in the Central Time Zone. In fact, the majority of Mexico is in the Central Time Zone. Perhaps one of our readers can enlighten us because I am at a loss to explain it.
Whatever the reason, the Thunder’s trip to Mexico gives me an excuse to listen to a classic from two legends. Gone but not forgotten, Willie Nelson, and the incomparable, Ray Charles: