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No rumble in the Thunder yet

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But fear not, slow starts happen.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder fall to 0-3 after losing to Sacramento in their home opener.
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

We find ourselves a week into the NBA season. Most teams already have played three to four games. We are clearly deep enough to start understanding what certain teams are and what certain teams are not. Every team has their strengths and weaknesses established. What you see is what you are going to get.

See how ridiculous that sounds?

Let us hold our horses. Teams have barely broken any sweat yet.

The Oklahoma City Thunder sit at 0-3 to begin the season. A competitive game in Golden State on ring night without their starting backcourt is nothing worthy of shame. But the other two games leave Thunder fans scratching their heads. Follow that Warriors loss up with a late game collapse against the Los Angeles Little Brothers in LA and a home opening disaster against the NBA’s version of the Browns — the Thunder have made less of a cracking sound than a sheet of bubble wrap.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook dropped 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists in his first game of the season.
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

If three games matter, then the Rockets are going to have a historic fall from the first seed in the West to a sub .500 team.

If three games matter, then how can the Celtics compete in the East when they are given fits by the Knicks even without the Unicorn?

If three games matter, give Jonas Jerebko the MVP award. His rebound tip-in in Utah saved the Warriors’ season.

As humans, it is natural to react instinctively. Critical thinking is a skill. Evaluating the reality of a situation is a skill. We often find ourselves caught up in the moment and act as if a brief period of chaos is a representation of the entire picture. We like answers. We like jumping to conclusions. The puzzle is not put together yet and the idea of pieces laying around makes us tremble in anxiety.

Even though the Thunder were outscored 37-15 in the fourth quarter against the Clippers and even though De’Aaron Fox and Iman Shumpert ruined Russell Westbrook’s return, we need to R-E-L-A-X, as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers once brilliantly stated.

Think of this experience as a new vehicle. Each season is a brand new car coming off the lot, and 30 different drivers have 82 chances to master control of them. It will take time adjusting to both the gas and brake pedals. The steering wheel might feel awkward to our hands. We need to read the manual a few times to fully comprehend what the dashboard is telling us. Then we have to figure out the windshield wipers. The seat adjustments. The radio. The air conditioner. The headlights, tail lights, high beams. The sunroof.

These are just the gadgets. We can only worry about that once we have our engine, gas tank, etcetera all working properly (as you can tell, I am no car expert).

This team has too much talent to continue struggling. You cannot have an MVP player and another All-NBA caliber player and be mediocre. That is unprecedented, and do not expect that trend to change with this Thunder team. They need to start playing better defense and learning how to put the dagger into the hearts of the opposition. To revert back to the automobile theme, they need to keep their foot on the gas for 48 minutes every night.

Russell Westbrook is a superstar. Paul George is one of the 15 best players in the world. Steven Adams is a monster. Jerami Grant is a multi-faceted player who provides a spark. Dennis Schroder is a sixth man of the year candidate who shines in big games. Last but not least, the best wing defender in the NBA is not healthy yet. Let Andre Roberson airball his free throws. As long as he holds James Harden to a 6-17 shooting night, then so be it.

For those who feel disgusted about the first three games of the season, that is fair. The Thunder have been less than mediocre and that should not happen.

On that same note, for those trying to bring firetrucks to a candle flame, stop wasting your time and stress.

The Thunder will be fine. And so will you.

Poll

Will you be able to R-E-L-A-X this week?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Yeah, we cool!
    (123 votes)
  • 47%
    No way!
    (110 votes)
233 votes total Vote Now