Here’s what we learned from the final OKC preseason game vs the Nuggets
Last nights game, I'm sure, was the talk of Oklahoma City. While Game 2's loss seemed to be a strategic error, Game 3's loss was chalked up to things like Durant's fouls and missed free throws. But last night, you couldn't chalk the loss up to anything but a lack of confidence.
When I watched the Thunder today, I thought they had solved a lot of problems. But as soon as those problems were solved, it seemed a bunch of all-new problems arose.
As some of you know, I spent last night at the game on press row. I was also able to drop in on a few press conferences after the game. There were a few things about last night's game that stood out to me, so let's hear what some of the players and coaches had to say about what went down.
Thunder 105, Heat 94: Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha Save The Day (2012 NBA Finals Game 1 Full Recap)
This is just way too cool. When Kendrick Perkins starts off the game with a football-like hike through his legs to Russell Westbrook, you KNOW the Thunder are ready to play. But if you were caught up in the craziness of the arena, I highly encourage you to watch it all over again. The game was an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end.
Thunder 107, Spurs 99: Doubts in My Mind, But I'm Still Not Blind (2012 Western Conference Finals Game 6 Full Recap)
What to say, what to say? In fact, I won't say anything. This game was legit, and everybody who's reading this article knows what's up. Let's just talk turkey.
Spurs 101, Thunder 98: Reality Sets In, But Hope Abounds (2012 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals Game 1 Recap)
Disappointment. Things were looking so bright heading into the fourth quarter, before Jackson and Ginobili stepped up and shut things down.
Thunder 106, Lakers 90: Offensive and Defensive Flaws, or Grasping at Straws? (2012 NBA Playoffs WCSF Game 5 Full Recap)
For this full recap, I'll be focusing on a few key areas that the Thunder struggled with in this game, and analyzing how they could have dealt with them better. I know that the Thunder won by a good margin when it was all said and done, but in order to move past a team like the Spurs, they've got to recognize some key weaknesses.
Let's enjoy this moment while we can. Forget about the Spurs, at least for tonight. In the span of a few mere weeks, the Thunder have defeated the two teams that have knocked them out of the playoffs, the Mavericks and Lakers.
I know a lot of people want me to complain about the refs, but I'm not going to. What you get is what you get, and I don't know what else you guys could have expected with Joey Crawford refing the game. But for the love of apples, this game was painful to watch.
Last night's 77-75 result was a total contrast to Game 1, where the Thunder scored a whopping 119 points on their way to an easy victory. The offense was on pace for a normal game early on in the first half, but things totally halted in the second half. Here's some of the reasons why.
Thunder 78, Lakers 75: A Second Half So Ugly Your Mom Couldn't Love It(2012 NBA Playoffs WCSF Game 2 Recap)
Once again, the Thunder somehow saved themselves from a massive hole. I'm starting to think something fishy is going on.
Relief. Tonight's game was a totally different game than the one we saw on Saturday. Rather than relying on some late-game heroics, the Thunder relied on sound basketball strategy and some of the steadiest freethrow shooters in the league.
I've already described my emotions surrounding the game, so in this recap, I'd just like to touch on a few things that went right and wrong tonight.
Thunder 99, Mavericks 98: Opening the Playoffs with a Durantastic Bang (2012 NBA Playoffs WCQF Game 1 Quick Recap)
KEVIN. DURANT. WATCH IT AGAIN GET EDUCATED, SON JUMP OVER ROOFTOPS AND RIP UP CHAIRS Wait, this was game 1?
At the end of every game, Welcome To Loud City hands out its awards; Thunder Wonder, Blunder, Down Under, and Plunderer. Throughout the season, I've been keeping a running tally of the award recipients in order to award our annual and highly cherished "End of Year Awards." Awards are presented to the player who had accumulated the most of a given award over the course of a year.
Nuggets 106, Thunder 101: At Least We Don't Face Them in the First Round....Hopefully (2011-2012 Game 66 Recap)
It's been a wild and wacky shortened season, and, unfortunately, it ended in disappointment tonight. Despite Scott Brooks pulling his starters yesterday against the Kings, he decided to play things a big differently tonight and put his starters back in. But, disappointingly, the Thunder starters flat out lost this game.
In a meaningless game, there's usually not much to cheer for. Fans of bad teams turn into vipers and just want to tank for a good pick, and fans of good teams usually just sit there hoping their star players don't get injured. But this game....was different.
What if World Peace never hit Harden with his elbow? Would the Thunder have won this game? What if both of the Thunder's plays at the end of regulation and the end of OT weren't ridiculously low percentage threes? What if Kobe Bryant wasn't the greatest clutch player of all time? What if I ate a hamburger for lunch instead of a chicken sandwich?
The Thunder started out from behind in this one, climbed back into competitiveness, gained a lead in the third, and maintained it throughout the fourth. They never managed to completely pull away, but the Kings never really threatened to make a serious run.
Thunder 109, Suns 97: Harden Gets in the Groove With Career-High 40 Points (2011-2012 Game 62 Recap)
"I think once anybody gets into a groove and their shots start flowing, their confidence gets higher." -James Harden
The Thunder dominated the first half, and played excellent defense throughout. But they lost. Because of a terrible, terrible second half offensive collapse.
Thunder 115, Timberwolves 110: Despite 5 Injuries, Timberwolves Make This One Fun to Watch (2011-2012 Game 60 Recap)
You know, I really didn't think the Timberwolves could even come close to challenging for a win. And usually when things don't turn out how I thought they would, I say that the Thunder didn't do X well, or the Thunder didn't do Y. But tonight, I think I'm going to take a different approach.
Thunder 115, Kings 89: The Game Which Will Be Remembered only for "The Slam" (2011-2012 Game 59 Quick Recap)
The Thunder outright dominated this one. The game was basically over by the half.