The OKC Thunder Win In Paul George’s Return To A Hostile Indiana (100-95)

The OKC Thunder Win In Paul George’s Return To A Hostile Indiana (100-95)

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The Thunder came into tonight knowing that all eyes were going to be on Paul George and his return to Indiana. George played in Indiana for 7 years and came back to a whole bunch of boos from the crowd throughout the whole game. The good thing about PGs return to Indy was the fact he did it with a lot of re-enforcement on his team with Melo, Adams, and Westbrook ready to have his back. Paul George struggled from the field tonight but noticed when his game wasn’t going to make sure to get his teammates involved. Paul George has shown that he can be the ultimate playmaker on the court and didn’t disappoint at all tonight. PG came into tonight’s game ready for the fans to boo him and didn’t allow that to get him off track. The whole game it was about the team and the team success overshadowed the PG return because of the gutsy win tonight. Paul George had 12 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds but had 3 steals on the night. When you talk about elite two-way players Paul George is in the conversation and even on a night where everyone thought he was off he still found a way to prevail with his new team.

Russell Westbrook had another triple-double on the night and had one of those games where he dominated the rebounds and assists. He finished with 10 points, 17 rebounds, and 12 assists on the night. The shooting wasn’t as great as he would have liked as he went 3-17 but like he said it’s about winning games. Russell Westbrook has shown the leadership and at times puts the team on his back when they need a huge play. Westbrook did it all tonight from defending Oladipo to connecting with Steven Adams on the pick and roll. The way he’s playing will sometimes get unnoticed because of the talent around him when it comes to the MVP discussion but Westbrook is right there. The only thing that Westbrook has to work on is finding Melo and PGs sweet spots on the court and that comes with time. People forget that the Thunder didn’t have a long preseason together and the season is their try out period. Westbrook has made his teammates better just look at Steven Adams. The Big Kiwi should be in the Most Improved Player conversation now especially with the 20 point games he has put up the last two weeks. Tonight Adams had 23 points and 13 rebounds against the Pacers in the paint. They didn’t have an answer for him in the paint as Myles Turner was too small to guard him. The Thunder used that to their advantage and made sure to keep feeding Adams in the paint on a majority of the first half touches.

 

The Indiana Pacers had 4 players in double figures including Victor Oladipo who the Thunder had on their team last year and traded for Paul George. He looked really good tonight and had a tough 19 points after getting acknowledged for being the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Oladipo was able to get to his spots and create his jumper with ease something that he improved on over the offseason. The Pacers just didn’t have enough down the stretch as it came down to loose balls and defense. The Thunder made the plays that needed to be made including Alex Abrines with a put back to give him 14 points on the night.

Paul George had the last laugh against the Pacers as he sunk two free throws and then told the crowd to shhhhhhhhh.

PG ended up giving his sneakers that he wore in Indiana tonight to Monta Ellis’ son check out the detail pics below from @beensmoove

The Thunder will be going to Philly to face the Sixers on Friday and look to build on this win tonight in PGs return to Indy.

 

Photo: Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

Dec 14, 2017 No Comments
The OKC Thunder Get Stung At Home By Charlotte (116-103) Led By Howards 23 PTS

The OKC Thunder Get Stung At Home By Charlotte (116-103) Led By Howards 23 PTS

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The Thunder came into this game off the win against the Grizzlies on Saturday and wanted to build on that. Instead they ran into a Charlotte Hornets team that was basically hitting everything and not playing like a 9 win team. The Thunder have to get together on the defensive end and try to make sure that every player is accountable on both sides of the ball. One thing about the Thunder is that they never quit and kept battling throughout the night.

The Thunder just couldn’t stop Dwight Howard who looked like the Howard of 2007 against the Thunder tonight with 23 points and 7 rebounds. The Hornets came out aggressively and they had 6 players in double figures on the night and were moving the ball smoothly. The Thunder had to rely on Paul George and Russell Westbrook tonight as they combined for 50 points. OKC was able to score when they wanted too but when the Hornets went off for 40 points in the 3rd quarter coming out of halftime that defintely put a damper on the situation. The Thunder will need to regroup as they will be facing off against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

 

Dec 12, 2017 No Comments
OKC Wins After A Thunderous Comeback Down 17 Points Against The Jazz (100-94)

OKC Wins After A Thunderous Comeback Down 17 Points Against The Jazz (100-94)

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The Oklahoma City Thunder came into this game trying to get another win but most importantly they wanted to stop Utah’s win streak. OKC has been playing great basketball as of late and were able to keep things rolling tonight against the Jazz. One thing that everyone has found out about the OKC Thunder is that they’re going to fight and scrap in every game. Tonight Russell Westbrook led the charge as he was trying to keep his teammates engaged in the game on both ends. Early in the game the Utah Jazz were able to match Westbrook’s energy as they were able to grab the lead and watch it grow to 17 points. The Thunder had no answer for rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell as he had 31 points on the evening and was able to get anything he wanted in the first three quarters. Mitchell doesn’t play like a rookie at all and showed a lot of poise against everything the Thunder threw at him defensively. OKC basically let Mitchell get his shots off and made sure that the rest of the team didn’t beat them in the second half. The Utah Jazz tried to slow down the game and get the Thunder off their game but it didn’t work in that second half. Overall the Jazz just didn’t have enough fire power down the stretch to put OKC away espeically when leading by 12 points going into the 4th.

Russell Westbrook was looking/playing like the MVP of the league as he finished the game with 34 points, 14 assists, 13 rebounds tonight. Tonight was a night where Russ could do no wrong as he was able to get his game going and he was able to get his teammates involved. Westbrook and Steven Adams have been able to hook up with the Pick & Roll on a nightly basis now. Steven Adams has been balling out of control as he’s had 17 plus points in three straight games now. Adams has been able to take over the paint and he’s been unstoppable on this stretch of games right now. The Thunder have been looking for him and Adams has been able to continue to grow his game right before our very eyes. Adams had 20 points with 9 rebounds on the night as Gobert couldn’t contain the Big Kiwi at all. Paul George had a terrible 1st half but came out in the 2nd half on a mission. George finished the 1st half with 3 points and finished the game with 21 points on the night. George is a streaky shooter and he’s someone that can take over a game just like Russell Westbrook and that’s what OKC needed and got tonight. When you have players like Russell Westbrook and Paul George on your side nothing can go wrong unless they do it to themselves. Carmelo Anthony was able to get it going in the 4th quarter as he and Russ both realized the mismatch that the Jazz had on him. The Jazz had Joe Ingles on Melo and he couldn’t contain him at all in the paint. Melo finished with 14 points but most importantly the team got the win and overall they played great in that second half. The Thunder usually play great the first half and take the foot off the gas in the second half but not this time.

The Thunder will travel to Mexico City to face the Brooklyn Nets and they will look to go .500 on the season and continue this great 3 game winning streak out there.

 

Photo Credit:  Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 6, 2017 No Comments
OKC Thunder Bounce Back Against T-Wolves (111-107) Led By Steven Adams Perfect Night

OKC Thunder Bounce Back Against T-Wolves (111-107) Led By Steven Adams Perfect Night

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The Thunder came into this game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on a 3 game losing streak. This slight skid has had the fans of Oklahoma and league wide wondering can OKC get it together ASAP. The Thunder wanted to bounce back and did just so against the Timberwolves as OKC wanted to establish themselves in the paint early. Steven Adams was playing like a beast in the paint and was not to be denied at the rim. One thing that was noticable tonight was the Thunder were looking for Adams as he went 7-7 in the first half. Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams put their chemistry on full display tonight and took it to the Timberwolves. With the Thunder establishing the paint early it led to players on the Timberwolves to try to help more in the paint on Adams and once that happened it allowed OKC to move on offense. The Thunder were able to capitalize on the open opporutnities from 3 point range as Paul George was able to get his game going.

Paul George had 15 points in the 1st quarter alone and was able to set the tone for the way the game was going to go for OKC. The best thing about this Oklahoma City Thunder win tonight was the ball movement as both Russell Westbrook and Paul George had 7+ assists on the night. The Thunder were extrememly aggressive on both ends of the court and didn’t allow the Timberwolves to have easy looks at the basket. The Thunder battled in this game and were able to use the pick & pop to their advantage against smaller defenders. Overall the Thunder showed what they can do as a team as the OKC Big 3 combined for 60 on (20-49) from the field tonight. When the team is clicking on all cylinders like they did tonight the only thing that can stop this team is themselves. Steven Adams finished the game with a career high 27 points and was meshing with Paul George extrememly well. If Adams can play like this on a nightly basis no one in the NBA wouuld be able to stop OKC. Steven Adams went 11-11 from the field and hit all 5 of his free throws for a perfect game tonight.

The Timberwolves weren’t able to get the easy shots that they’re used to getting as OKC’s defense was all over them. The bright spot for the Timberwolves was Karl-Anthony Towns who had 23 points and was able to flourish on both the defensive end and offensive end. The Thunder had no answer for him but were able to slow down the rest of his teammates. The Thunder were communicating and defending with a purpose tonight against Minnesota. Once Paul George got it going from 3 point land and was able to put on a full display of his game it was tough. Wiggins, Butler, Towns combined for 68 points but didn’t have a chance to get in the grove of the game all night with Roberson and Georges defense. The Timberwolves beat OKC both of the previous times they played against one another but tonight was different. OKC played as a team and moved the ball and Minnesota was being obvious just trying to convert in the paint. The Timberwolves weren’t able to convert on a lot of open shots that they had and that resulted in OKC baskets on the other end. It’s a game of runs and the Timberwolves weren’t able to make that late game push in the 4th when they needed it the most. This time around the Thunder were the ones that got it going on the offensive end and answered the call.

The Thunder will face off against the Spurs on Sunday as they try to keep the momentum going against the Kawhi-less Spurs in OKC.

 

 

Photo Credit: SportingNews

Dec 2, 2017 No Comments
OKC Thunder Drop A Close One Against The Pistons In Statement Jersey Debut (99-98)

OKC Thunder Drop A Close One Against The Pistons In Statement Jersey Debut (99-98)

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The Oklahoma City Thunder were coming off their best performance of the year against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. They wanted to continue that momentum and make a statement on Friday against the Detroit Pistons. The Thunder organization announced that the Thunder will be debuting their new jerseys against Detroit. The “Statement” jersey that OKC wore was apart of the Nike Connect program that was incorporated this year once Nike took over the jersey licensing. The jersey lets you connect to the players iPod and music to see what he listens to before and after games via Nike App. The way the techonology is heading there is no telling what could be next for jerseys. What I can tell you is that the OKC “Statement” jersey is one of the best in the NBA that were debuted and the way the orange pops out it makes a bold statement.

The Thunder played a great game on both ends of the floor in the first half and looked to keep it rolling like they did against Golden State. The Pistons had other plans as tonight against OKC. Andre Drummond wasn’t able to get things going in that first half but came out in beast mode in the second half. Andre Drummond finished the game with 17 points and 14 rebounds on the night. The way that he played in the paint tonight against the Thunder bigs was very impressive. The thing that was impressive for the Pistons is the way they hung in the game and competed.

Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony were getting anything they wanted on the offensive end tonight. Carmelo was able to bully anyone that guarded him on the Pistons whether it be Tobias Harris or Avery Bradley. Melo was able to finish the game with 20 points and he was aggressive on the defensive boards and was defending at a high level. When Carmelo has the help like he does now in OKC he can take advanatage of playing defense and offense while taking breaks. When Melo was in NYC he had to carry the load majority of the time and the way that OKC is clicking on all cylinders now he doesn’t have too. The Thunder may have lost but Melo getting in a groove like he’s been on lately is a great sight to see.

The Pistons were able to get everyone involved in this game as they had 6 players in double figures. The bench kept them in the game and was able to score when the Thunder had some defensive breakdowns. Detroit made this a team effort as everyone stepped up but it also took for the Thunder to miss some big shots in order for them to succeed. Reggie Jackson had 12 points on the night but was able to get the ball to his teammates in the right spot and he picked his moments to be aggressive on offense. Reggie Jackson was a true vocal leader tonight and was able to make some tough plays down the stretch against the Thunder. He talked about his time in OKC and how it made him grow as a player and that showed out there on the court tonight.

Russell Westbrook has shown that he can lead this team as a vocal leader and also as the points/assists/rebound man if they need it. Westbrook has shown that whatever the Thunder need him to be on a nightly basis he will do it no matter what and that’s very clear. Russell Westbrook proved that tonight as he was able to punish the Pistons and get to the rim whenever he wanted too. When Westbrook had his moment to takeover he missed some shots that he usually makes in the clutch. The Pistons put Avery Bradley on him for that last stretch and made him for work the 3 pointers that he didn’t make at the end. Russ struggled from the 3 point line going 1-10 from long range but still had the trust from his teammates. Russell Westbroo finished with a triple double of 27 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds. Paul George didn’t have the best night as he was getting bad calls against him and he wasn’t able to get back in the flow of the game. Paul George had 16 points and was able to defend and get in the passing lanes to help but it wasn’t enough to get the win tonight. PG was talking about defensive breakdowns and what they needed to do better in order to win tomorrow against the Mavs.

 

Photo Credit: (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nov 25, 2017 No Comments