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
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
Total Team Effort From The Oklahoma City Thunder As They Blow Out The Chicago Bulls (92-79)

Total Team Effort From The Oklahoma City Thunder As They Blow Out The Chicago Bulls (92-79)

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The Oklahoma City Thunder were coming into tonight’s game on a two-game winning streak. OKC was missing Carmelo Anthony in the lineup last game and returned tonight. The last couple of games Paul George has been able to find his stroke and find his teammates. George didn’t have the monster game that he previously had in this one but was able to watch his whole team flourish. Russell Westbrook was able to get things going after a scoreless 1st quarter he followed that up with 17 points in the 2nd quarter. After Westbrook had that monster 2nd quarter the Big 3 were able to find that chemistry that everyone talks about and get others involved. The Bulls were just having a bad night from the field and weren’t able to get much going as they trailed by 15+ points the majority of the game. The crazy thing is the Thunder Big 3 had 34 points at halftime which was the same amount of points the Bulls had as a team.

The Thunder were playing amazing defense and they let the defense convert into the offense. Russell Westbrook had a couple of plays where he jumped into the passing lane and was able to get to the rim with aggression. When Westbrook has those monster dunks it gets the team and the crowd involved and that’s huge when it comes to game flow/momentum. Overall when you have the reigning MVP willing to pass and get everyone involved while he’s flourishing on his own it makes everything easier. Carmelo came back from his sore back and looked like “Hoodie Melo” throughout the game but still was trying to get back into the flow of the offense. Once Carmelo gets back to 100% it will be a sight to see with Russ & PG. The Thunder weren’t able to have their best shooting night and still were able to put the finishing touches on the Bulls pretty early in the 2nd half. Russell Westbrook finished with 21 points and PG & Melo combined for 7-25 from the field for 31 points.

The Thunder bench has grown over the past couple of games and has been able to handle the lead when the starters get out. Jerami Grant has improved his game and has brought more to the game than his explosive dunks. Grant has been able to assert himself on the defensive end with his blocks, charges, and his rebounding he finished with 15 points. The second unit is still trying to find their niche but they have done an amazing job of playing together and looking for the best shot. The addition of Felton and Patterson with the second unit has given OKC some leadership when Abrines and others come in the game. This bench has been talked about but lately, they have proven that with time and practice they can manage a game and keep things together until the Big 3 get back into the game. The Thunder bench scored 31 tonight and this was a great game to see them gel together and find what’s working and what’s not working.

The Chicago Bulls weren’t able to get anything going on both ends of the floor tonight against OKC. Chicago did have Valentine and Markkanen step up tonight but their combined 29 points. Overall the Bulls don’t have a clear-cut person to go to for buckets and they need more guidance on the court. The Bulls lacked a veteran guy that plays a significant role that can actually score/defend when they need a basket before things get really bad.

The Thunder will faceoff against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday in San Antonio and will look to continue this winning streak they’re on right now. They will be matching up against a Spurs team with Kawhi Leonard but Aldridge has been able to put them on his back so this should be a good game. The Thunder will be hoping that Steven Adams can come back next game in SA as they battle in Texas.

 

 

Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

Nov 16, 2017 No Comments
OKC Thunder Beat The Mavs On Russell Westbrook’s 29th Birthday (112-99)

OKC Thunder Beat The Mavs On Russell Westbrook’s 29th Birthday (112-99)

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The Thunder were coming into this game tonight without Steven Adams for a second game in a row. What the OKC Thunder and the fans didn’t know is that they would be without Carmelo Anthony who was nursing a sore back. With Melo sitting out tonight it was all up to Paul George and the birthday boy Russell Westbrook to carry the load against the Dallas Mavericks. Russell Westbrook celebrated his birthday by rocking his Air Jordan 10 “Why Not” PE that Jordan Brand made for him after winning the MVP.

Paul George also wore a special pair of Nike PG1s that he labed “The Westbrook Party Joints” tonight.

Russell Westbrook and Paul George both went off on the Mavericks tonight and were able to get into a ryhtym for the second time in a row. Both PG-13 and the Brodie combined for 64 points tonight and took it to the Mavericks. This stretch of games have been really good for Paul George as he follows his 42 point performance with a 37 point performance. This is the Paul George that everyone envisioned touching down in OKC and now that Westbrook is learning his sweet spots the offense is flowing the way that it’s supposed too. Russell Westbrook was being his usual self and wasn’t let anything stop him from getting to the rim whenever he wanted. Westbrook had 9 points at the end of the half and ended the game with 27 points. Westbrook has used his leadership and his will to bring the Thunder team together and you can tell that the team is finding their niche right away. The bench has been able to step up as well and without Melo in the lineup Jerami Grant got the call to step up in place of the All Star. Grant had 10 points and 8 rebounds but had some thunderish dunks that has everyone wondering if he will be in the NBA Dunk Contest in February. Overall Grant has been able to step up his play and has shown that he can grow and be reliable in this system. Overall the Thunder played the way that everyone has expected them even if it was against the Mavericks. OKC has used these last couple of games to gel into what they need to be as a whole. The Defense was able to force a lot of turnovers and that turned into fast break points for the Thunder on numerous occations in the game.

The Mavericks have a special talent in Dennis Smith Jr as he poured in 15 points in his first career matchup against Russell Westbrook. Dennis Smith Jr is extremely talented and has shown that he has what it takes to get his team involved and also he’s showed that he can take over a game offensively. Most night Dennis Smith Jr is able to do as he pleases and get to the rim at any moment but the Thunder interior defense slowed that down tonight. Harrison Barnes played a great game tonight and was able to score when the Mavs needed a bucket but the offensive performance from OKC was too much to go back and forth with as they found themselves down by 21 really quick. The future for the Mavericks is very bright with Smith and Barnes running the show for the next couple of years. One thing that the Mavericks fans can bank on is that Dennis Smith Jr isn’t intimidated by Russell Westbrook and always looks forward to a matchup.

The Mavs took the loss and will look to bounce back in their next game. The Thunder will be playing against the Bulls as Cameron Payne makes his return back to OKC the team that drafted him.

 

Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Nov 13, 2017 No Comments