Oklahoma City Thunder: 2 Seed Likely Topic

I'm liking the looks of Harden... Just sayin.
12/27/2011 12:33 AM

OKC Thunder (2-0, 1-0 road) at Memphis Grizzlies (0-1, 0-0 home)

TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)
Stream: Click here
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 97.1 FM Tulsa)
Time: 7:00 CT

Offensive Rating: Thunder – 105.4 (12th), Grizzlies– 86.7 (29th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 99.1 (10th), Grizzlies – 100.4 (15th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.4 (9th), Grizzlies – 94.6 (12th)

View from the enemy: 3 Shades of Blue

A return to the FedEx Forum. The place of triple-overtime games and manufactured feuds between players.

It’s the first time the Thunder and Grizzlies have met since Kevin Durant’s 39-point and Russell Westbrook’s triple-double Game 7 performances that sent Oklahoma City to the Western Conference Finals. It’s the first time the Thunder will have seen Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph since Nick Collison basically beat them up in the post like he had a lead pipe.

In other words, for a third game of the season, this one feels big.

Memphis coming in: The Grizzlies have played just once, getting romped Monday in San Antonio.

Three Big Things

1. Where’s Shane Battier? And who is this “Rudy Gay” person? Gone is the total nuisance in Shane Battier. Kevin Durant will now just have to deal with Tony Allen mugging him as he tries to run around a baseline screen. But there’s this other guy — Rudy Gay, I believe. Is he good? I guess he’s a new player the Grizzlies got, because he wasn’t involved in last season’s series. It’s a question as to what kind of impact Gay will have. Will he give the Grizzlies a much-needed scorer that can create on his own, or will he open up Durant’s world from Battier and Allen’s terror.

2. Does Serge show up? So Serge Ibaka hasn’t been great the first two games. Is something going on? Is he unfocused, taking a step back or did he overachieve some last season? I think this game will say a lot about where he’s at. There’s really no reason he shouldn’t get 25 to 30 minutes against Randolph and Gasol. I know Scott Brooks likes the way Nick Collison defends Randolph and the new Perk means more minutes for him, but Ibaka needs some playing time. And if he’s not getting it against a team he matches up well with, then there might be cause for concern.

3. Staying under control. In the playoff series, the Grizzlies feasted on stupid Oklahoma City turnovers. The games Memphis won came largely because the Thunder piled up 15, 18 or even 20 turnovers. OKC would get loose with the ball trying to play too quickly and Memphis capitalized by playing smart, possession basketball. The Thunder have more talent. They have the better team, top to bottom. But Memphis can beat OKC because with Gasol and Randolph, they have high efficiency post scorers that can get points consistently. A lot of this game might be determined by how much fouling Collison, Perk and Ibaka are allowed to get away with.

Tip at 7:00 CT. Go O-K-C.

12/28/2011 8:50 PM
Got home a little late, catching up on DVR.

4:45  Ibaka starts the game off with two solid set shots.  He's been kind of uninvolved the first two games so that is a good sign.
4:50  Gasol and Perkins already giving it to each other.  Fun.
4:51  Nice steal by Westrook
4:52  Memphis isn't playing well at the offensive end.  Can't tell whether its us or them.
4:53  Its already clear that the Thunder are going to fight harder on the offensive boards than they did in the first two games.
4:54 Perking bails out Memphis with a stupid foul
4:55 Rudy Gay returns the favor on Durant.  Thanks Rudy!
4:57  Stupid pass by Westbrook
4:58  This game looks like the opposite of the Minnesota game.  Memphis is playing like crap, but they are only 1 back.
5:00  Thabo! (with the 3)
5:01  Lots of blocks from OKC.  One picked up a foul, but I like the trend.
5:02  Westbrook to Durant for the reverse slam.  Up 6!  Great D makes O easier.
5:03 Great defensive play form Rudy Gay of all people keeps the lead from getting bigger.
5:05  Perfect example of what Westbrook gets blamed for that is a team issue.  Everyone standing around (literally) until 4 on the shot clock when Westbrook has to put up a shot.  How about getting open?
5:06  Thabo draws the three shot foul.  He is a visibly better player this season.  Not sure what happened, but hos offensive game is much more present.
5:08  Defense continues to be outstanding as Durant foces a Rudy Gay turnover.
5:09  Not sure what is going on, but Westbrook cannot seem to drive to the hole this season with being called for a charge.  That is the fifth one of the season.
5:12  The Thunder are much more aggressive tonight than the Griz.  The game is being called close so its a solid lead for the Thunder, but fouls are starting to add up.
5:15  Don't make fun of Pondexter as he starts to guard Durant.  It turns out its bad karma.
5:16  Cole makes his 2011-2012 debut!
5:18  The Griz are waking up.  Not only is the lead down to 3, but they are suddenly getting the ball inside.
5:19  Harden vs. rookie just isn't fair
5:23  OJ Mayo looks much better than last season too.  All the crazy athleticism and much more in control.
5:24  Harden makes the big 3
5:25   The Griz announcing crew just used the points scores in Maryland HS ball as a way of proving that their rookie will be able to score in the NBA.  Nice.  I scored in HS too.  No one came knocking for my talents.
5:28  Aldrich looks good out there.  I am not sure why he wasn't getting minutes.
5:29  Bench comes in, suddenly the lead is 10 again.  When have I mention this before.  Harden is the best bench player in the league IMO and we might have the best bench in the league
5:33  Eric Maynor can suddenly play shoot long 3's too??!!
5:35  Worst foul Cook will ever commit  Creates a 3 point play without stopping the dunk
5:37  I wonder if Pargo ever missed 4 straight wide open shots back in Maryland HS ball?
5:39  Jeff Davis makes his first appearance in the NBA since 05-06.  Nice seconds later gets used by Perkins for an "and one".  Fourth guy to get his first minutes of the season just in this game.  Got to love the compacted schedule.
5:44  Griz offensive rebounding is amazing right now.  Its what's keeping them in the game.
5:57  Durant with 4 straight made shots.  He is the Thunder offense so far in the 2nd half
6:14  Not a whole lot going on,Harden draws a few fouls, the Griz continue to O-rebound well,  Thunder up by 2 going into the 4th.
6:15  Harden with the 3.  Mayo is playing a little out of control.
6:19  Thunder seem out of rhythm.  Not clear who is going to be taking the shot from play-to-play.  First time in the game I thought they might lose.
6:21  Cook with another big 3
6:22 Durant with thte three and the lead is 9.  Just looked at the box score so far.  Griz dominating except in 3 point shooting and free throw shooting.  I hope its enough to steal a win
6:24  Now Harden with the 3.  9 9-0 run in less than a minute.  The Griz aren't even defending the 3.  I feel better now.
Durant, Durant, Durant.
What else is there to say.  He won the game.  How often does your 2nd best player go 0-13 and you win the game.  Ibaka got a too liberal with his shots.   He made the two early which meant he could keep taking even after he started missing all of them.  Anyway, another game where it felt like if the other team had played up to the what one expects from them the Thunder would have lost.  Still, 3-0 is 3-0.

12/28/2011 10:54 PM (edited)
Things are quite good when Westbrook can be pretty bad and OKC wins anyway. Love that the 3s are going in this season. Team was near the bottom last season until Cook started getting some minutes.

Like that Aldrich was getting some minutes, gotta hope that by the end of the season he's getting all of Nazr's minutes.
12/28/2011 11:10 PM
Agreed. Doing it on the road against a team some have picked to win the road is nice too.

Mav's tomorrow night!
12/29/2011 2:10 AM
12/29/2011 10:54 PM
12/30/2011 12:06 AM
man there are a lot of train jumping, never seen you around before newbs posting on here

I guess this is better than a Heat train jumping thread

(and here I was expected a Clippers surge)
12/30/2011 2:46 AM
Maynor out for the season. Booo... Reggie Jackson looks like he's going to pick up his minutes.

And OKC won all 3 games in a back-to-back-to-back. Huzzah!
1/9/2012 8:19 PM
Reggie Jackson is an interesting person and player. I'm very intrigued by him.
1/10/2012 12:08 AM
what can you say about mr october? to be back in professional athletics at his age is truly remarkable - his is a story inspiring to everyone I should say
1/10/2012 10:14 AM
Gave Westbrook the max. Gonna hurt later on when it's going to be decision time on what to do with Harden and Ibaka, since with Durant and Westbrook signed to the max and Perkins signed to a big contract there won't be the money to keep everyone.

Keeping Westbrook was the right move though.
1/20/2012 10:31 PM
Get rid of Perkins, that is the answer. Salary is too tight all ready, and you can't let Harden get away from you.
1/20/2012 10:42 PM
Still rolling along. I can't imagine anyone gets their shot blocked more (percentage wise) than Perkins.
2/9/2012 11:49 PM
Westbrook - 26 shots, 3 assists, 7 turnovers, 3 fta's.  Dude, you're Robin, remember?!
2/10/2012 12:06 PM
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Oklahoma City Thunder: 2 Seed Likely Topic

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