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Robala ka kgotso, Repose en Paix, Rest in Peace Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
"People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love." - Nelson Mandela http://t.co/Z6A3lCTpDY
To all my Oklahoma City folk, stay safe out there and please be careful.
First thing I see on arrival at New Orleans airport: Entire Saints store, including TV looping their last win http://t.co/gYDehBHHPD
If they don't, their continued inconsistency on defense will hold the Thunder back as much as anyone or anything else.
It's time they both step up defensively.
And it served as an example of how Durant needs to be much better on that end. He's in Year 7, and Westbrook is in Year 6.
But that stretch helped get Portland back in the game and had as much to do with the Thunder's loss as anything else.
No one is talking about how Batum took it to Durant in the third quarter last night.
But they haven't, despite being superbly gifted & talented. There's no reason they should be let opponents off the hook b/c of spotty D.
If Durant and Westbrook committed to playing defense, Brooks would have more options and might feel comfortable making a change.
Their inconsistency on that end has forced Brooks to stick with two one-dimensional players in the first group.
But the truth is Brooks has long been handcuffed by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook's defense.
During an awful 3rd quarter, I asked if it's time Brooks changes the starting unit. It needs more balance & better starts to the 1st & 3rd.
Jeremy Lamb has shot 50 percent or better in seven of the past eight games. He's 37/68 on FGs (54 percent) during that stretch.
2) The ref basically issued a make-up call for the moving screen Perk set on Batum on the previous play that got KD free for that corner 3.
Two things about Kendrick Perkins' illegal screen in the final minute. 1) He raised his right arm and made contact, and Wes Matthews sold it
Here's Kevin Durant, pregame, on if LaMarcus Aldridge is underrated: http://t.co/NUoF6cgBfX
KD: "Unfortunate loss for us. I'm pissed right now. I felt like we had that game."
KD on his late defensive lapse: "I messed the game up at the end, got lost and (Batum) hit a three. I can't do that to my team."
Kevin Durant: "I messed the game up at the end of the game. I got lost and (Batum) hit a 3. I can't do that to my team."
Last season: Aldridge with Perk on the floor: 37.8 percent shooting (26.2 minutes). Aldridge with Perk off: 48.4 percent (15.8 minutes).
And that's not an excuse. It's a fact. Team beats OKC, it's a great win, no matter the circumstances. That's long been the Thunder's reality
OKC had a great chance to win. Down 105-104 with 1:13 left, KD has a wide open look from the corner for 3. Just didn't make that one tonight
Nobody likes to point to the Thunder being on a back-to-back as part of the reason for a loss. Ever. OKC doesn't get that luxury. It's true.
If anything, Brooks' mistake was probably subbing Perk a minute or two too late.
Blazers beat the Thunder 111-104. KD with 33, Westbrook 21, Ibaka 13 and 10 rebounds, Lamb (10) and Jackson (12) combine for 22.
Blazers beat the Thunder 111-104, breaking OKC's eight-game win streak. LaMarcus Aldridge (38 points, 13 rebounds, five assists) the star.
I actually liked the sub of Perk late. LMA was abusing Ibaka and Perk has been OKC's best defender on him the last few years.
Durant just fell asleep and allowed Batum a wide open 3.
KD loses Batum on a screen, great playcall by the Blazers, huge three. Portland up 108-104 with 29 seconds left.
Perk's gonna get blamed for that illegal screen, but Westbrook went way too early, hanging Perk out to dry on it.
I suppose what it does is pulls Aldridge out of the paint and forces him to stand on the perimeter, making isos for KD and Westbrook easier.
With Aldridge guarding Lamb, why are the Thunder not running him off screens, isolating or doing something there?
Season-high 34 points for LaMarcus Aldridge. Killing Serge right now.
KD with 31 points. His eighth 30-point game of the season.
Along with his 28 points and 10 rebounds, LaMarcus Aldridge has more assists (5) than the Thunder's entire starting lineup (4).
With Durant at the 4 and three guards, the Blazers have had LaMarcus Aldridge guarding Jeremy Lamb the last few possessions.
Westbrook and Durant have always been able to make up for the starting unit's flaws. But with Westbrook not himself, things look different.
Blazers outscoring OKC 43-25 in the second half. Tired legs or not, rough performance.
Foul count disparity is starting to get severe: Thunder with 19, Blazers with 12.
Steven Adams with the catch of the year.
Kendrick Perkins may not be able to make that catch/finish if he had a trampoline.
First game this season that the defensive rebounding has been a big, glaring issue. At least that I can remember.
"We've always done it this way" is faulty logic in any walk of life. And the expiration date is nearing on "we've won a lot of games."
LaMarcus Aldridge's season-high is 30 points. He has 28 (and 10 rebounds) heading to the fourth.
Blazers outscore the Thunder 35-21 in the third quarter, lead 83-80 heading to the fourth. Should be a good finish.
When is it time for Brooks to shake up the starting lineup?
That pass from Adams. THAT PASS.
Aldridge with 24 and 10 now. Best player on the court this half.
Different night, same story: All Thunder starters with a negative plus/minus, five of six bench players with a positive one.
The big problem for the Thunder right now is that they're playing incredibly stupid.
LaMarcus Aldridge with 20 points and nine rebounds midway through the third. 24-10 Blazers run has them up three.
Rough start to the third by the Thunder starters. Getting outscored 18-8. Blazers within one.
Two things: 1) What kind of smack talk is "go back to [insert place]" and 2) if KD did say that, OF COURSE he would say "please."
Thunder box score at halftime. Strange: 59 points, 23 made FGs, only six assists http://t.co/2U4lNQCpHZ
Thunder lead the Blazers 59-48 at the half. Durant with 17 and 6 boards, Westbrook with 10, Lamb and Ibaka both with 8.
Anybody catch the Showtime piece on Durant? If so, how was it?
Thunder bench: 22 points on 10/17 shooting. Blazers bench: 12 points on 4/11 shooting. Second-unit continues to shine.
Big-time first half from the Thunder, leading the Blazers 59-48. KD leads the way with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.
KD: 16 points, six rebounds and a massive and-1 dunk in the first half. Thunder up 55-47.
Sign spotted in Portland crowd -> "OKC: Softer than Drake"
Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge both with 12 points and 5 rebounds in the first half. Controlling the interior.
Jeremy Lamb is 34/60 (56 percent) shooting in his past eight games. That's getting it done.
First half minutes for Perry Jones: An immediate rebound putback.
Westbrook and Ibaka a combined 7-of-26 shooting in the first quarter the past two nights.
A lot better first quarter tonight than last night: Thunder lead the Blazers 27-25 after one. KD with 9 points, 5 rebounds.
Reggie Jackson had KD open on a swing, said 'Nah' and drilled a three. Confidence keeps building.
Three first quarter turnovers by Kevin Durant. He had cut down on them recently. Still 10th in the NBA at 3.6 per game.
Steven Adams just got called for being an illegal brick wall that Wesley Matthews ran into.
Blazers frontcourt -- LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez -- with 12 points on 5/6 shooting in the opening minutes. Portland up 14-12.
Two first quarter fouls on Damian Lillard.
Thunder-Blazers about to tip in Portland. The teams have a combined 28-6 record.
Who's Thundering Up on Twitter tonight?
Nobody has more impressive pregame dunks than Perry Jones. Just threw down a nasty windmill.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are the headliners, but Wes Matthews is Blazer to watch tonight: Averaging 16.6 pts on 54% FG, 51% 3FG.
Scott Brooks said defending the three was biggest key against Portland. Blazers average 9.5 makes (4th in NBA) on 41% shooting (2nd in NBA).
Thunder 2.5-point underdogs in Portland tonight. OKC is 13-0 as a favorite this season, but 0-3 as an underdog.
KD on if this is the best bench the Thunder has ever had: "Only time will tell. But right now, they’re definitely on their way."