Minnesota TWolves Ends Denver Nuggets Repeat Hopes in Game 7

I knew this was going to be tough for Denver and I wrote as much just as this series was about to begin. These aren’t the same Nuggets from a year ago in that they never replaced departed Sixth Man of the Year Bruce Brown.

Reggie Jackson…bless his heart. I would take any of the Thunder’s young second unit over Reggie.

Denver basically got nothing from their bench these last two games of the series and I think basically Nicola and Jamal wore out in the second half. Michael Porter, Aaron Gordon, and KCP were not what they needed to be.

I also wrote on my blog the Nuggets didn’t have to deal with Naz Reid and Jaden McDaniels in last season’s playoffs. In my mind McDaniels was the Wolves MVP along with Mike Conley in games 6 & 7.

Total congrats to the Wolves. Anyone who thinks this was a fluke wasn’t watching the NBA very carefully this season. They are legit, they’re deep, and they’re well coached. And they have some hubris and gravitas…which I love.

I still love Jamal. The sun still shone this morning at the Deer Creek mini-ranch after the tornados fortunately steered south last night. Several relatives called me and told me to get in a safe room and ignore the fourth quarter since my wife was in Seminole.

I…. of course said I would and then completely ignored their suggestion. I’ve seen Mike Morgan’s act before….I later told my son…” Calm down, I knew I had this right. A drunken blind fool could out forcast Mike Morgan.”

Anyway, moving forward…in the East Finals my heart will be with the Celtics because of Jrue Holiday. In the West…. I’ll be rooting for the Wolves because of Anthony Edwards who almost won my regular season MVP vote.

Denver GM Calvin Booth has some work in front of him this off season. His team needs a bench of some sort if they want to hang with the Wolves and Thunder moving forward.

As far as Ant dropping a ‘M—erf–ker’ at the end of his Game 6 postgame presser…I loved the hubris. Too bad Little Nick Gallo never brings any of this out with the Thunder players in their preschool level postgame pressers.

Be well.


Dallas Mavs End Thunder’s Season in Game 6

Truly a great game!

One of the most dramatic last two minutes of any post-season game I’ve seen so far this season.

My full and complete respect to Shai not just for his incredible season, but the fact he went into that post game presser and took it like a man admitting he fouled PJ Washington on the shot attempt with 2.5 seconds remaining.

Total class. I’m glad I changed my vote to Shai for the regular season MVP.

I thought Lu, Chet, JDub, Cason, and in spots Isaiah Joe were excellent.

Shout out to Chet in that he played in all 82 regular season games, plus the ten post-season games.

The only negative I see is the fact Sam Presti didn’t do his job at the trade deadline and acquire another big to help Chet with defensive rebounding and rim protection. Plus, the Josh Giddey situation should have neen settled in early March at the latest.

The acquisition of Gordon Hayard and Bismack Biyombo is general manager malpractice and Sam Presti should be called out for it. But of course that won’t happen with the Oklahoma City sports media because the writers in this market simply aren’t equipped to objectively cover a big league team like the Thunder whose future burns bright.

Anthony Slater by far is the best beat reporter who has ever covered the Thunder beat, but of course he now covers the Golden State Warriors beat.

If you think I’m being too harsh simply listen to ESPN’s Richard Jefferson’s commentx at the conclusion of this video I posted this morning.

Close your eyes for just a bit and imagine that Derek Lively and Ousmane Deng were on opposite teams this series. Imagine OKC had a scrappy second big like Lively at their their disposal.

Sam Presti…c’mon, dude. You’re one the who said, “Scared money don’t make money.”

Sam Presti…these guys deserve better from their general manager.

I’m going to go fishing and then get settled in for Game 7 tonight in Denver.

Have a blesssed day.


Denver Nuggets Prep for Game 7 After Game 6 Road Blowout Loss.

I’m not making any excuses here, but Denver as a collective group played extremely poor last night. The live ball turnovers cannot happen against this Minnesota group. Period.

It happens. The Nuggets played under a great deal of emotional duress after the two home losses, then used a great deal of energy to win three straight under the scrutiny of Perk and Steven A.


My breathing coach at the Wellness Center, 76 year-old Earl asked,” MJ, where’s the Jamal jersey today…you throwing in the towel?’

I gave Earl a dismissive glare and responded, ” No, Earl….cancer survivors don’t ever throw in the towel. When you first saw me a year ago…I was a 36.5 road underdog to make it to Halloween. Now look at me….I could be starting for Coach Venables as the Cheetah-back.”

Nothing changes for me. The Nuggets just need to rest today. Have a light walk through tomorrow and just basically eliminate the bad turnovers which have plagued them in their three losses in this series. Especially the live ball turnovers.

Let’s not overthink things here here at the internationally acclaimed okcthunderground.com. Denver has Nicola at home.

Just bear down mentally and BE THE BALL. Shut out all the outside noise and be the ball. This is not complex. I’m seriously disappointed with Earl. I may have to replace him with Dorthy on Monday.

Eternal love, MJ.

Coach Michael Malone’s Presser After Game 2 Blowout Loss at Home

Lombardi once said, ” Guys who can draw up a play are a dime a dozen. Show me that unique coach who can undertstand how to motivate each different personality on his team for the duration of a season…and I’ll show you a championship coach.”

Yeah…that’s Michael Malone. I have no idea if the Nuggets will win Game 6 tonight at Minnesota, but just to get to Game 6 considering where his team was after Game 2 is somewhat remarkable.

This isn’t about manhood. It’s about doing your job. It’s about Nicola and Jamal leading and the others following. It’s about taking full responsibiliy for your play and being prideful in what your team is about.

This was a presser after practice the day after the Game 2 home blowout loss. This is a no excuses or let’s feel sorry for ourselves presser.

Lombardi also said, “The more you win, the harder it is to surrender.” Think about that. Winning championships is hard. Very hard at this level.

Since this practice…Nicola, Jamal, Aaron, KCP, Christian, and Justin Holiday have turned it on. Michael Porter, Reggie Jackson, and the benched Peyton Watson need to play better. Each player has a unique manner in which they address adversity and it’s the coaches job to understand on how to get the maximum out of his team.

Tell me how many people know the name of the current GM of the Denver Nuggets. It’s Calvin Booth. Not many people outside of Denver know his name because Coach Michael Malone is old school and coaches like his father used to coach.

Everybody knows who Sam Presti is. Isn’t that odd. Sam Presti has never hired a head coach in Oklahoma City with a personality which would in any way challenge his perceived control of the franchise all the way to the manner in which the basketballs are placed in the racks at the practice facility. I laughed my ass off when I read that in Sam Anderson’s book Boom Town. Perfect nuanced analogy.

Anyway…No 1 Rule of Coaching is Player Makes the Coach.

The end.

Big game tonight in Minnesota for the Nuggets.


Dallas Coasts Past Thunder in Easy Game 5 Road Win

Well…Josh Giddey finally got relegated to the second unit pretty much like I said he should have been several months ago, but instead of replacing Giddey with Aaron Wiggins… Coach Mark went with Isaiah.

Why? Nobody asked that question in this presser? Not one question on why Isaiah?

On my ten player rating list from yesterday….eight of the ten players are two way players…two are one way players in my view…Josh and Isaiah.

I actually thought Giddey handled his new role pretty well scoring 13 points in eleven minutes, but why doesn’t Aaron Wiggins ever get rewarded with a larger role?

Would that be too much for Little Nick Gallo to ask at a Thunder Kid’s Club post game presser?


Basically… when you shoot 10-40 from beyond the arc you’re not going to beat anybody minus the the Washington Wizards or the Detroit Pistons.

Here’s a question I would have asked.

Is J Dub hurt or is he just scared to attack Gabbard and Lively at the rim?

Dub where are you? Phone home with your pretty little astronaut costume on, buddy. Shai needs you. Caution..the next sentence is why I got banned at the Daily Thunder. J Dub….suck it up and attack the f–king rim and give Shai some help and quit playing like the most overrated pussy in this series.

I feel better and I won’t ban myself although Thunder Girl from the Daily Thunder wanted me to ban myself on my own blog one time.


The Mavs are just better. Their GM did his job at the trade deadline and Anal Sam Presti didn’t.

The Mavs added PJ Washington and Daniel Gabbard who have both been awesome for the Mavs since the deadline.

Anal Sam Presti added Gordon Hayward and Bismarck Byombo. Are you serious?

These are the NBA Playoffs…the real season.

The truth of the matter is this series should have ended tonight and would have if Dallas had made their free throws in Game 4.

Coach Mark, dude…here’s what a real coach does today or tomorrow. You, Dub, and Chet go off by yourself and you challenge those two guys to step the FUCK UP and give Shai the help he so desperately needs at this point or the season ends in Game 6 in Dallas.

You know what NBA coach just did that? Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets after the Nuggets lost two games at home. That’s who.

So stressful…writing about the Thunder.

I need my coffee to get back in sync with the Nuggets playing the Wolves at Minnesota tonight in Game 6.

Peace always. Be happy, MJ.

My OKC Thunder Player Rankings Heading Into Game 5

There was a lot of chatter the other day at the OKC Wellness Center and it wasn’t so much about my Jamal Murray jersey, but why Josh Giddey is still starting even with the horrific metric ratings he has so far in this series.

“Guys,” I said, “You’re preaching to the preacher.”

Biker Brian, one of my faves then exclaimed, “But it’so obvious, MJ. Damn…this is worse than Gunnar Gundy. Not even close.”

I was proud of myself. I remained calm and very adult. Then… I replied, “Perk never came off the floor in the 2012 NBA Finals when the Miami Heat went small and shredded the Thunder.”

Biker Brian nodded.

I continued, ” Russell Westbrook was allowed to play out of control whenever he wanted and not answer Berry Tramel’s s gentle questions.”

I delved deeper,” Steven and Andre couldn’t even make a free throw and nothing changed till KD headed off to the Warriors.”

King Charles, a husky black guy, who fancies himself as the group’s Charles Barkley, interjected,”MJ…I didn’t know you knew this much about the Thunder since all I ever read on your blog is about the Warriors, Nuggets, and Trump.”

I smiled, ” When I want to I can shift gears and tell you things Little Nick Gallo and Low Energy Royce Young never knew they never knew. I can tell you what James Harden said to the cab driver as he got out of the cab at the OKC airport after he was traded that fateful night.”

In closing…I said…”Why does this Giddey thing surprise you guys? Sam Presti is an anal retent…period.”

Enough of that.

So yeah, Giddey will probably still start tonight.

But here’s my current Thunder Top Ten Player Rankings heading into tonight’s game.

1 Shai

2 Dub

3 Chet

4 Lu

5 Aaron

6 Cason

7 I-Joe

8 JWill

At 9 and 10… I break into situational considerations. In other words…do I need offense or defence at a certain juncture in the game.

9 Kenrich (defense)

10 Giddey (offense)

So… I actually watch enough of the Thunder to have a pretty good feel about the team.

Hope it’s a great Game 5 tonight.

Eternal peace, MJ

Be happy.

Donald Trump’s Most Recent Rabbit Hole…Not This Time, Bruh

I’m thrilled the Nuggets played so well last night in Game 5. They’re now completely back in control of their own destiny. One more win and they become the first first team in six years to get back to a confernce championship game as the defending NBA champion.

Every Nugget played well last night minus Michael Porter who has now struggled in two straight games. Here’s the good new though…both Justin Holiday and Christian Braun came off the bench and were excellent in crunch time. Coach Malone kept Reggie Jackson on the very short leash I knew he would as a championship coach. Peyton Watson never saw the floor. This is how real coaches handle their rotations this time of the year.

My three Nugget stars went like this…1 Nicola, 2 Aaron, and 3 KCP. I thought this was by far KCP’s best game in post season. He had some air to his game last night. Little Bad Dude didn’t seem to have so much to say after this loss. Know what I mean? You’re either a real tough guy or a fake tough guy. I love this kid…but this learning experience I hope brings him along as a complete basketball player.

Thunder play the Mavs tonight in OKC in Game 5. We’ll see how Coach Mark handles his starting lineup and total minutes distribution.

As Donald Trump slithers down this latest rabbit hole with the Stormy Daniels deal…I honestly could care less. When you live in a state like Oklahoma which is right right there with Mississippi with the worst educational system in the country…you learn to live with this bullshit.

I would guess Trump will win Oklahoma by a 76-82% plurality.


Here’s what I can control…my sense of justice, my bank of wisdom, my objective knowledge, my sense of the truth…and my effort to be compassionate.

Beyond, that…as I’ve learned these past eight years in Oklahoma—it’s probably a waste of time writing much or saying much about Donald Trump. It would be like pissing into the wind. Literally.

Know what I mean?

Have a great Wednesday.

Peace, MJ.

Shai Saves Thunder From Coach Mark in Game 4

So yesterday…I strut into the gym proudly wearing my powder blue Jamal Murray jersey amongst a sea of Thunder dudes. They have come to love me however because of my tenacious work ethic in the room. They love MJ.

So….one of them hoots, ” MJ…you must be very, very happy today and livin’ the good life.”

I give them the Hang Loose sign with my right hand and and reply, “Ya, MJ is very happy. Very happy that I no longer have to grind my teeth watching Thunder bullshit with Josh Giddey still starting when in fact he should be the 8th or 9th guy in the rotation. MJ told you guys this would be the way it goes.”

This starts all of them on their individual greivances with Coach Mark and the whole Josh Giddey bullshit situation.

I smile to myself and whisper to self…”Fuck with them a little bit, MJ. Have some fun.”

So I say out loud while bearing down on the terrain bike, ” Ya….Maybe Coach Mark will start either Gunnar Gundy or Little Nick Gallo ahead of Aaron Wiggins this time.”

They go berserk. MJ loves it.

Let me share something with you….’There is a fine line between bullshitting and lying”, it is up to you the reader to decide if this is how it actually went on Monday inside ‘The Room’.

However it goes…this is my story and I’m sticking with it.

Long story short…Shai’s gritty performance saved the Thunder from Coach Mark’s pathetic decision to keep starting Josh Giddey.

But me? I’m lazored in on Game 5 tonight in Denver.

I couldn’t give a f–k what Coach Mark does or doesn’t do. Fool me once, it’s on you. Fool me twice…it’s on me.

Eternal peace, MJ.

Be happy.


Aaron Gordon’s Game 4 Postgame Presser

So…I wore my powder blue Jamal jersey to the graduation cookout in Seminole this Saturday. And I will admit I gotta a few WTFs and glares from several of my OU friends out there, but when I calmly and without emotion explained why my NBA heart now resides in Denver it somewhat was accepted ….especially after the Thunder lost their second straight to fall behind the Mavs 1-2 in the other Western Conference semi.

I actually love the Thunder players. I think their future burns bright. But at this point in my life…I feel so much more comfortable in Denver because most people there agree with me on the state of Donald Trump and our country. I can openly have conversations about how I see all of this playing out in America.

Plus, of course…there’s Chris, Elaine, Master Robert and Aubrey. Can you believe it… a Seinfeld guy like me ends with an Elaine as his daughter-in-law. God is looking out for MJ. Not a doubt in my mind.

And let me add this….I’m not, nor ever have been a member of the Democratic party. Nor am I even anything remotely close to being lit and woke. In fact….I might be the least lit-woke person in Denver when I’m there.

For God’s sake… I voted for Gerald Ford in 1976 and given the three knuckleheads running this year….my three leading choices right now are all dead. Those being Gerald Ford, Bush 41, and John McCain.

It must be the RINO or squish in me. If only I could click my heels three times and move the mini ranch to Denver… I’d think about it seriously. But I would miss my friends, my wild animals and birds, and my family. So I guess in reality….I’ll just be a dual resident of sorts.

Aaron Gordon was my No. 1 star in this Game 4. Nicola was my No. 2 star and Jamal was my No. 3 star. Kudos to Anthony Edwards for a great game, but his mates didn’t show up.

I’ve come to this conclusion…Minnesota is a better team without Rudy Gorbert. He if nothing else gives the other team an obvious guy to foul on any TWolf offensive possession. I’d foul him more… especially when Ant gets going. Just to muck up the pace. Like a boxer clutching when he’s trapped in his corner. Just foul Rudy.

If the Thunder want to become a legit championship team…this is what they would do….they’d trade Josh Giddey and some other assets and add a player like Aaron Gordon. Aaron would be the perfect fit with Shai, Dub, Chet, and Lu. Hell..Aaron Wiggins could even be that guy, but the Thunder don’t coach that way.

Perfect fit. By the way I’m a Modela type of guy like Aaron.

Coach Malone has been brilliant since the Game 2 home blowout loss. He moved Justin Holiday into Reggie Jackson’s role. Kept Christian Braun in the 7th spot. Removed Peyton Watson from the rotation currently, and shortened Reggie’s leash enormously. The problem with Reggie Jackson is this…he thinks he’s Kobe Bryant and in fact he’s not even close to being Austin Reaves.

Denver bench 27 points. Minnesota bench 13 points. Huge.

I might at a later point post the late first half Jamal fifty-five foot dagger heave. But not now. This post was about Aaron and why I appreciate him so much as a Denver Nugget fan.

What a hsignificant game in Denver on Tuesday for Game 5.


Eternal peace.