Don’t look now, but with Oklahoma City’s solid 113-101 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night they could possibly be making the argument they have a team which could make some noise this post season.
Once again CP3 was the best player on the floor during Winning Time. Every metric stat even the Daily Thunder tweety bird nerds adhere to would support this claim so it’s okay for me to write this on my blog.
This is very simple. Chris Paul has been the NBA’s Drew Brees this basketball season and a viable MVP contender.
Chris Paul has been glorious. He’s taken a basketball season of predicted gloom and turned it into something memorable to date.
Say what you want about the Durant-Westbrook teams which made it to four conference finals and one NBA Finals—but in reality this is the first time in the Thunder era the team actually looks like they understand the basics of the game.
I don’t want to be on here dissing Billy Donovan or Scott Brooks or Maurice Cheeks, but for the first time since the team moved here from Seattle they don’t look like one of the dumbest teams in the league.
This team does little things. They win on the road. They win close games. They value the ball in the fourth period. They don’t play like a bunch of prima donnas. They pass the ball. They don’t pout. Lu Dort plays like Nick Collison. They find a way to win.
They play like a team
On a night when Gallo, SGA, and Dennis went a combined 20-55 from the field against a Denver team which was the No. 2 seed in the West coming into Chesapeake Energy Arena it didn’t matter because Chris Paul was clutch.
Bolt that Daily Thunder tweety-birds.
Chris Paul picked up the slack and scored 29 points on a 11-17 shooting night. But per the usual this season–most of the scoring came in the second half and the fourth period. Every time the Thunder needed a bucket Chris Paul obliged with a clutch basket to keep the Nuggets at bay.
And then there was Steven Adams. Fresh from a much needed All-Star break…Steven Adams looked like 2016 post season Stevo. He ran the floor, he jumped, and on a night Jokic went for 32 points–Adams off-set the Joker with a 19 point, 13 rebound game of his own. Without Adams the Thunder probably don’t win this game or at least by this comfortable of a margin.
Shai had a bad shooting night, but didn’t pout. Instead.. he almost triple- doubled with a 11-9-9 night.
On the night…seven Thunder players scored in double figures and not one Thunder player had a negative +/- rating on the night.
Darius Bazley was still out with a knee injury and Abdel Nader took his minutes while Diallo was a healthy DNP. In all…Billy Donovan played this like a post season game and used nine players on the night.
It was a big win for the Thunder and it showed what they could possibly do if they meet up with the Nuggets in the first round.
Next up the desperate for wins San Antonio Spurs come to the Peake for a Sunday evening game.