Can the Denver Nuggets Repeat?

This will be much tougher than the UConn Huskies’ recent repeat. This will be tough. Winning four series and sixteen games this NBA Playoff season will be tougher than last season.

But here’s what I do know…the Nuggets have the best starting five in the NBA. They have the most effective player in Jokic. They also have a special player in Jamal Murray who has proven this time of the season dosen’t faze him a bit.

Unless Oke City gets to the Western Conference Finals the Nuggets will still have homecourt in the West.

Plus…the Nuggets have Michael Malone. A coach who knows what buttons to push with his players this time of year. I think Reggie Jackson is the key. As in… can he come close to filling the great minutes Bruce Brown gave the Nuggets on their championship run.

We’re getting ready to head out to Denver and spend some time with our grandkids…Robert (4) and Aubrey (3).

Robert has a big soccer game at Washington Park on Sunday which of course I can’t wait to see in person…while Aubrey has a birthday party to attend. I’m hopeful Robert and I can go over to the public golf course over near the iconic Cherry Hills course and hit our drivers on Saturday. That could be wild.

Of course…being in a ‘real’ NBA city… I’ll be wearing my 2023 Nuggets NBA Championship or my 2022 Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Championship ball caps all over town for the next week as the NBA playin games are taking place.

We plan on spending lots of time at Bonnie Brae Park and Washington Park running, hiking, biking, and maybe even playing some street hockey on the back patio area at the house…where of course I will be ruthless with Bad Litle Dude.

If there’s time maybe I’ll trek over to the Shoney’s Sooner Sports Bar in downtown Denver and watch one of the playin games. I may not have the energy given we might also go play some Mrs. PacMan over at the University Sports Bar & Lounge.

And of course at least one stop at the iconic Bonnie Brae Ice Cream Parlor.

I can’t wait.

You Thunder fans enjoy and appreciate what your team just did for you. Given the ‘city’ they play in…. finishing first in the West is a remarkable feat. You should just stop there and have the parade right now.

Don’t think I haven’t wondered if the Thunder do somehow win the Championship if the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and other Trump white nationlist groups would crash the parade?

I wonder if OKC can cram a million people into the streets of downtown OKC?

Enough of that.

I’m off.

Enjoy the playin games.


Thunder Claim No. 1 Seed in West

Both Denver and OKC end up the regular season at 57-25…yet the Thunder will claim the No. 1 seed in the West due to their 3-1 head to head record vs. the defending champ Nuggets this season.

I’m proud of the Thunder. They didn’t sandbag these final five games and won both the Northwest Division and the No. 1 seed in the West. I like what they did even though this puts them clearly in the toughest draw possible to get out of the West and to the NBA Finals.

If the seedings and the playins go as expected the Thunder will now have to possibly conquer either the Warriors or Lakers, the winners of the Clips-Mavs, and the defending champ Denver Nuggets. Twelve games against thoses three teams and those very experienced dudes on all three teams.. We’ll see.

I’m changing my regualr season awards a bit in this manner because the Thunder didn’t sandbag at the end:

MVP: Shai, then Jokic

Coach of the Year: Coach Mark, then Chris Finch

Rookie of the Year: Wemby, then Chet

My Special TSNS Award for being a guy who does it all: JDub, then Naz Reid of the Timberwolves.

I’m proud of the Thunder they were a +17 in games won from last year’s mark of 40-42.

I’m outtta here though for some time in Denver with my granchildren and the playin games in a real NBA city.

Good job, Thunder dudes.


  • Editor’s note: I’m so glad I caught this video of swarmy Little Nick Gallo surrounded by the the Thunder dudes. If ever a picture told it all, this is it. Bravo… LNG.

Draymond Green’s Five Threes vs. LA Lakers

It’s been a very solid week for me as far as the cancer journey. My labs and my third Pet Scan results pretty much show I’m in a very different place than I was 14 months ago when I weighed 158 lbs. and was crawling to the bathroom. Pretty amazing what happens when you treat your body, soul, and mind with complete respect.

On Wednesday…Dr. Showalter and his practioner revealed all of this to me. They said in essence…”Live hard. Mike. And stay true to this holistic road we’ve outlined for you.”

I nodded and didn’t tell them my hopes of becoming OU’s oldest ever Cheetah-back on defense as a ‘senior’ walkon this upcoming football season. That’s one you keep to yourself. If you know what I mean.

After leaving their office I went over to the beautiful meditation spot just before you reach the Infusion Rooms area on the second floor at Integris Cancer Center.

And I must admit I briefly cried. But it was completely a cry of thanks. My blood guy, Big Mike…the drummer in his band, happened to see me on his break and came over and I told him the news.

He said, ” I thought you were going to die for sure the first time I saw you. This is great. You okay?”

I said,” Yeah… man. I’m just taking the time to take in these past fourteen months. To internalize all of this. To give thanks.”

Big Mike said, “I’m proud of you,” and he then walked back to the lab.

So this was a huge emotional, spiritual week for me. I’ve been watching basketball, but just haven’t felt the need to blog while this was going on in my journey.

Nor has the impulse to write something snarky about Donald Trump and his religous cult followers been something I wanted to blog about.

Congrats to the UConn Huskies and the NC State Wolfpack, who both did a great job in the recent NCAA Tournament. I think every ardent NC State fan has to be immensely pleased with the run their team made this spring. And…I would hope every UConn fan feels glorified by their team being the first mens team since Billy Donovan’s Florida Gator’s to repeat as national champions.

As far Draymond Green and the always semi-dysfuntional Warriors…they’re on fire as we hit the final week-end of the regular season. Two more wins and I would think the Warriors will jump all the way to the 8th seed in the West.

Who would have thought that during this tortuous season of NBA frustration in San Franciso?

When Draymond Green hits five threes in a game it pretty much makes one realize anything is possible.

Have a nice week-end watching the Masters golf Tournament… or just hanging out.


Final Four

Given where I am on my journey…I take nothing for granted. Not a day. Not a week. Not a month.

I honestly didn’t know if I’d be around for this week-end a year ago. But here I am feeling like OU’s first ever sixty-six year old Cheetah-Back for the Sooners.

You never know. Little minor miracles do happen ever so often in this very cynical world in which we live.

Obviously…my basketball heart is with the NC State Wolfpack today as they hope to beat the Purdue Boilermakers and make Championship Monday one to remember for the ages.

In 1983, I was twenty-six years old. Jimmy V was the NC State coach as those miracle Wolfpack somehow defeated the ‘unbeatable’ Houston Cougars in perhaps the gretest upset in college basketball history.

I remember crying watching the ending. Storybook and beyond.

Jimmy V, along with Ernie Johnson, unknowingly are my cancer journey mentors.

Near the end…Coach Valvano said, ” If you do four things every day it’s going to be a good day. Do these four things and everything else will take care of itself. Cry, laugh, be kind, and take the time to give thanks for all the wonderful things which have already happened in your journey.”

I try to live that every day.

Go Wolfpack!

Have a beautiful Final Four week-end.


Golden State Warriors Rout Houston for 6th Straight Win, 133-110

Before I get into Golden State’s road rout of the Houston Rockets for their 6th straight win…let me set the record straight. This spot on my blog is where I intially intended to recap the Thunder’s road game versus the Boston Celtics.

But little did I know Sam Presti was once again going to shut down SGA and JDub in a game of national marquee value, let alone basically ignore the importance of home court advantage for the upcoming Western Conference Playoff tournament.

But this is on me. It’s on me because I was stupid enough to think the tanking, the sandbagging, and the moonlighting of is this incredibly stupid OKC Thunder fanbase was over after the passage of the shady one billion dollar deal Sam Hinkie-Presti got passed this past fall.

These Thunder dudes have no shame. None at all. The Thunder have three marvelous young stars and what they basically showed me in this self-absorbed rout at Boston is they are tanking/sandbaggging to avoid not only the Lakers’ tandem of LeBron and Anthony Davis, but the revamped Splash Brothers who have basically owned their asses for the past decade or so.

I have no idea how Coach Mark even looks his team in the eye at this point. Not a clue at how he does his pregame motivational talks.. So…I guess this evening in Indianapolis… we’ll see if Shai and JDub are shut down again or if Sam Presti and Group are going to genuinely compete for the No. 1 seed in the West which is still literally up for grabs.

This is one of the reasons I keep my little Thunder underground blog going. That being…because I know there’s not one single writer in this market who on the record evers states an honest comment in any of these regards.. It’s pathetic. A never ending ocean of Little Nick Gallos, Low Energy Royce Youngs, Homer King Michael Cages, Thunder Godfather Matt Pintos, and even Jim Trabers for God’s sake. Pathetic.

Jim Traber should retire and just feed the birds and squirrels in backyard at this point. Real men feed mountain lions, deer, and wild turkeys off their back porch. Seriously.

I’ll be back next Tuesday to further this dialogue as I do not want to take away from my joy of blogging about the streaking Warriors and the impending NC State vs. Purdue national semifinal game.

So…I’ve put the video up above of Golden State’s clutch road win at Houston which I think pretty much puts them in the Play-In Tournment. All Warrior engines are clicking right now as we enter the cusp of goal acheivement. If the Warrior trainer and doctors can keep Draymond medicated properly….there might still be a chance to salvage something here.

Right now emerging superstar Johhny Kuminga and Dario are in the process of healing. The Splash Brothers are back. Klay and Chris Paul have shown extreme professionalism in how they’ve handled themselves this tumultuous season. How they’ve dealt with Draymond’s assortment of mental illnesses.

So…for me tonight it will be full focus on the Warriors at Dallas and a slight glimpse here and there of the Thunder’s game on the road versus Indiana.

I guess even a billion dollars for a new arena doesn’t get real NBA basketball in Oklahoma City.

Pre -Workout music time. This one is rapidly climbing my chart. No country music when it’s this time of the day for me. If only the Thunder took their games as seriously as I take my workouts…they might have something working.

If only the Thunder had just a little bit of this in them…..maybe I could blog about them more than I do. It is what it is.


Thunder Collapse in 4th Quarter Choke in Philly

As per the norm…Little Nick Gallo leds the way with two questino in this presser in which the Thunder blew a second half lead of 13 points against a Sixer team which was without Tyrese Maxey and was the first game back for Joel Embiid after his his two month layoff from a knee injury.

Nary a question from LNG in regards to the blown lead which in essence dropped the Thunder back down to third place in the West as both Denver and the very gritty Minnesota TWolves without Karl Anthony-Towns both won their games.

It looks like to me both Chet and Lu were rolling their eyes as to the fluffiness of both of LNG’s questions….but it is what it. At least the game was on TNT and viewers got a break from the Thunder televison broadcast crew.

SGA and JDub didn’t play. It makes no sense to me why they were both DNPs on the same night with a game in Boston tonight. The Philly game by far was the more winnable game unless Boston sits their studs tonight in what could be a great game for national viewers who love the NBA.

It’s been a great basketball ride for me of late as the NC State Wolfpack have magically worked their way into this week-end’s Final Four and in my view are at least 1-2.5 favorites in their national semifinals game versus Purdue. I cannot fathom a scenarion in which Alabama would beat UConn.

Golden State with Draymond playing superbly won its fifth straight last night. Austin Reaves’ very hot Lakers won again last night. The Denver Nuggets’ with Jamal Murray sitting won last night. My MVP Anthony Edwards’ Wolves won last night and we as passionate NBA fans are in for a delightful treat as we sit back and see who emerges as the No. 1 seed in the West with home court advanctage in the Western Conference Playoffs.

It will be interesting to see who does and doesn’t play tonight in Boston. This will be another nationally televised game….I’m all in for and very excited about the fact most of the Thunder’s remaining games will be nationally televised as the OKC Thunder Foreman Scotty Network is just about done for the season…of which I give profound thanks.

We are now offically in the goal acheiving portion of the season. This is when I come alive. The games matter.

Enjoy the game. Could be a great one.


Friday Random Thoughts

Now that OU is in the SEC and spring football is under way I’m using this as one of my official workout videos before I head over to the Health and Wellness Center.

The transformation in my body since last March when I weighed 158 lbs and where I am now is like night and day. My muscle mass is back….my biceps, my quads, my everythings are pretty much like new. I’m weighing in at around 197 to 200 lbs… and quite frankly, I look like I could play the Cheetah Back position in the secondary for Coach Veneables if he’d consider giving a sixty six year-old Stage Four cancer survivor a look.

Yeah, I mean….several people at the gym have seen me wearing my crimson Oklahoma Football: Play Like a Champion T-shirt and asked which Coach Switzer team I played on?

No kiding.

I just kind of winked and said, ” Several of them in the late 70’s under Coach Switzer and Coach Procter.I alternated with Sonny Brown at the safety position.”

In my mind… I did. If George Costanza can be a marine bioligist I can be a former Cheetah back for OU.

Anyway…it is what it is. I wish I could play for the Sooners, but that’s not happening.

But I love using this video to totally psyche myself out before my workouts.

This is what football looked like when you actually tackle the ball carrier or receiver.

I’m completely over OU not making the NCAA Tournament field and am pretty much amped to see Houston vs. Duke and NC State vs. Marquette tonight as we whittle down the field to our Elite 8.

An Easter song of some sort might be nice.

Have a wonderful Easter week-end.


Jalen Green & Rockets Drop Thunder to 3rd Place in the Northwest Division

During the pause in play for the Sweet 16….I watched two very good NBA regular season games. Those being the Lakers stunning double overtime win at Milwaukee, then last night’s thriller in OKC as the scorching hot Houston Rockets took down the OKC Thunder in overtime on the road.

Two incredible performance by two young players on the road in the West by Austin Reaves and Jalen Green.

Austin triple doubled and Jalen almost did the same as he very much esposed what the Thunder look like at the rim defensively without AT&T’s own Chet Holmgren. Looked like the Chet I saw versus Arkansas in the Sweet 16 several seasons ago. As in foul truble and invisible when his team seriously needed him with Shai shut down for the night.

So much fun to watch both of these young guys play keys roles in very important seeding games as the Rockets have climbed to within a game of the Warriors for the 10th seed in the West and the last spot in the play-in tournament.

Meanwhile…out East the Warriors won back to back games versus Miami and Orlando to cling to the 10th spot even with Draymond Green once again acting like a punk of sorts instead of a guy with four rings and supposed veteran smarts and hubris.

Chritsmas Elves…please take Draymond and place him on somebody else’s porch.

This has gotten to the point where the Warriors should work a deal with Draymond and get rid of him. Draymond evidently has no concept of legal good faith perfomance as to his contract. Enough of this bullshit once and for all. Be done with it.

I’m off to watch the Sweet 16 games tonight.


March Madness Moves to Sweet 16

Even though UConn is a prohibitive favorite to repeat as national champions this has been a compelling NCAA Tournament so far. I have never watched as many of the first and second round games as closely as I did this past week.

I was literally captivated by some of the games. I did nothing but watch the tournament and only left the house to work out a couple of times.

And evidently…I’m not the only one who felt this way as CBS reported this year’s March Madness set or nearly set viewing records all four days of the tournament so far.

This is starting to setup a bit like 1983 when Houston was an overwhelming favorite with their Phi Slamma Jamma group which was picked to easily win the tournament. Instead…of course, what we as basketball crazies got was an epic finish with NC State winning on that last second shot by the Wolfpack when a Derek Whittenberg shot airballed near the rim and Lorenzo Charles calmly put it through the net as if it were a designed pass.

Win, Survive, and Advance….by far the greatest ESPN 30/30 film ever made. Maybe…based on what we just witnessed….. something similar is lurking down this Final Four road.

Some of the games this past week were simply incredible. I’d have to rank them in this order of greatness…1 Houston’s win over A&M, 2 Oakland’s win over Kentucky, and 3 NC State’s win over Oakland.

Bravo. Even the NCCA Selection Committee couldn’t screw up those games.

Each one of those games reminded us of the fact that even in the NIL/Transfer Portal era of college basketball there is still a greatness to the concept of a 68 team single elimination tournament to decide the national champion.

My basketball heart at this point two days away from the beginning of the Sweet 16 is with Kelvin’s gritty bunch and with the NC State Wolfpack.

Both teams with compelling paths just to get this far. Houston along with Iowa State the only two Big 12 teams to get this far. And NC State having to win seven straight games in twelve days to reach the Sweet 16…pretty much much like UConn’s improbable late season run in 2011 with Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb.

So many ironies with NC State and Houston at this point of the tournament.

Could either one of the teams derail the OConn monster down the line?

We don’t think there’s any way they could do it in a best of a seven format.

But could happen in one game…on a day or night is what makes this tournament the most compelling basketball tournament we have in place…even in the NIL/Transfer Portal era.

Enjoy the Tournament.


Oakland Stuns Kentucky in Round 1

A disaster for SEC basketball as Kentucky, Miss State, and South Carolina all made first round exits. SEC had eight teams selected. Miss State had no business in this tournament. I’m making a list…..Virginia, Miss State…and BYU so far. Those three should all have had the priviledge of declining to play in the farcical NIT as others besides OU did.

Kentucky basketball needs to discover a new model. The one and done in the day of NIL and the Portal has become a dinosaur as evidenced by Kentucky’s 1-3 record in these past four years. Those kids may be talented, but they look like JV kids as far as basketball smarts and poise.

The best thing which could collectively happen to improve the quality of the college game beyond controlling the Portal, would be to make kids play two years of college basketball. Period.

Even though OU’s leaving the Big 12, my basketball heart will always have a place for the Big 8/Big 12 teams. I hope Houston, Kansas, Iowa State, and maybe Baylor can make a run this year and beyond as well.

What a great game by the Oakland players! This is what the tournament is about. And NC State continued its magical run with its sixth straight unexpected win with a surprisingly easy win over Texas Tech in the night game in Pittsburgh.

I would think the Big 12 commish Bret Yormark has to be very down as to the way both BYU and Tech played yesterday. OU beat BYU 82-66 in Norman. OU lost to Tech in Norman by a score of 85-84 in a game in which the Sooners were wretched at the free throw line. I’m firmly convinced if OU hadn’t blown that nine point lead to Tech in the final seven minutes they’d be playing in this tournament.

Que sera.

I’m making out a list of players OU should pursue in the portal for next season with some common sense attached. Porter…please be looking for my email… El Prez.

I love this Middleton kid for NC State who backs up Pork Chop Burns…the darling of the ACC Tournament. I bet we could get him at a reasonable price. We should also inquire on the Williams youngster from Texas Tech. I rode in the courtside elevator just before tip and his mother informed me her son and Milos (OU’s point guard) played AAU ball together in Vegas during their high school days.

I assume talking to another human isn’t tampering in these days of the Wild West, right? But to all you kids out there looking to play hoops next season….There’s Only One Oklahoma, baby! ONLY ONE!!!!

The SEC is not nearly as tough as Big 12 hoops. It is laughable they landed eight teams in this tournament. Auburn has the best roster by far, but they have UConn looking them in the eyes if the Tigers get that far.

I’m getting ready to settle in for Day 2 of the first round while listening to the Lady Sooners’ first game in Bloomington, Indiana getting ready to tip at noon.

Have a wonderful Day 2 of the Big Dance.