LA Clippers Advance To Western Conference Finals

Another great night for the Sam Presti claim to fame as the best AAA affiliate in the NBA.

The Clippers without Kawhi Leonard stunned the NBA world by coming back from a 25 point second half deficit to win their second round series and advance to play the Phoenix Suns in the conference finals.

Thus, in the West we’ll have the Chris Paul-Cam Payne Suns taking on the Paul George-Reggie Jackson Clippers.

For all of us who have ever dissed Reggie Jackson it’s a day of reckoning as I thought he was the Clips’ MVP in this game even with Terrance Mann scoring 39 points.

So in the West…we’ll have two teams laden with Sam Presti all over their competitive makeup. While in the East if the Nets can win Game 7 tonight at home we’ll have the Durant-Hardenp-Green trifecta.

Three of the Final Four teams could have Oklahoma City DNA all over their post season relevance this June.

And then to make things even better…Sam Presti unloaded Big Al Horford’s contract to the Celtics for Kemba Walker’s equally horrible contract and extracted Boston’s first round pick in this upcoming draft as well.

It was a vintage Sam Presti Day and I’m certain David Stern has a smile on his face in hoops heaven.

Durant, Green and Harden Win Game 5 For Team Thunder In Brooklyn

The oppressive humidity has somewhate quelled my blogging this past week. But I did watch the the OU womens’ softball, the Avs’ and Bruins’ defensive collapses…and of course former Thunder guards Chris Paul and Cam Payne advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Phoenix vs. Brooklyn would seem just about right as the Thunder question their own sustainability a week from now with the lottery order being announced.

Who would have thought you could have taken Jeff Green, KD, and Harden and made a run? Who would have thought you could take an aging CP3 and Cam Payne and make a run?

Congrats to Jeff Green on his career high post season game tonight as the Nets have a 3-2 lead in their Eastern semis with the Milwaukee Bucks.

I just don’t see how Giannis wins a ring as the primary closer since he can’t make free throws. That just seems flawed to me.

Anyway…congrats to all the former Thunder players on the cusp of making the NBA Finals.

And throw in the fact Blake Griffin of all people has found a basketball safety net with Kevin as well. Maybe the Proud Boy hater racists in Oklahoma would give KD some credit if he wins this title without Steph and Klay.

Life can sure be funny as it unwinds before us.

Phoenix vs. Brooklyn would tug at all of my heart strings.Sam Presti just loves to make trades. Oh, boy.

Phoenix Rolls In Game 1 Over Nuggets, 122-105

Of the eight teams now left in the NBA Playoffs…. I would say at this point I’d probably like to see the Phoenix Suns vs. the Brooklyn Nets in the Finals.

It would combine former AAA Oklahoma City players on both teams and it would be an obvious heart tug story for coach Monty Williams who’s life changed so tragically back in the 2016 season as an assistant for the Thunder.

And who wouldn’t want Chris Paul at the least to make the NBA Finals for a first time in his career?

An interesting coaching matchup for certain with Monty Williams versus Steve Nash.

Plus the Phoenix fans in my view have been the most ardent so far in these playoffs with their support of their basketball team.

Plus…there’s the Kevin Durant story. It would be nice to see Kevin Durant move on completely away from the narrative his career took when he left OKC for Golden State.

I hope most basketball fans in Oklahoma City can let go of that exit and appreciate Kevin Duarnt for what he’s truly been since he entered the league. That being…probably the second best player behind LeBron James.

Which brings us to this question given the fact for the second time in the last three seasons LeBron struggled healthwise at the back of a season.

At the conclusion of these NBA Playoff who will assume the mantle of the current best player in the game?

LeBron, Kevin, Kawhi or perhaps Jokic?

I know that with this parity with these eight teams it’s going to be fun watching the NBA being reshaped somewhat for the next generation of players.

Odicci-Sooners One Game Away From WCWS Championship Finals

This was a pretty cool moment for Patti Gasso’s team which was on the brink of elimination on Sunday. There’s nothing like seeing the ball leave the park at a critical moment. You know how I love that Joe Carter Jr. moment and how it shaped me as a man.

This is Kenzie Hansen with an insurance two run homer as the Sooners survived Odicci Alexander and the James Madison Dukes with a 6-3 win on Sunday.

Tiare Jennings actually had the game winner with an RBI double before Hansen went yard.

Given it was a rough week-end for the Colorado Avs as it was very tough sledding in Vegas. That just goes to show how important the fans are in getting a team rolling. The Bubble was long gone in Vegas and it won’t at the park in Oklahoma City today either.

If the Sooners can win this afternoon they will make the Finals of the CWS against the winner of the Florida State vs. Alabama game.

To me…the womens’ softball tournament is more fun than the mens’ baseball tournament because the games are so fast…kind of like hockey and basketball. When you have equally talented teams the game moves and is pretty fun to watch. Two of my friends have daughters who played college ball so that’s helped nurture me as a fan of the game.

Little Aubrey Jackson’s grandfather will be getting her a glove to play third base for certain. Little Robert…a hockey stick.

If James Madison wasn’t playing OU today…I’d be rooting for them. It’s quite a story…an unseeded team on the cusp of making the WCWS Finals. Kind of like Steph Curry when he took little Davidson to the Final Four.

If James Madison were playing Alabama today… I’d be at the park screaming for Odicci and her mates like a maniac.

You know..what we could have though is an Alabama vs. OU final with OU as the home team instead of playing the SEC in their Sugar Bowl venue. Of course..last time that happened in 2014—the Sooners pistol whipped the Tide 45-31 before Saban went high octane with his own spread offense.

Could be a harbinger of sorts as we get into next college football season with the Sooners’ being ESPN’s No. 1 rated team heading into next fall.

BTW…I’m going to rank OU’s current top ten players sometime later this month. OU is loaded back like in the early days of Switzer ‘almost’.

Anyway…Odicci—I love your story. If you beat OU today on their field with all those crazy fans you’ll have done what Steph didn’t do at Davidson.

Good luck, kid. I mean that. This is why we play sports and why we compete as humans.

Damn…I almost want you to beat OU today. Almost.

Boston Bruins Win Game 3 On Brad Marchand Overtime Goal

This was a great game as we all thought it would be. Just a little over three minutes into overtime Brad Marchand ended it with a goal which literally required a perfect shot.

The Boston Bruins now lead their second round matchup with the NY Islanders 2-1 as a consequence of Marchand’s third career playoff overtime game winner.

Tuuka Rask made two huge saves in the OT which gave Marchand his opportunity and he made the most of it.

Chris Jackson is going to have a problem if it turns out to be the Bruins vs. the Colorado Avalanche in the Finals. As in who he’s going to root for in the Stanley Cup Finals.. If the Denver Broncos somehow end up with Aaron Rodgers… I’ll have a decision to make as well.

In the two games in the NBA’s Western Conference…yawn.

Anthony Davis couldn’t go beyond five minutes in Game 6 and that’s all she wrote for the defending champion Lakers. Devin Booker scored 47 points and was clearly the MVP in this first round series.

What does this say about last season’s bubble champions or the team they played against…the Miami Heat?

Both go out in the first round playing like shit. Rob Pelinka has nothing on his roster beyond LeBron and Anthony Davis. Jimmy Butler didn’t show up for the Heat and we wonder if the Bubble gave us a fraud championship of sorts.

But congrats to the Phoenix Suns who now given the fact have beaten the defending champs appear to be legit contenders. I think it’s nice for the game to see something different.

The Phoenix Suns vs. the Denver Nuggets should be fun. My son is beside himself in Denver right now. Monte Morris lives right down the street and goes to the same park in Bonnie Brae… which btw has the best ice cream shop in America a few blocks from the park where I sit and watch Little Robert play when we visit.

A note to Sam Presti as we watch these Western Conference playoffs… Donovan Mitchell was the 13th pick in his draft class, Devin Booker was the 13th player taken in his class… Nikola Jokic was a second round pick as the 41st player taken. These are the three best players in YOUR OWN DIVISION.

You do your job in this summer’s draft and pick a player to go along with SGA and we shouldn’t be hearing anymore bullshit about the need to tank again next season.

Mikko Rantanen Overtime Goal Propels Colorado Avs To Game 2 Win, 3-2

The Atlanta Hawks, Philly Sixers, and Utah Jazz all clinched their respective series 4-1 last night, but I was watching hockey.

This Colorado vs. Vegas second round series should be a conference final, but due to the NHL having to redraw divisions for the Canadian teams during the pandemic—the best two teams with the best records in the regular season are squaring off in the second round.

The Colorado Avs are on a roll with a 6-0 start in these Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But this was a game they should have lost as they were outplayed in both the second and third periods.

Colorado netminder Phillipp Grubauer bailed out his team and when they got a powerplay play opporunity in overtime it was Nathan McKinnon assisting Mikko Rantanen on the game winner.

An excellent game. One in which the Vegas Golden Knights may look back on as a missed opportunity.

The Boston Bruins at the NY Islanders tonight in what should be a war.

Trump Delievers Highly Emotional Patriotic Memorial Day Speech

I try to be fair and balanced on my blog presenting both sides. So even as much as I disdain Donald Trump in the name of fair play this was his recent Memorial Day speech before he sets out to go across the country having rallies for various white domestic terrorism groups.

And for those who disdain Trump…this might be more in line with your Memorial Day celebrations.

Hopefully…we don’t find out Todd is a Proud Boy because I would feel very sad at that point.

Game 7, 2019 St. Louis Blues vs. Boston Bruins

Are The Phoenix Suns Legit Title Contenders?

Let me start with this…with it being wet in Oklahoma…I watched First Take this morning with our own Kendrick Perkins. I love Perk. Always have.

My son named his chocolate lab puppy Perk back in 2012 and Perk has been a part of me ever since. The difference between the dog and the NBA player is that not once have I seen Perk the Dog drop or fumble a tennis ball on the fly. If Perk the player had Perk the Lab’s handle he would be in the Hall of Fame and the Thunder would have a banner. He never talks about that on First Take.

Perk said on First Take this morning that the Lakers without Anthony Davis tonight will win Game 5 in Phoenix inside of sold out Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Steven A on the other hand says the Suns win tonight inside of Talking Stick Arena even with it full of Crazy Joe Arpaio types.

On my last three hot takes since the playoffs have begun…I’m 2-1.

I was completely wrong about Miami vs. Milwaukee being the most compelling NBA first round viewing. It was easily the worst first round series.

I was right about Norman Powell being a difference maker if the Trailblazers would use him correctly and allow his co-alpha status to blossom.

I was also right in flatly stating the Toronto Maple Leafs would choke up versus Montreal like Mullet King Mike Gundy standing on the sidelines in a Bedlam game. 1-15—Vegas knows, buddy. You’re the only football coach Tyreke Hill has ever had who couldn’t figure out to get the ball in Tyreke Hill’s hands at least fifteen times game.

That’s 2-1.

I haven’t even looked at the Vegas spread tonight per Lakers vs. Suns. I’m not looking. I’m going in Vegas-blind.

This is a great question.

I’m not talking spread here. I’m talking outright winner.

I like Phoenix in this game for the simple reason both Chris Paul and Devin Booker have their respective legacies on the line tonight. This should be personal with both of them. Lose this game to the Lakers without AD and they both look like posers to a certain degree… like the Toronto Maple Leafs of hoops.

You could very well say this is the most important basketball game in the careers of aging Chris Paul and somewhat youthful Devin Booker on the same night at completely different juxtapositions in their respective careers. You won’t ever read ‘juxtapositions’ melded seamlessly like that on Daily Thunder. Trust me.

I’m taking Phoenix outright and openly challenging Jae Crowder and Torry Craig to bring their Big Boy games to Talking Stick tonight. Remember …role players in post season NBA games usually play much better at home.

I’m taking the Suns tonight.

Perk…as far as I’m concerned your banner should be hanging right next to Nick Collison’s. Love you.

NY Islanders Prevail Over Bruins In Game 2 Overtime Thriller, 4-3

What a magnificent hockey game!!!

And it’s a good thing for the NHL this was the second game of their Memorial Day doubleheader given the listless performance by the Texas A&M Aggies of the NHL who call Toronto their home base.

The first game had about as much drama as last season’s Bedlam football game in Norman with Ronnie Perkins taking over the game. You could see it on the faces of the Toronto players. The understanding of the fact as a franchise they haven’t done anything of note since 1967 as an organization. A great Canadian city in search of a viable hockey operation.

For the Canadians …who haven’t won a Cup since 1993 when they beat Gretzky’s LA Kings’ team…it was a nice win as they came back from a 3-1 games deficit to advance to the second round to play the Winnipeg Jets.

Hopefully…with the bracket rigged this way to ensure a Canadian based team makes the Final Four in this special Covid bracket year our neighbors to the north will feel they are represented in the NHL teamwise circa 2021.

But the main feauture of the night with the Bruins hosting the annoyingly gritty NY Islanders who are coached by Barry Trotz led up to the billing.

With the score 4-3 about fifteen minutes deep into the first overtime Islander Casey Cizikas broke away at center ice with the puck when Bruin defenseman Jeremy Lauzon basically passed the puck right to him on a nightmarish miscue.

Cizikas buried the mistake topshelf right shoulder over Bruin netminder Tuuka Rask and that was the end to a fabulous hockey game played in front of a raccous sellout crowd inside of TD Garden.

It was a tough night for Lauzon who accidentley deflected the puck on the Islanders’ first goal of the evening as well.

This was the best game of the Road to the Stanley Cup so far. This game had it all. Ebb and flow. Momentum shifts. Board rattling checking. Clutch goaltending by Seymon Varlemov and Tuuka Rask. A few scrums. A glorious comeback by the Bruins from a 3-1 hole only to be erased by the game winner.

A great hockey game in every facet.

Don’t sleep on the NY Islanders. Barry Trotz was the coach who finally convinced Alex Ovechkin to play both ends of the ice on the Capitals’ 2019 Cup championship team.

This Islander team is blue collar. They come at you and when they’re right with all four lines playing with an attitude they can wear on a glamour team like the Bruins.

So I believe Thursday night it will be Game 3 in Nassua for those of us who love hockey hunker down for what should be a great second round series.

It’s a beautiful city who’s best sports moment came when Millwood High School’s own Joe Carter Jr. went yard on Mitch ‘Wild Thing’ Williams. Consider the irony of that…an Oklahoma kid playingf or the Blue Jays did what the hockey team hasn’t done in fifty-four years.

So in 1993 the Montreal Canadians won the Stanley Cup and the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series. Then in 2019 the Toronto Raptors won the NBA champipnship. Toronto needs an NHL team befitting a great city.

Norman Powell …Can He Make Portland A Tougher Team?

Norman Powell flexed his big boy game in Game 4 of the Denver-Portland series and as a result we head into Game 5 in Denver knotted at 2-2.

Norman Powell came to Portland as an unrestricted free agent at the deadline. Unlike all of the other Trailblazers…Powell has an NBA championship ring from being a key member of the 2019 Toronto team.

And make this clear…Powell is not only playing to make Portland a more viable two way team, but he’s playing to show the rest of the league what the value of his next contact should be at the conclusion of this season.

We all love watching the Trailblazers because of what Damian and CJ do offensively, but let’s be honest–Portland in reality is kind of a pushover basketball team which seldom goes deep because they don’t have the overall team grit to be a viable defensive team.

Damian Lillard to me is kind of what Ovechkin was in hockey pre-2019. That being a great offensive player who doesn’t backcheck and do all the dirty little blue collar things which your best player has to do if you want to hoist a Cup or an O’Brien Trophy.

Same with Russell Westbrook. He’s not winning anything with all those triple doubles because he now plays like a cupcake on the defensive end of the floor. He didn’t at UCLA, but in the NBA he’s become a dandelion.

I personally think Norman Powell is a better overall player than CJ. So can the second best player on a team change the culture of a team?

Messier did in hockey with Gretzsky. Michael, Kobe, and LeBron never needed someone to play defense for them as all three were bulldogs on the defensive end.

So what I asking myself out loud is can Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum feed off of a Norman Powell and become real legit two way basketball players who can make deep runs in post season play?

Unlike the Miami flameout versus Milwaukee…at least this Denver-Portland series is giving me some reasons to keep watching the games.

Norman Powell somewhat fascinates me.

Damian Lillard…your legacy as of now is your’re a great scorer who never wins anything. You want to take your legacy to the next level…you gotta do the little dirty things or at least have a guy around you who will do them for you.

Damian…you’re not alone in this. Chris Paul hasn’t won anything else either. Legacies are defined in post season, not the regular season. He’s in the same boat as you and I would guess that’s why he’s playing hurt this time around in Phoenix.