Also Ran Nuggets Ease by the Thunder Inside the Peake, 126-125 OT

Morphine. I need some morphine if I’m going to make it to the conclusion of this Thunder basketball season.

I can’t lie and I won’t. Never in my life has a team sucked the joy and passion like this from me. This isn’t a basketball season–it’s torture chamber.

This season has become like a death knell for me. Part of me says fuck it—you don’t have to watch this bullshit anymore. But the competitive part of me won’t allow that degree of quitting even though I’d like to be the one personally who doused this team in diesel and lit a match.

I wonder if it’s felony to catch an NBA team on fire in Oklahoma?

The diva lab Pauli keeps her eyes closed during the games and flaps her ears over in a cute way where she can’t hear me screaming. My wife makes sure before every tip there aren’t any objects near me I could shear the flat screen with. Some of my neighbors at this point must think I’ve killed some people over here, but must be afraid to call the police.

But thank god—there’s only five games left. And maybe, perhaps, with divine intervention–this group of basketball misfits Sam Presti saw fit to pay $134 million dollars will somehow miss the playoffs and allow me to focus on the Philadelphia 76’ers and Boston Bruins.

But I can’t quit at this point. This has become personal with me even after this loss to a blah Denver team. But here’s the thing, when you go 15-27 from the free throw line — it’s hard to win a basketball game even at the high school level.

But by the grace of God there are no more Thunder games in March. Only five games remain in April if Billy Donovan doesn’t change some things.

I can see in his eyes…he’s dying just like me with every game.

Like me—I think he wants to get this death knell march over and pretend it never happened.

The Thunder at New Orleans on Easter afternoon.

Shorthanded Spurs Team Too Much for Thunder, 103-99

I can’t do this today. I need to take a break from writing about this basketball team for a day. I have no rants left inside of me. If I were their coach I would have been throwing chairs in the locker room and setting the North American records for F bombs dropped in a minute.

I’m empty right now.

At some point words are meaningless when the team you’re blogging about doesn’t have any character as a team. In no way am I including Steven Adams and Ray Felton in that statement.

Maybe they’ll play better tonight against Denver and I can compose myself.
The Thunder host the Denver Nuggets tonight at the Peake.

In no way would I blame Clay Bennett for not showing up and having to watch the game tonight.

Go Boston Bruins!

Should the Thunder Be Championship Relevant?

I’m in no way a Thunder homer. When I saw the roster OKC put together this summer I had the Thunder rated as the No. 2 team in the West with Houston almost dead even with them like say 2a and 2b. A healthy Golden State team was my easy pick to repeat as world champions.

But here we sit in the final days of March with the Thunder 17 games behind the Rockets and praying they can hold on to the No. 4 seed in the West and possibly win 48 regular season games.

I will admit the Carmelo deal made me nervous as in will this guy be able to come to terms with what his role should be for this team. I assumed or hoped that would happen and even back in the summer I openly said he should be the Sixth Man–which by the way is no disgrace at all. As I’ve written this week, Iguodala, Eric Gordon, and Manu Ginobli just to name three all currently man the Sixth Man position. And just so Carmelo Anthony’s brain is functioning as it should–he doesn’t possess the mobility of any of these three players or any of the rings of Iguodala or Ginobli.

Steve Kerr, Mike D’Antoni, and Greg Popovich can apparently all sit down with their players and make them understand the concept of team and role—whereas apparently this cannot happen with Billy Donovan and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City. Or maybe I’m being unfair and it’s possible Sam Presti doesn’t give Billy Donovan this much latitude as his head coach. I have no idea. They appear to be a cute, content couple though.

So here we sit on the cusp of the playoffs and this Oklahoma City team with a $134 million payroll is praying it can hold on to the No. 4 seed in the West and win one more game than last season’s rookie scale contract laden team.

And here’s the thing, with the exception of a defensive role player in Andre Roberson this team has stayed relatively healthy while every other team in the West has lost significant games from their superstars. Anotherwords, the breaks of the game have gone OKC’s way for the most part.

So should the Thunder have been championship contenders this season?

I would say yes.

Power Poll

Time for another Power Poll and this time I’m going with three teams from the West which is somewhat outlandish, but not really when you really think about it. I’m going from having OKC at No. 4 to maybe somewhere in that No. 9 thru No. 11 range. But of course, I only pick eight teams. I no longer can hang on to the pipedream this Thunder team is a serious contender, although Golden State does have some injury issues.

1 Houston Rockets
2 Golden State Warriors
3 LeBron
4 Toronto Raptors
5 Portland Trail Blazers
6 Boston Celtics
7 Philadelphia 76’ers
8 Indiana Pacers

A great regular season for the Houston Rockets. They turned out to be everything the Thunder hoped to be back in 2012 when the Thunder made the Finals with James Harden.

Harden is easily my regular season MVP.

Daryl Morey is easily my NBA Executive of the Year.

Clint Capella is my Most Improved Player of the Year, but I have Steven Adams on my list in the top four.

Mike D’Antoni is third on my NBA Coach of the Year ballot with me going 1 Terry Stotts of Portland and 2 Dwayne Casey of the Toronto Raptors.

Meanwhile, the Thunder with a team that at the beginning of the season was thought to be a legit challenger in the West is currently 17 games behind the Houston Rockets as I write.

Now, one of two things can or should perhaps be written at this point, but there’s still some basketball to be played so I’ll just keep my thoughts to myself for the time being.

June 29, 2017 after the Chris Paul trade:

Yo, Carmelo…Come Off the Bench It Won’t Kill You

This is just really sad when an athlete can’t come to terms with the final segment of their career. I loved Kobe, but he basically wrecked the LA Lakers franchise to the point where just next year they should return to relevance once again. Carmelo Anthony isn’t Kobe Bryant. No where close.

Carmelo not only hasn’t won a ring at the NBA level, he’s never been to an NBA Finals. His teams in New York where massive underachievers and never did anything.

I assumed when he came to Oklahoma City he was intent on the opportunity of being on a relevant team. This OKC team could be relevant if aligned properly.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a player becoming the Sixth Man at the latter stages of his career. In fact, it’s smart from both the individual and team standpoint as far as minutes played and extending careers in pursuit of team goals.

Iguodala is a better all around player than Carmelo Anthony yet he’s come off the bench at this point in his career and won two rings with the Warriors.

This is ridiculous. Carmelo Anthony needs to go tell Billy Donovan he’ll come off the bench to help the team if that’s what it takes to get this Thunder team to the next level. Does Carmelo Anthony think he’s currently a better player than Houston’s Eric Gordon? I don’t think so.

In 2013, Ray Allen, who already had a ring from his days with the Celtics, came off the bench to help LeBron win his second ring at the time. Allen averaged 25 minutes a game that season and of course hit the iconic shot which is etched in all of those who are passionate NBA fans.

This is not complex.

Yo, Carmelo quit being selfish….come off the bench.

Should Carmelo Come Off the Bench?

Yeah, I do and I’ve thought this from very early on in this season seeing Carmelo on a nightly basis. I think he’s kind of selfish in his steadfast view of himself as a player who at this point in his career is a star caliber player even though he’s obviously not a top tier player anymore.

Now–this doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a valuable piece for the Thunder becoming the Sixth Man and playing alongside Raymond Felton coming off the bench. Obviously—Sam Presti is grotesquely overpaying Carmelo Anthony, but you have to take a pragmatic overview of where he’s at currently in his career.

This is stupid. Jerami Grant is young and on the rise and can easily handle 28-30 minutes a game whereas Carmelo cannot. Their minutes should be inverted and if Carmelo were truly a team guy he’d be the one making the suggestion to Billy Donovan.

I’d say 20-22 minutes a game for Carmelo would be about right. If he’s making shots on a particular night—then you feed him some more minutes on those nights. This is part of coaching. You at times have to make tough decisions. I’m sorry, but Billy Donovan is going to have to grow as an NBA coach if the Thunder are to be taken seriously without Kevin Durant.

I love the fact he views himself as a player’s coach who has his players’ back, but there’s a line between that and delusion.

Truth be known, I’d even start Patterson in front of Carmelo if Donovan wants Jerami Grant staying paired with Raymond Felton.

These are the type of decisions championship coaches and GMs have to be able to navigate in the NBA if you want to win a championship.

There are precedents for this with Hall of Fame players. Bill Walton embraced this role in the latter years of his career with the Boston Celtics. Bill Walton won one of the greatest NBA championships in history with the ’76-’77 Portland team. Then his career became injury laden until the Celtics took a chance on him in 1985. You what happened–Bill Walton eagerly accepted the role of coming off the bench and played 19.1 minutes a game on that loaded championship Celtic team. That Celtic team became regarded as one of the best teams of all-time and Bill Walton with a new role became a valuable piece coming off the bench.

Same thing happened with Ray Allen when he joined LeBron in Miami assuming a reduced role coming off the bench.

So… what would LeBron say to Carmelo right now in Cleveland? My guess is — he’d say in private, “Carmelo—come off the bench.” What would Carmelo’s buddy in Houston–Chris Paul say to Carmelo Anthony? I’m guessing he’d say, “Dude—you need to come off the bench and contribute.”

I guess what I’m saying here is that Sam Presti, Billy Donovan, and Russell Westbrook need to decide if they’re content being a sixth place level type of team or if they aspire to be taken seriously at this point with Kevin Durant no longer here.

Portland Sweeps Thunder, 108-105

For the second time in three games, Carmelo Anthony has drawn attention to himself and to Billy Donovan for all the wrong reasons.

This is an underground blog of sorts and unlike Royce Young at ESPN or Erik Horne at newsoksports I can write openly and honestly without any fear of my access being altered by the OKC Thunder.

I did end up watching this game even though Stormy Daniels revealed she spanked Caligula with a magazine on his ‘bottom’.

Here’s my first take in a game in which the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Thunder by a 108-105 score to sweep the four game series…my take is Billy Donovan needs to come to terms with how far Carmelo Anthony has declined as an NBA player and quit hurting his team by playing Carmelo minutes beyond the 20-22 minute range. Also, there’s no reason whatsoever Carmelo should be on the floor at the end of games when it’s obvious he’s having horrible nights like in Boston and like last night versus Portland. When a vet pitcher doesn’t have his stuff, you know what a good baseball manager does…he gets the guy out of the game and doesn’t cripple the team he’s being paid to manage.

This is absurd like earlier in the season when Abrines was getting all those twenty minute something nights. But to Donovan’s credit—he’s been much more realistic with Alex Abrines’ minutes as of late. And give Abrines credit in that he’s improved and played better with a reduced role.

Here’s the thing…Carmelo is no longer a star player. Not even close. He’s older. He’s slower. The truth be known he’s not even in the same breath with Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams.

In last night’s game, Carmelo was putrid going 3-13 and missing every one of his three point attempts in just under thirty minutes of play.

Heck, last night he wasn’t even remotely close to being OKC’s fourth, fifth, six, seventh, or eighth best player for the Thunder. Those would have been in this order… 4 Jerami Grant, 5 Ray Felton, 6 Corey Brewer, 7 Pat Patterson, and 8 Alex Abrines, 9 Terrance Ferguson. So you know what that means I’m saying, Billy Donovan? Your worst player on the floor last night was Carmelo Anthony and you not only had him on the floor for thirty minutes, but you had him with the ball in his hands in those most important possessions of the game.

You know what that is? Two words…coaching malpractice.

Getting old is a bitch. It sucks. None of us are immune to it. It happens.

But that’s why you have a head coach. That why you pay him $6 million dollars. Namely to orchestrate those 240 minutes every game and to maybe pull an aged former star aside and reduce his minutes and at times his role. Conversely, on nights when it appears there might be a little bounce in his game—you go with Carmelo a little more.

Too late now though in that last night’s loss to Portland sealed the Thunder’s fate of probably now being either a No. 5, 6, or 7 seed once all the dust settles. Last night was huge and not in a good way for the Thunder.

Here’s why I can no longer compare the world champion 2011 Dallas Mavs to this OKC Thunder team… the reason is simple–that team in Rick Carlisle had one of the best NBA coaches around. This Thunder team doesn’t have that in Billy Donovan. I’m not implying Donovan sucks beyond sucking, but he’s nothing special as an NBA coach. Great guy, nicest man in the room, but….. By the way, you know who was an assistant coach on that 2011 Dallas team–Terry Stotts. The same Terry Stotts who now head coaches Portland and will be named NBA Coach of the Year at the end of this regular season.

Small world.

Stormy Doesn’t Deliever

I thought it was very weak per Caligula’s standards actually. Her story just didn’t have that over the top Deplorable stench to it. Neither one of them pissed on the other one. Evidently, neither one of them defecated on the other one. I mean, c’mon, it was just unprotected consensual sex between a porn star and a creepy old white man who inherited forty million dollars from Fred Trump.

This could backfire on Caligula in that he wasn’t as grotesquely indecent in this incident as he has been in others. His base could possibly turn on him because of the pedestrian nature of this sport f–king incident with Stormy Daniels. Her story had no legs. No drama per se. The Deplorables expect more from Trump than this. They need more from him than this.

They need the Golden Showers. They need the random grab ’em by the pussy narrative. They need the titillation of the furniture store foreplay. They need that bus with Billy Bush. They need the humiliation of Little Marco. These are the things which give the Deplorables their oxygen so to speak.

That’s the Caligula they need. It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump’s approval ratings take a dip with the Christians because this quite frankly wasn’t tawdry enough.

So much for this Stormy Daniels yarn. Next porn star up.

Should We Watch the Stormy Daniels Interview?

You know, at this point does it even matter? I’m of the opinion she could have Trump on film with her stark naked, her sitting on Caligula’s chest, and literally shitting on him and it would probably increase his support with his base.

I don’t write that tongue in cheek either. Again, at this point, I honestly believe his support would increase within his base if we come to discover Stormy Daniels shit on Donald Trump’s chest.

This is how far the bar has been lowered. This is how far America has sunk. So…while I’m guessing this Sixty Minutes piece is highly watched…I’m guessing it will mean little if anything big picture. I’m guessing Trump’s support with the Christian Coalition will actually crest above the 90% mark after the interview.