Steve Kerr on Draymond Punching Jordan Poole in the Chops Incident

Two big, big NBA Playoff games in California tonight. I’m jacked for certain.

For those of us in godforsaken Oklahoma who have been passionate NBA long before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans….this is a night we could cherish depending on the results of both games.

If the NBA gods play this one right both Golden State and the LA Lakers will emerge as second round survivors in the very balanced Western Conference. What a dream matchup that could be for NBA purists like myself who been bored to death with the Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood approach Sam Presti has traversed in culturally godforsaken Oklahoma.

In real life here in Oklahoma….I try to keep these thoughts to myself about what I think about Oklahoma in general, but here on the Thunder Underground I think it should be okay to state things such as they are in reality.

I love this interview from Coach Steve Kerr. If only Sam Presti had the hubris or gravitas to ever hire an up front head coach like Coach Kerr you would have to think the Thunder would have at the minimum won two NBA championships with Kevin, Russell, James, Serge,:Perk, and NIck. But alas….I fear Sam Presti only hires head coaches who are subservient to his more anal retentive concepts of how grown men in the NBA should be coached.

This is why I had to turn into a Warriors blog instead of another run of the mill Thunder blog which goes down on everything Sam Presti says or does. Sigh.

This in fact is probably the most I’ve written on the Thunder during the entire NBA season to date. The Thunder…aren’t they adorable? They go 41-43 and get blown out in the NBA Play In Participation Tournament by a marginal Minnesota team which was missing two key rotational players.

And until Sam Presti’s Little Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood approach to the NBA in Oklahoma City ever changes….41-43 type of seasons will continue to be the norm in godforsaken Oklahoma.

Please watch the video, Sam Presti. This is what a coach looks like who has some hubris, gravitas, and the respect of his ball players.

Warriors Clutch in Game 5 Road Win

I am at peace in my basketball world of Golden State nirvana. Finally… a clutch road win by this bunch who ‘maybe’ have found themselves after this grueling roller coaster season of road futility as defending NBA champs.

This was basketball nirvana. Draymond came off the bench and excelled. Kevon Looney, the Moral Compass of the Warriors, played what I thought was the best game of his NBA Playoff career. Jordan Poole inserted as the starter in place of bad boy Draymond responded with some toughness and clutchness of his own. Maybe that punch in the face from Draymond in training camp served a purpose after all.

All above in the preceding paragraph are role players. This is what role players have to do for their team to win clutch road games. Gary Payton Jr. had a couple of great plays as did Donte. I would have liked to have seen some more minutes from Moses Moody, but I can’t bitch after a win like this one. Moses is going to be a baller…trust me on this. His time is coming.

Johnny Kuminga … you were sent a message last night from Coach Kerr with the DNP…here’s the message stud hoss—‘You may have more natural ability than any player in the league, but you need to mentally bear down when you’re given minutes by Coach Kerr.”

Of course…Steph, Klay, and Andrew were all clutch in the final minutes as well, but those guys are stars and that’s what stars are supposed to do in clutch time. Namely…play like stars. This is not complex. Ask Jimmy Butler and his clutch blue collar buds on the Miami Heat who just slayed the Milwaukee Bucks in their clutch Game 5 road win as well.

You have your star or two, and then you have your role player grinders. This was an NBA night I just loved because as I’ve written on my casual Thunder blog this season…Klay is my favorite player in the league and this post injury version of Klay is basically a role player. Klay is a role player and Steph and Wig are the two best players on the team.

But winning is the thing. Klay knows this more than any other player in the league. It’s about what you have to do to win games when they matter most.

If only we had a team like this is Oklahoma City who embraced this type of mantra perhaps next NBA basketball season … I could write a few things Thunder related on my casual Thunder blog.

What I may do tomorrow is give Sam Presti my take on here as to who are the nine players I’d build my team around next season so as to start playing genuinely competitive NBA seasons again in god forsaken Oklahoma.

Sam Presti…it’s about winning, buddy. Pure and simple. Winning is fun.

Golden State vs. Sacramento Gets the NBA Playoffs First Round Nod

Well, U Conn is our national champion and now we get down to the serious business of the NBA Playoffs. I didn’t play One Shining Moment this year because I’m genuinely bummed on what the transfer portal has done to college hoops. I love parity, but the Portal in both football and basketball needs to be tweaked.

The OKC Thunder were eliminated from the Round Robin Play-In Tournament last night on the road by the T-Wolves in Minnesota. A horrible lopsided loss in which Karl Anthony Townes and Rudy Gobert dominated inside the paint area from start to finish.

But for the Thunder at least they gave their fanbase some real basketball games versus the tanking mode employed the previous two seasons.

Sam Presti needs to get his team a couple of bigs who can play NBA level basketball with the league’s better teams. Both Poku and Chet in street clothes to close out this season…sigh. OKC has to hope Poku and Chet aren’t busts like Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons were in Philly during Sam Hinkie’s Process with the Sixers.

You can’t bust on the second pick in the draft and next season Chet needs to show his fragile body can adapt to the NBA level of play. I mean…if not Chet then Sam Presti will have to bring some degree of interior physicality to his team or they’ll get put out of the first round or the round robin next season as well.

But the Thunder as a whole have some real positives to build on and if nothing else they seem to have gotten the Oklahoma City fanbase watching the team again.

Golden State gets started tonight as the sicth seed in the West. Given how bad the Wrriors were on the road this season…the fact the draw turned out this way is an absolute blessing four the four-time NBA champs.

I see the West as wide open.

Steve Kerr finally has some semblance of a bench in place and Andrew Wiggins is once finally healthy. Wiggins in my view was the Warriors’ second best player last season behind Steph.

Wiggins gave the Warriors everything they needed defensively and rebounding wise to go along with Draymond and Looney. Wig filled a team role seamlessly in that regard and compensated for Klay’s diminshed role defensively. Wiggins is a big deal for the Warriors. We’ll see how how out of game shape he is later tonight in Game 1.

To me…this is the first round matchup the NBA Universe is most excited to see right now.

San Diego State Advances to Championship Monday

Very cool is all I can say at this point. Nobody is giving SDS much of a chance tonight, but if Jimmy Valvano’s Wolfpack could best Akeem the Dream and Clyde Drexler then I have to think the Aztecs at the least have a chance of pulling this miracle off tonight.

You can’t let UConn go wild in transition and the Aztecs gotta keep on pounding those offensive boards like they did in the second hald versus FAU.

I know the Aztecs only have a 20% chance or so in Vegas of winning this game, but this ia why the NCAA Tournament is such a unique animal.

Go Aztecs!!!!