Don’t look now, but the superbly coached San Antonio Spurs beat Golden State last night for their 9th win a row and passed the gasping Thunder for the No. 5 seed in the West. Utah and the gritty Clippers are now one game down in the loss column to the train wreck Thunder who are now 5-10 since the loss in New Orleans.
This season under Florida Gator coach Billy Donovan was supposed to be different than the previous one in which it was alleged Carmelo Anthony torpedoed the Thunder by refusing to come off the bench.
That was the narrative following Carmelo’s hellbent exit interview at the conclusion of last season. That being, it was pretty much all Carmelo’s fault the Thunder were a season long dud and a relatively easy victim for the Utah Jazz in Round 1.
So here we stand… seventy-one NBA regular season games later and the Thunder in reality appear no different than last season’s smoldering heap of junk which made it appear Kevin Durant and his handlers were prescient in getting out of town and taking the easy path to two NBA rings.
There was no Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City tonight as he was suspended for getting his 18th technical of the season as two had already been rescinded.
The final score read 116-107 in favor of the sub .500 Miami Heat who are now 34-36 and fighting to hold on to the 8th seed in the East.
The mercurial peacock Westbrook will return on Wednesday night for the Thunder. It will be Nick Collison Night as the Thunder organization tries to take a sentimental view back towards what the Thunder were in 2012 when Collison, Perk, Serge, Thabo, Durant, Harden, Fisher, Maynor and Westbrook caught the fascination of the world by reaching the NBA Finals versus D Wade and LeBron’s super team in Miami.
But on this night inside the Peake a laid back crowd didn’t get to see the Thunder without Westbrook change the direction of their season as the Heat after a slow start came back to score 116 points and make the Thunder look like a lottery team.
It was Wade’s last appearance in OKC and he didn’t disappoint as he scored 25 points and along with point guard Goran Dragic’s 26 points stuck the knife just a little deeper into the gut of the reeling team with the Love’s billboard posted on their collective chests.
The Love’s logo is a huge red heart. How ironic… for a team without any collective heart that this should be the sponsorship logo on their jerseys.
The Thunder resume action on Wednesday night inside the Peake to honor Nick Collison. Maybe Sam Presti will announce Nick’s addition to the coaching staff in as it appears little if any coaching takes place with the dumbest team in the NBA.
That’s what I always admired about Collison…his smarts, his toughness and his willingness to do anything to help the team win a game.
The Thunder host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night and will be honoring Nick Collison.