K, if you are just coming by and seeing the score and thinking ok, maybe a good game...just leave it at that. Do not go back and watch it on replay. Do not explore the boxscore. Just go with "maybe a good game'. You'll be happier. Maybe watch the first 8 min, then turn it off. For the rest of us...this was not as close as the boxscore made it look.
John fell asleep.
JT lost his composure.
Boogie reverted to Bad Boogie, and I may have to take back over grading him since he was doing great while I was grading him but has responded badly to new handlers.
Reke was just off. The layups. The passes. just off.
IT was very explicitly 5'9".
Jimmer...let's not talk about Jimmer.
You get the idea. Somehow after the fun dynamic start the whole team jsut looked compeltely out of rhythm. Uglified. Nothing was in rhythm. Nothing pretty.
The one and only solace for those who have to watch these things, no matter the final score, is...Girls. Newly reloaded and ready to go. Ah well. Let's get to it.
Stats: 28min 5pts (2-5, 1-2, 0-0) 8reb 2ast 1stl 0blk 0TO
Salmons ( C- ) -- it was never going to go well for John tonight for obvious reasons -- their guy is just much better than our guy at thi sposition, and much MUCH bigger. But while last time out against OKC John was a bug on the Durant windshield, nothcing 3pts on 1-7 shooting, this time he did just afew little things before beginngin to look helpless and pointless out there. Got off to a good start along with the rest of the team, and had all of his points (5! woot!) in the early going wiht a spot up three on the kick from Cuz, and a strong rebound and coast to coast drive. And the rebounding would be the big poitive note ont he evening. John grabbed 8, which is practically a month's worth of boards for the glassless man, and a few of them were even of the strong/fought for them variety. So there was something. Now unfortunately he started missing his shots, and more unfortunately, even his defense disappeared as he just seemingly fell asleep, getting beat on backdoor cuts, caught on screens, and of course just shot over. He was more invisible than the terrible of some of his teammates, but despite my general instinct to reward the baordwork, I can't sit here and say he had even an average game, and we of course got killed at his postion. --Brick
Susan Ward -- ftw!
Stats: 33min 14pts (5-11, 0-0, 4-8) 5reb 0ast 0stl 0blk 3TO
Thompson ( B- ) -- got off to his best start in a long time i this one, was active on both ends of the court. he was back to being efficient with little postups, follows, and setups by teammates, and once scooped up a steal on top on a hustle play and went the full length of the court for the dunk. But as things began to fall apart, so did Jason, and he lost his compsure completely in the third. Got a lot of minutes at backup center this time as we finally, belatedly, and unfortunately given the result maybe just for the one game, went ot more of a 3-big rotation and kept some size on the floor for most of the game. But for all the early surge in his offensive game, Jason still wasn't boarding, got several of his shots blocked, and aside from being tall wasn't making much of an impact in there after the early going.--Brick
Stats: 32min 14pts (6-16, 0-0, 2-3) 8reb 2ast 3stl 0blk 7TO
Cousins ( D- ) -- Our best player came into a game against one of the top teams in the league and put in a damned lackluster effort. Is it any wonder we lost? Cuz was passing well early, finding Tyreke for a missed layup and hitting Salmons for a 3, but didn't share the ball terribly well after that. But it wasn't just the not sharing the ball (as the first quarter began to elapse he had several possessions where he held the ball on the perimeter for half the shot clock only to take a jumper). He also spent far too little time in the post in favor of dangling on the perimeter (often the last player up the floor and sometimes not even into the offense by the time the team decided on a shot) to be effective tonight. He committed two bad turnovers in the second quarter (one double dribble, one inbounding violation) just as the momentum was beginning to swing against us. Once the second half started, we were stuck with "Bad Boogie" out there - his body language was terrible, his effort went down and we were sunk. The third quarter was the sort of thing that Stephen King would shudder to write - four turnovers (two on the pass, one on the dribble, one on a moving screen), a post move blocked by Durant, an out of control airball force in the lane, the failure to box out Thabo Sefolosha on a missed FT allowing an offensive rebound, AND a blown alley-oop? I don't care how bad the pass was, by the time DMC was benched at the 3 minute mark it was more euthanasia than breather, and the game was definitively over. For reasons known only to the mastermind that is Keith Smart, Cuz came back in for four minutes in the fourth. These were the best minutes of the game, not because he played well but because he didn't get injured. On the rebounding side, Cuz didn't redeem himself tonight. He was rarely in position for the offensive rebound due to being outside of the three point line, and can you honestly applaud an 8-rebound game for him, knowing what he OUGHT to do out there? His defense didn't really bring his grade up, either. Of course, it was the Thunder, which means that DMC's man (usually Perkins or Collison) isn't going to be attacking him very often - it's the perimeter guys who are going to do the damage. Sure enough, Cuz allowed 4 points on 3 shots for his own man, and was forced to spend all of his defensive effort helping when other guys lost their man, both in the paint and from time to time on the perimeter. I counted seven times that he picked up somebody else's man and forced the pass, which is probably the best thing he did all night. But when the perimeter players did attack him, they did it to the tune of 15 points on 8 shots. Of course, when you're getting attacked by Durant and Westbrook, you're never going to look very good. --Capt.
Stats: 32min 16pts (6-11, 1-1, 3-4) 4reb 3ast 1stl 0blk 1TO
Evans ( C+ ) -- Tough night to grade. Evans did a lot of things right, including playing great defense on Westbrook in the first half. His first basket was a 3 pt'er. He followed it with a great defensive stop on Westbrook who was driving to the basket. Next trip down the floor, Westbrook slipped behind Tryeke for a layup.. Tyreke then missed an easy layup in traffic down the lane. He followed that with a spectacular finish at the basket in heavy traffic. After sitting on the bench for most of the 2nd quarter, he re-entered the game and was called for a BS foul on Durant. In the second half, he started by missing a 15 footer on a nice pass from Cuz. I could go on and describe every detail, but the truth is, most of his scoring in the second half, came when the game was out of sight. Overall, his stats, 32 minutes, 16 pts on 6 of 11 shooting, and 1 for 1 from the 3 pt line, along with 4 boards, 3 assists, and 1 steal, doesnt' sound too bad. It almost sounds like a B, but if you just watched the game, without keeping track of his numbers, nothing leaped out at you. On the whole, he was one of the better players tonight. Unfortunately he didn't have a lot of help. --Baja
Stats: 22min 7pts (2-5, 0-2, 3-3) 0reb 1ast 1stl 0blk 1TO
Thomas ( D ) -- like many members of the team, had his best play of the night in the very early going as he started the game off with a nice wraparound pass to Cuz for a +1 in the opening minutes. It would be his only assist. for the first half of the first quarter you would have styled IT as staying out of the way. He had the one nice pass, didn't do much else, but wasn't disrupting anybody else either, and despite the comedy of hiding out 5'9" PG on their 6'7" SG (Thabo) we weren't gettin hurt by the matchup. The first signs of toruble began when the Thunder swapped their new 6th man, some skinny guy named Kevin, in for Thabo. Thabo is not an offensive player. The scrawny guy is. We started having problems defending. But that would be nothing compared to the third, when our brilliant coach struck again. So let's see, we get off to a great start to this game hiding little IT on big but offensively impotent Thabo, while letting Reke disrupt Westbrook. So after the wheels fall off in the second quarter, we come out to start the thrid...with IT now guarding Westbrook, while Reke is wasted on Thabo. We'll get to those results in a minute. On offense we were compeltely flailing by that point, IT was able to do nothing to get us into a rhythm. But he did squirt in for several baskets of his own of the wth I'll just do it mysellf variety. There was some effort there, and he drew an offensive foul on Westbrook, and pikced off an open court pass as well. Unfortunately the effort was attached to a 5'9" guy, and the Thunder became the latest team to take clear advantage of it as Westbrook just got physical and aggressive and drove IT from the game wiht a series of dives and postups directly aimied at the size issue, which IT could only counter by fouling., And fouling. And finally picking up his 5th foul by the mdi quarter. And he was done. Evne added a technical foul from the bench as a cherry. but really, that was not particularly IT's fault. We have seen int he past that Isaia Thomas can NOT guard Russel Westbrook Ever. We knew that to start the game, set up our defense to hide that matchup, and it went well. Then we start the third..and what the bhell happened Coach "Smart"? The result was inevitable from that point onward.--Brick