[Thanks to chgobr for today's game preview. Last night proved that the Bulls can look alright against no defense whatsoever -ed.]
Last night Bulls recap: You had to smile a bit watching the game last night. Good ball movement, 29 assists on 38 field goals, decent defense despite being against the terrible Wizards. With that said, Tyrus Thomas' 16 points, 2 steals, 2 blocks (he should of had 3 but Violet blew a call), 2 assists and 10 rebounds was almost overshadowed by his steady, smart basketball. He played around the hoop. I can remember only one jump shot and most important, he didn't play stupid. He had only 1 TO. You have to like Drew Gooden. I realize signing him is a challenge given our cap issues but we appear to be a better team when he is playing. He is playing for a contract; he can be lax on defense; he can sleep-walk through some games; but his 16 points, 1 block, 1 steal 2 assists and 11 rebounds impacted last night's game. We have won two in a row with him back, but more importantly we seem to play better as a team with him on the floor. Can we get him at the mid-level exemption for next year? He probably will be able to sign more than a one year deal making it hard for us to keep him. He is making $7.1 mil this year. Despite his flaws who else can we get at a reasonable price who does better than Gooden?
Last night's other recap: Boston falls to 3rd in the East. Is this the sign of the end for the Celtic run? James is a beast and I don't see anyone stopping him. Beast #2 is in Orlando. Orlando's 121 - 87 massacre of Atlanta last night doesn't do justice to how lopsided the game was. Orlando was up by 50 before Gortat took over. It makes me feel a bit better (only a bit) about being victimized by Orlando 10 days ago. Yahoo reports that Darius Miles has been signed by Memphis to a 10-day contract probably costing Portland $18 mil. Portland's inappropriate threat to sue teams if they play Darius 2 games, documented in the Yahoo article is just plain weird.
Tonight's game: Knowing I was doing tonight's game preview I watched as the Thunder almost beat Houston last night. The final was 98-96 Houston. Westbrook looks like the real deal ( at least when I watched). He is lightening quick, made big shots down the stretch and seemed to out-play Durant at crunch-time. Durant blamed himself for last night's loss. His two turnovers and missed open shots at the end of the game did seal the deal for Houston. Durant's 27 was on 11-22 shooting. He got them back from a 13 point half-time deficit before his end of game collapse. Jeff Green also looks like a player that they can build around. You remember Joe Smith, now with the Thunder, he made a huge block on Yao with about 1 minute in the game left that gave them an opportunity to win. I felt the Thunder looked better than Washington last night. I wouldn't get too cocky against this team. We have not won three in a row since April 15, 2007. We beat the Wizards April 15 2007 101-68 after consecutive wins against the Knicks and Bobcats. We feasted on the lower echelon teams in 2006-7. Three in a row still would be nice. Can we ever beat a good NBA team? Another opportunity presents itself Monday against Portland.
Blogging with the enemy: Unbelievable as it is Kelly Dwyer reviewed the Oklahoma City Blogs for me September 14 2008. There is the Oklahoma City Thunder News, Oklahoma City BBall and the Bend it Like Bennett site. These sites do seem to express the uniqueness of Oklahoma culture making me very happy I live in Chicagoland. [ed. note: Since then, a few good OKC blogs have popped up, namely The Thunderworld and Thunderguru]
TV/radio: 7:30 p.m. Saturday; WGN-Ch. 9, WMVP-AM 1000.