About Last Night: OKC Does It With D!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – For all the flashy, highlight-reel dunks and plays made by the Miami Heat this season, the backbone of their title quest is the fact that they are one of the league’s most relentless defensive teams when they are at their very best.

Seeing the Oklahoma City Thunder stifle the Heat with their defense last night at American Airlines Arena confirmed what we already knew: this Thunder team has truly graduated to the next level.

The addition of Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed to the Thunder’s interior defensive rotation, alongside Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and even rookie big Cole Aldrich, completely changes the way this team can attack teams on defense. It also gives the Thunder a fighting chance against any of the elite teams in the league (Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Bulls, etc.) if things shift to the inside on a given night.

“We’ve got four bigs that do a good job of rotating and helping each other,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks told reporters after the game. “They’ve got a lot of experience, I’m confident in any of the guys out there. They can all mix and match. They all play hard. They all set good screens. They all make extra passes.”

The Heat shot just 38.5 percent from the floor and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade struggled to match their usual production, combing for 40 points on 15-for-42 shooting from the floor (they were 21-59 with the third member of the crew, Chris Bosh, included).

Against the Heat, Brooks told the Oklahoman, those bigs and the Thunder defense was as good as it gets:

“Our defense was as good as it could possibly play,” Brooks. “We haven’t been the 48-minute defending team that I would like (and) that we need to be. But tonight, we defended right from the start…Tonight, it was for four quarters. That’s the way it should be played.”

Judging by the postgame response from both James and Wade, they understood they’d just been defeated by a superior defensive team (at least on this night).

Considering the Thunder didn’t play particularly well offensively, outside of Kevin Durant’s game-high 29 points on 12-for-21 shooting display, winning this game made even more of a statement about what this team can accomplish in the future. When they are dialed in defensively, inside and out, they can impose their will on anyone.

More from our main man Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman:

The Thunder clogged the paint despite having to dodge center Kendrick Perkins’ foul trouble. Perimeter players contested shots, forcing the Heat off their hot spots and funneling their ball-handlers into help defenders.

“We kept making them score over a hand,” said forward Nick Collison. “When they attacked the basket, for the most part, we had guys helping that they had to try to score over. We just try to make teams shoot a lot of difficult shots.”

The Thunder wasn’t just dialed in defensively. It was also stubborn.

When Wade brought the crowd to its feet with a driving, spinning, two-handed dunk over Perkins, it sparked a 13-2 run that pulled Miami within a tie at 43-all with 1:07 left in the first half. For a moment, the Thunder looked shell shocked, going 0-for-3 with three turnovers immediately following the surge.

But Eric Maynor hit a 3-pointer before Wade capped the half with a driving layup to make it 46-45 at the break.

The Thunder never trailed in the second half. The Heat shot just 10 of 34 (29.4 percent) in the final two quarters. Wade and James went 4-for-18 over that span, with seven of their combined 16 second-half points coming at the foul line.

“We were really locked in for the majority of the game, and that’s what we’re getting now that we didn’t get earlier in the year,” Collison said. “But the last few weeks have been a lot better with everybody being locked in and quick to help. We’re so much better when we play that way.”

There’s no doubt about it!

88 Comments

  1. okcstunnin says:

    It was the d of okc please man up and say it and stop haten heat you guys were all talkin how you was goin to spank okc and it didn’t happen so get over it. They got beat by another good team.

  2. okcstunnin says:

    It was the d of okc please man up and say it and stop haten heat you guys were all talkin how you was goin to spank okc and it didn’t happen so get over it

  3. ddddd says:

    For those who commented regarding Chris Webber’s shut up and play… and the let them shut up and play. The heat signed up for this when they formed their team. What would allow them to shut up and play is if people quit asking for it by commenting on these articles. If people quit reading and commenting on the heat articles people would not write nearly as many.
    However… thats never gonna happen. True diehard Laker, Celtic, Heat, Cav, Knick, Magic, or Bulls fans all fuel the fire from all sides by intensifying these internet squabbles, and therefore driving the ratings up for articles on the heat. There could be an article on what Lebron’s meal was on the Tuesday before his last roadtrip or something as miniscule as that and it would still generate a nice little internet fight from laker fans on the other coast!!!! Hell this article is commenting on OKC (granted the heat were playing but…) I am seeing more comments about the heat than OKC!!! Shoot anytime anyone tries to write an article about any of the other teams in the league the internet chatter turns into an anti-heat pro- (Celtic, Laker etc…) conversation.

    The only thing that is going to make the heat shut up and play is the playoffs. Thats where true warriors and true champions are made. Some step up, and others quiver up and fade away. We will see come june whether the heat are the team that steps up or quivers. We will see. With the playoffs the play does the talking, not the rhetoric.

    I still say that the thunder are growing quite nicely from their baby-pants all the way up to their big kid and adult pants. They know what they need and they have grown together quite nicely. When the Lakers fade out the Thunder are right there to take their place at the first sign of old age… That may come sooner than expected considering the personel moves on OKC’s side. :)

    • Kingsfan says:

      @dddd – I agreed with the vast majority of what you said. However, for the media to not focus on the big hooplah which is the Heat would be bad marketing and bad business. You have to remember, behind all of this is a money making force that doesn’t stop. These analysts know what’s going to sell and what is going to get attention. We can’t punish them or tell them to stop because they are making wise business decisions.

      With that said, I agree that the playoffs will tell all. Sure the regular season matters but the play offs is where heroes are born and overrated is defined.

      And again, I agree OKC is the future of the west. LAL better be thinking about future pieces soon, or it will be OKC and Portland duking it out in the near future.

  4. drick says:

    To the HEAT hater especially the media i HOPE you all resign when the HEAT win the championship

  5. drick says:

    You are absolutely right ALL EYES ON THE HEAT…no comment when the HEAT b8 the 2time defending champs, the 30points SPURS and the 33 points GRIZZLIEZZZZZZZ………..

  6. drick says:

    ambitious OKC…expecting to much in winning the HEAT….The HEAT juzzz 4gived you guyzzz you know that….

  7. paolo says:

    Just bring dwight howard. OKC 5 championships.

  8. All Eyes On the Heat says:

    The media always playing damn on the Heat… when the Heat win they don’t want to talk about it but weht they lost they always take some darn phrases from anyone.. like the coach said after the game they put a big deal about it. All eyes on the Heat.. once this team won the the Finals this media will shutup and of course the haters as well.

  9. Mark says:

    Why is it that when Kobe has a poor shooting night, everyone wants to pick on it. When the three amigos do the same, no one gives a hoot…? Just wondering.

    • All Eyes On the Heat says:

      its just an off shooting game for Miami , maybe one of the worst shooting for them and not because of OKC D… usually they owned that kind of game

  10. JMoon says:

    Heat once again lose to another playoff team. Miami is nowhere close to winning a title. They wont do the “little things” that matter.

    DWade, Chris “wimp” Bosh, and Queen James: “We like to get all the glory, smile and wave for the cameras, and get seen putting down flashy dunks, but we have reputations. We can’t be seen getting floorburns, taking charges, getting bloodied up, etc. It wouldn’t look ‘pro’ enough. It’s not ‘cool’.”

    Does anyone else here agree w/ me?

    • Kingsfan says:

      @ JMoon – I agree partially. I wouldnt question their heart. Wade probably hits the floor more times than any other SG in the league. Bosh doesn’t know any other way to play because he’s still relying on that that 18ft jump shot of his and his length to finese inside. Lebron is being Lebron but not enough. The main issue is that they don’t know how to do it together. They don’t play like a team.

      Prime example, Celtics get Ray Allen and Garnett to go with Pierce right. I instantly thought to myself wow that’s a lot of people needing the rock to be effective. What did they do, they figured out the right formula of touches and how to work together. That is the #1 problem with the Heat. Too many chiefs not enough Indians.(I’m native american so I can make that kind of comment :)

  11. CarlJosephNoel says:

    Playoff Matchups:
    SA vs UTAH
    LA vs POR
    DAL vs NO
    OKC vs DEN

    SA vs OKC
    LAL vs NO

    LAL vs OKC

    LAL

    CHI vs PHI
    BOS vs CHA
    MIA vs ORL
    NY vs ATL

    CHI vs NY
    BOS vs MIA

    CHI VS MIA

    CHI

    FINALS:
    LAL VS CHI (Period. . .)
    >>>Prediction<<<

  12. Jason says:

    It’s not about the Thunder nor the Lakers but it’s all about the BULLS.

  13. Laker Fan says:

    ALSO, I wanted to add, because of the loss, of course Wades STELLAR defense on Westbrook went unnoticed. Westbrook is a lightning bolt out there, one of the top 3 fastest guys in the league, and Wade still hounded him to a terrible game by Russell’s standards. Im a Laker fan, but I also keep it real.

  14. Laker Fan says:

    Im a Laker fan, unbiased. I watched the whole game. Unbelievable Sekou that you call OKC a superior team, superior defense, whatever. Heat missed more open shots than any of us can easily count. 1st half was fine. 2nd Half they shot what 29%? Yea I give some credit to OKC D, definitely. Perkins was a great pickup. But this game is still slightly MORE about Miamis off shooting night than OKC D, sorry.

  15. Jao says:

    articles like this Sekou, it’s all good. don’t listen to the idiots who say writers should just shut up and let players play. as long as traffic is coming in, you’re doing your job good. we all know any article with Heat or Lebron on it will be good traffic driver. so write those. you should also notice that a lot of ppl hate Stern and Donald Sterling so that can drive up traffic too. also, in your case, i don’t think it’s advisable to talk about Stern in a bad way. we don’t want Stern saying, “We’re not gonna hear from Sekou Smith anymore.”

  16. lakerfan says:

    miami can not beat okc,hahahaha but lakers can,, :D

  17. OKCKD35 says:

    For the record good defense does make you miss open shots, there is a thing called momentum, most shooters in the league are streaky, if you continually d up and contest shots the shooter cannot get in a rythym thus causing them to miss open looks when one does open up.

  18. OKCKD35 says:

    Last nights game was amazing, The miami heat are the biggest bunch of babies i have seen in a long time, they have this long drawn out ceremony with the big 3 guaranteeing a championship (rediculous), then when they go on a losing streak Dwayne Wade cries to the media “the Miami heat are right where everyone wants them, losing games” (rediculous #2)cry me a river, didnt he promise a trophy pre-season? then we get the headlines about them crying in the locker room after a loss (rediculous # 3). Then last night dwayne wade gets a dunk and starts dancing mid-court (trailing by 9) (rediculous#4) then cries about a no-call alst night (didnt look like much contact from ibaka) and proceeds to punch the base of the hoop (rediculous # 5) then runs up to the ref and punches the air. Who does he think he is? Tom Brady?

  19. brigitte says:

    OKC made Lebron & Co. look like old men.They’ll recover because it happens to the best teams all the time. Another thing, the home of the Miami Heat (American Airlines Arena) is located in downtown Miami, not South Beach as the sports media likes to report. Well, I guess it sounds more exciting to say South Beach.

  20. Heat says:

    This blog isn’t about MIA, it’s about OKC’s defense. So the the Heat “fans,” stop whining and just watch them play basketball.

    I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal that MIA lost. We won’t have to worry about OKC in the playoffs. I’m more concerned about BOS, CHI, ORL. As a Heat fan, I knew we weren’t going to win the first year. It will take a couple. But I still feel that MIA will make some noise in the playoffs

  21. Paulo says:

    Sekou hates Heat. why don’t you give some love to the Heat. It’s not bad for MIami as a new team seating in the 3rd position of Eastern Conference

  22. richuncle says:

    The Key to defending against Miami is backing off of Wade and LaBron, try and bait them into taking outside shots and stop them getting to the rim. For that you need to play team defense and build a wall in the paint. Okc and Ibaka were great defensively blocking or getting a hand up when Wade or LaBron tryed to get an easy shot or layup. That will be the mentality in the playoffs, no layups or easy shots and OKC did a great job at that. When you can beat the Lakers 2 games in the playoffs you must have a great team. OKC played the Lakers very tuff in the playoffs and now they will not have to face the Lakers in the first or second round if the seeding stays like it is. OKC will be a fuff out and they will have homecourt advantage in the first round if they can hold on to the 4th seed. I expect them to win their first round and push San Antonio to 7 games in the second round. The future is bright in OKC since they are so good at their young age.

  23. DBBJ-HEAT FAN says:

    OKC’S DEFENSE WAS AMAZING AND DURANT IS SOMETHING ELSE, BUT LETS ADMIT IT Y’ALL, THE HEAT MISSED A WHOLE LOT OF OPEN SHOTS, THAT’S WHY THE LOSE. DEFENSE DON’T MAKE YOU MISS OPEN SHOTS, THE SHOTS JUST WEREN’T GOING IN, THAT’S THE REASON THE LOSE THE GAME.

    • HeatH8r says:

      Defense can help in forcing teams to miss open shots. Which shot is easier to make: the one with the hand in your face and making it difficult for you to see the basket, or the wide-open jumper where you have no one around? Don’t take away from the defense that the Thunder played against Miami: that was championship-level defense, and while I don’t think the Thunder are experienced enough to win the title this year, I do believe they will go to the conference finals and take whoever they meet in the conference finals to seven games before they lose. And the excuse “the shots weren’t falling” doesn’t work for 82 games of the season. There will be individual nights where yes, nothing seems to drop and teams have difficulty putting up points. But when a team is failing to score consistently, or when it counts, then you have to wonder if it isn’t something else.

  24. Imad Akel says:

    Again the title of this article, OKC did it with D. I fail to see how any defensive team can FORCE the offensive team to take 17 3s….That’s just bad offensive decision making not great defence…

    Great defence is when you cause too many turnovers (equal at 11) or block too many shots (heat blocked 4 more than OKC) or prevent any second chances (9 offensive rebounds for the heat is less than OKC’s 17, but it’s not like OKC limited the heat to 2 or 3 offensive rebounds…so not great defence…)

    OKC shot HORRIBLY without their 3s to be honest. 26\68 from inside the arc…
    Miami shot OKAY without their 3s. 27\61 from inside the arc (44% is acceptable)…

    That;s where the difference was made. Not on defence, Bad offensive decisions can’t be attributed to good defence when a team is persistent on taking those 3s instead of trying to get abit closer to the rim…If i was playing for OKC and let miami take open 3s, and they missed, is that good defence? Even if i close tightly on the perimeter, its still more of a bad offensive decision that they are trying to take a very bad shot rather than a good defensive play that im making their 3 harder (a 3 is already hard…Even ray allen, the all time leading 3point scorer, misses open 3s…)

    • D fence says:

      they closed off the paint to miami’s cuts, bothering wade and james into taking three’s they otherwise wouldn’t have (is how good defense can ENCOURAGE a team to shoot more threes, even when they aren’t falling)

    • Law064 says:

      Well Imad Akel you have to give OKC credit for locking down the paint limiting Miami to outside shots where they struggle. I think they played good D the 3 miami stars were 21-59. You can say they played good D none of miami’s stars had over 30 points so that’s enough said. Good D or bad shooting but you have to give OKC credit.

    • jin says:

      with all due respect, i believe taking too many 3s is quite common when confronted by a good defensive team? OKC had a very decent defensive play last night and you cannot deny that if you actually watched the game.

    • Kingsfan says:

      @ Imad

      I disagree with you slightly. Yes Heat took wayyy too many 3′s, but with basketball sometimes you have take what’s given to you. If the D is shutting down the inside and not allowing penetration and stopping the ball movement then you have to do something to get a shot up or you will just turn the ball over or draw fouls. The OKC defense forced the Heat to take as many 3′s as it did. Maybe not all 17, but I think you get my drift.

      Now with that said, had Miami played the kind of defense they played late in the 2nd quarter all game, this article would be about the Heat winning with D.

      • Law064 says:

        @Kingsfan your correct OKC locked down the paint and stopped penetration. That’s good D I mean you didn’t see Lebron & Wade just having a highlight night. Good D and you can factor in some bad shot selections as well but that’s mostly due to taking what’s given.

  25. Nicolas says:

    Men you hae to give the proper respect to OKC!

    Im not an OKC fan in fact im from uruguay and i am spurs fan but cmon! They have young, hungry, with 2 guys one already superstar and one in the making, and also have all the other right pieces. And they did it the right way, working their A$$ of. This team went from nothing, to 8th seed with 50 wins and now home court advantage!!

    They have the biggest upside in time, they make the most progress every year. And they want it bad. real bad. Do you see how they play? No backing down, no fear, taking losing to heart but respecting the healthy portion if they are well beaten. And HUNGRY, they really really really want it.

    Thats the secret men. Behind shis succes is talent, brain ad WORK. you cant deny they are elite as they have beaten every good team. Oh, and they are younger

    • Kingsfan says:

      @ Nicolas

      They have the 6th best record currently in the NBA. They haven’t been proven in the playoffs. Are they good if not great, of course. Do they have the biggest upside, the best upside in the league aside from possibly Chicago. But all this doesn’t put them amongst the elite. If they get to the semi-conference finals and win or even push it to 6 or 7 games against Spurs, then coming in next year they would be one of my top choices to win the west next year.

      Until they prove they can handle the intensity in April-June, you can’t consider them elite.

      • Heat says:

        I understand what you’re saying. OKC hasn’t proven themselves yet. They have all the right pieces to have an elite team, they just haven’t proven themselves yet. I believe that OKC will make it to the Conf. Finals. But they will be tested in that first round if they play DEN.

        But I get were you’re coming from, not yet placing them in the elite category.

  26. Law064 says:

    @Maax how do you figure Boston can’t win?? Even more what about the bulls? Dallas is a regular season team. The bulls are up there because they’ve been playing great and the MVP D.Rose has been causing havoc. Miami is still a few role players away. Maax if Boston,Chicago,or Miami can’t win then who’s coming out of the east?? Orlando??? LMAO

    • Kingsfan says:

      @ Law064

      I agree with you 100%. Boston is definetly going to be in the mix. Along with Chicago and Orlando. I don’t think Orlando will get to the finals but with Howard and Nelson, they will give who ever they face at least a 6 game series.

      And to say Chicago can’t take Orlando, are you nuts? And to say Chicago can’t score? Rose, Deng, Boozer is as formidable of a 3 man scoring group than 90% of the league. Then you add Noah’s 10 a game from hustle points. Then you add in Korver’s deadly 3′s. Then Brewers transition game off a steal or running the break. Their defense is what pushes their points up. If they hold teams to under 90 points (like they have been) and score mid 90′s its a win every time.

  27. maax says:

    boston can’t win the title anymore.the title will go to lakers or spurs.miami is non existent, dallas is made of losing players, and chicago can’t beat neither the magic in a 7 games series.i don’t really know how chicago is up there, but it has no chances: in the playoffs every strong team will defend, but theproblem of chicago is that it can’t score.

  28. EK says:

    I don’t get what you guys are saying. If you’re an elite team, you compete with and beat the other elite teams. The Bulls do that, OKC, and Miami, not so much.

    • Kingsfan says:

      @EK

      That’s exactly why I included them in my 4 elite teams.

      • NAJ says:

        But the Lakers have lost regularly to the top teams in the league but you have included them. It’s not a valid criteria to be elite.

      • Kingsfan says:

        @ Naj

        They are the defending champs, they are the top of the elite until someone beats them in June.

      • Imad Akel says:

        Bulls wouldnt beat the heat in a 7 game playoff series…

        I don’t know how to explain it, but as surely as KG and the wolves were going to lose to the lakers in their record season years ago, and as sure as the Cavs depsite having had a great season last year were going to lose to the celtics (and maybe they would’ve lost to the magic too), the Bulls will lose to either of the Heat and the Celtics.

        You can sense it. In the playoffs i doubt they’ll beat either of those teams.
        And as for “the future” of the bulls, as long as there’s no malone to their stockton, no pippen to their jordan, no shaq or (gasol + artest + odom + fisher) to their kobe, no parker + manu to their duncan, they will never get a ring.
        This bunch is good, not good enough though. They’re playing well but there’s a difference between playing well during the season and being great when the season’s over. Joakim Noah + Boozer are not enough. They’re good, but not great. It will take 2 more good names, or 1 important one (not kevin love. think lemarcus aldridge or kevin durant).
        If they could somehow get their hands on howard then that’s your great team…But kyle korver and that big turkish guy off the bench and those good role playing players won’t be enough…

        It either takes ALOT of GOOD\VERY GOOD role playing players (of which they have noah and boozer i guess), or couple of GOOD role playing players (which they have) + another important player (which they don’t have)

      • Kingsfan says:

        @ Imad- You are comparing this Bulls team to KG’s wolves? Really? The talent surrounding Rose is far superior than that of the Wolves. Unless of course you think the Candyman is better than boozer or Noah. Oh ya and you think Spree is better than Deng. Oh ya or you thank anyone off that bench of the wolves would have competed with Brewer, Korver Asik or Gibson.

        If the Bulls keep playing Defense like they have all year, they will be in contention and will give hte Celtics a solid run. (Heat weren’t mentioned there because there is no way that they get past the Celtics).

        Now you mention no pippen to jordan etc etc… Do you remember when the Pistons won? They had no one near the talent of Rose and no where near the bench of teh Bulls. You do realize Boozer and Gibson average 18ppg right? Then lets not mention Noahs almost double double average as well. You mention Booz and Noah not being enough but no mention of Deng(who is their 2nd best offensive option).

        Will they win it all, I don’t think so but they have proved themselves all year. They pick up a solid sg (Affolo would be outstanding) in the off season and you will see them in the Finals next year.

  29. to sekou..... says:

    are you a heat hater? :| heat lost, blog. heat won, no blog.

    • Law064 says:

      Sekou posted the links of the miami blogs after the wins. I guess you all can’t call him a hater LMAO.

      • Gary says:

        Actually no. The only blog that was KIND of about a win was the one that focused on Bosh after the LA game. He pretty much dismissed Wade and James out the equation even though they had very good games as well as the rest of the team. Also the other link was to a blog BEFORE the San Antonio game with a question mark in the title. They they win and nothing. Not only that but they even did a blog before the LA game where they all casted votes for LA to win then the upset happens and what….nothing.

  30. Law064 says:

    This just means Miami is 3-8 vs good teams in this stretch. It was a good win for OKC because they lost the 1st game vs the heat. I don’t think this win can push OKC to be an elite team but it’s a good win for them. I understand what you said about no blogs after the 3 wins however the heat never really got out of that hole(5 game skid). Just was a good performance from OKC.

  31. English Ball Player says:

    Jeez Gary, talk about jumping the gun. For all the flashy, highlight-reel dunks and plays made by the Miami Heat this season, the backbone of their title quest is the fact that they are one of the league’s most relentless defensive teams when they are at their very best.

    That hardly seems like hating, and yes they did beat LA then they did beat San an by 30 but he cant blog 24/7.
    The Heat are expected to win games with 3 All-star players a 2 time Mvp an a finals mvp and CB.
    Its true that OKC are the blue eyes of the league but thats the way the cookie crumbles.
    And how can you say that the win means nothing ? Every win means something without winning what is the point in playing at such a high level it would be a boring league if it was just let the players play and it doesnt matter who wins ?

    Anyway OKC will be up there in a few years contending in the finals and give miami a couple of seasons to make a decent supporting cast and so will they.

    I suspect that we will be seeing both of these teams in the finals in a few years

    Only time will tell and its on OKC’s side

  32. rachel says:

    hmmm. lets just see what the thunder do in the playoffs. they might not win but they will make a deep run.

    they have a formidable group of bigs who can adequetly contend with teams with size. They have 2 all stars and the leading scorer in the nba. They have 2 veteran big men with playoff experience, one with a ring. They have rising stars in james harden and ibaka. They have role players who contribute significantly in maynor, sharp-shooter daquan cook. they have a promising rookie center in aldrich, who was a successful board patroler for the jayhawks. They have a smart saavy gm in presti. a great coach in brooks with a solid coaching staff boasting the likes of nba vet maurice cheeks. and they have a talented man to man defender and in the kobe kryptonite himself, thabo sefolosha. recover nate robinson and you get a spark off the bench who could add crucial pointage and possibly be an upset to an important game. and you have an elite caliber team who is on their way to building a powerful franchise.

    The thunder do not get enough credit. yes, they are young but you cant deny their talent and promise. the days of pairing the thunder with the word “potential” are over. they are stepping up. they have become a threat. the balance of power in the west will be seriously contested. mark my words.

    in another year or two, naysayers and doubters will be scarfing down a fistful of their own words. the pathetic thing is most doubters will jump on the bandwagon as the thunder gain success.

    no bandwagons for me, ive been a ball fan since i was a kid in the 80′s. i live in okc and i saw the thunder come here and struggle. i admired their tenacity and could see their talent along with many other basketball fans. we are proud to see them come into their own. never doubted you boys!

  33. Carmelo (seriously, that's my name) says:

    @Kingsfan
    YES…they ARE an elite team. Think about what they have for a sec:
    - best scorer in the league (Durant, who is also a good leader)
    - one of the best scoring PGs in the league (Westbrook)
    - defensive anchor (Perkins)
    - guys who know their roles and play within them (Ibaka, Harden, Collison, etc.)
    - good coach
    yes, i agree with your whole “experience” point, but that doesn’t stop them from being an elite team. Plus, they got their playoff bumps last season from the Lakers, so they’re ready this season. Atleast conference finals for the Thunder this post-season. BOOK IT.

    • Kingsfan says:

      @ Carmelo

      How can you consider them an elite team when they have yet to advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs? Like I mentioned they have the tools to be amazing. I didn’t take away what they are or have. I’m simply stating they don’t have the experience of that gut wrenching pounding (emotional and physical) exertion that the playoffs cause.

      That’s why I said once they are tested in the playoffs and they stick together, they will be among the elite if not the best in the league.

      • QuestionMark says:

        Actaully your wrong, all the emotions come from the fans, if you remember last year, the OKC crowd was electrifying since if was their first playoffs, but this season they are not facing L.A, and they aren’t the 8th seed anymore, they will be facing Denver possibly and most likely advance to the 2nd round and face San Antonio, that is where the challenge awaits them, I personally think they are ready to face L.A or San Antonio, OKC has everything a contender needs: A clutch scorer (Durant), A good PG (Westbrook), Size (Ibaka, Perkins) and Defense (Sefolosha, Perkins, Ibaka, Harden, Westbrook, Durant, are all terrific defenders). Their only problem is they lack experience, but they got a taste of the Playoffs last season and they are ready this season.

      • Kingsfan says:

        @ Question Mark – So a taste of the playoffs equals a first round bow out? And you believe they are going to go from that to the Western Conference Finals? By all means I agree with a lot of your points, I have mentioned at least 5 times here I think they have the tools to be amazing, but with that said you can’t count your chickens until they hatch. We can’t go speculating how they will do in the Playoffs until we see them prove they can handle it. I definetly think they will handle Denver in 5 and quite possibly a sweep. But I don’t think they will be able to beat the Spurs 4 games.

        If you look at the history of teams that have the makings to be great, they don’t go from round 1 exit to Western Conference contenders in 1 year.(exclude Duncan and the spurs) All the great teams took at least 1 or even 2 years in hard fought play off series to push over the hump.

    • chris says:

      no play off expierience but perk. also most teams dont start playin good till the play offs like the seltics spurs and lakers rite now they are playin there best.

      • Kingsfan says:

        @chris

        You know your statement doesn’t make any sense. You do realize the 3 teams you mentioned have the 3 best records in the league outside of chi-town?

        But they are just not playing good right?

        Ok….

  34. vicki b says:

    D Wade needs to quit showing off and tryin all these 360 spins and then lose the ball out of bounds. Sure he is good but when you show off and dont score you just look stupid.

    • KDEISEL says:

      agreed. plus dwades spin a la dunk was a complete joke. he shuffled his feet and that means TRAVEL. bro took three steps and celebrated like he just won the game or something.

  35. Gary says:

    It’s official, Sekou is a Heat Hater. When the Heat beat LA them San Antonio we got no blogs about it or in subsequent big wins. But as soon as they lose bam, here comes a blog about it. I give OKL alot of credit but this win means nothing so not sure what the noise is about.

    • pfft says:

      you’re right. i was waiting for a blog when Heat defeated Lakers and Spurs, but there was none. shame, shame, shame.

    • Vlad says:

      most of them are Heat haters…it`s all they write about….(although this is more about OKC). Chris Webber said before the Heat Lakers game that the Heat need to shut up and just play…well…i think that goes for these writers to…just shut up and LET them play. We don`t need a disection after every game.

      • KDEISEL says:

        well i say you should shut up and LET them do their jobs. we dont need a snide comment after every media response.

      • Kingsfan says:

        Isn’t that their job? Isn’t that the reason we come to the blogs and respond? To evoke conversation and thoughts?

        Hmmm, didn’t you take time out of your day Vlad to post something?

        Was just curious…..

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Ha Sekou shut you up Gary.
      OKC is my only worry about LA’s quest this season.
      OKC is my favorite team behind LA.

      • Gary says:

        Actually no. I posted elsewhere on here about what he posted…

      • Gary says:

        Also are you serious? A team that hasn’t even seen the west finals is who you are worried about this year? I think you forgot about San Antonio and Dallas. I’m not saying they will Beat LA, but they have a much bigger chance of doing it vs OKL.

      • Kingsfan says:

        @ Gary – I agree totally! OKC is solid but I would be much worried about SA/DAL before my thoughts even came accross OKC.

    • NAJ says:

      There was a blog about Bosh coming up big against LA and this is about Thunder being elite because they beat another elite team, nothing to do with Miami specifically. It would have been the same blog had they beaten Lakers/Celtics/Spurs with defence.

  36. Kingsfan says:

    I wouldnt go saying that the Thunder move into the “elite” teams as of yet. You’re talking about the spurs/lakers/celtics/bulls in that phrase. I do think the Thunder have the most upside of anyteam in the league right now besides maybe Chicago, but in the same breath they aren’t championship ready. They haven’t been tested in the playoffs. Sure they gave the Lakers a little scare last year. Sure they picked up Perk which was a huge addition, not only for his solid defense and grittly play but his championship experience. But with both of those said, until the Thunder get at least 1 or 2 deep runs into the play offs they won’t have what it takes to get over that hump. If this team stays together and injuries don’t plague them, I would go out on a limb and speculate that I do see them being a contender and have a great chance of winning a title in the next 4-6 years.

    • Team South Beach says:

      You are absolutely right, but your list of elite teams is a little too long. Lakers/Spurs/ Celtics are elite teams, they are proven teams that won it all before. Then you have great teams; Miami/Chicago/OKC/Dallas, great teams without a doubt but not proven yet. I’ve been a Heat fan since the start of the franchaise and endured heart break during the years of Zo and Timmy Hardaway and I’ve liked and followed the Bulls since I can remember but as of right now as much as I HATE the Celtics they are still the team to beat in the east, and the only ELITE team there, neither Miami or the Bulls are there yet.

      • prix says:

        great game for OKC…i respect them as much I respect the Heat…with there defense like that they could probably blow out the Lakers by 20 or the Boston by 25 and spurs the spurs by 30…lol…its a match up for the Bulls because both of them are defensive team and dont rely on just there all stars…SEKOU SMITH the the no.1 Heat hater would be very glad that the Heat lose and probably having a party after the game…lol…and each of Heat lose He probably collect all the recorded games and put it in his collections and put it on his secret vault together with all his precious possessions…lol…Im sure he dedicated all his life praying to his Buddha in order that whoever team especially the Cavs to beat the Heat…lol…SEKOUHEATHATER…

    • possiblySooner says:

      I agree that they aren’t title-material this year (this is still the dominion of the West’s old guard, although that era is quickly ending), but that doesn’t change the fact that they are elite. They present a serious, serious threat to whomever they meet in the playoffs, and while I don’t think they’ll beat the Lakers or Spurs (Mavs are more up in the air I think…Dirk and Terry are wildcards that could swing it either way) in a 7 game series, they will tax those teams just as much as those teams would tax each other.

      But they will absolutely be the team to beat in the West in the next era (which is beginning now, and the transition will continue next season, and possibly be complete by 2012-2013, when Lakers/Spurs lose their grip). The seeds for a true dynasty have been laid, and the players (and management) surely feel that they’re a part, right at the beginning stages, of something that could be a very special moment in NBA history (the triumph of small-market, small-town-America, blue-collar humility, hard work, and team loyalty in the face of a rapidly changing NBA and cultural landscape, towards ever more glitz, glamour, and egoism).

      On a side note, I had the distinct feeling during the game last night that Thunder-Heat is going to be THE rivalry in this new era (akin to Celtics-Lakers now and forever, since that will always reemerge from time to time). The media will eat it up…good guys vs bad guys, etc etc. And the teams are already laying the foundation for an intensity and physicality of play that screams good basketball drama. I see multiple OKC-Miami finals in the next 4-6 years, and possibly (hopefully?) the kind of mutual team hatred (/ultimate respect) that the NBA used to see a lot more of.

      • Kingsfan says:

        See this kind of conversation is what I like about the blogs. @ Team South Beach you are correct, Bulls technically couldn’t be considered an elite team due to their lack of winning a title or proven history of winning. I was more referring to the elite teams of this season. Looking at the top 2 teams of each conference as of today (again in my opinion) as the elite teams.

        @possibly sooner- I think your not factoring in the Bulls in that equation. Right now the Bulls are the front of that East line to take over the torch not Miami. Granted Miami excellent pieces to build on, until they build on it they won’t be in contention. They won’t win a title with Miller, Bibby, Z, Joel Anthony, James Jones etc. Until they get a solid point guard and a center who poses any threat on the defensive end, they will continue to be a team that puts up highlights and has two potential mvp’s every year but one that can’t win in the playoffs.

    • QuestionMark says:

      Thunder did give the Lakers a scare last year, but that was without a body to put on Gasol or Bynum, but this year they have Perkins and Ibaka, a much better defensive frontcourt than Green abd Krstic. I do think they have what it takes to beat them, and also this year its obvious that they will make it past the first round since they are facing Denver. Even if they have what it takes to beat the Lakers, I agree they aren’t true contenders yet.

      • Kingsfan says:

        Well if your factoring the new “bodies” that OKC has picked up, shouldn’t you in the same breath mention the new bodies and healthy bodies of the lakers? Bynum was hurt for all of the playoffs last year. They didn’t have Blake or Barnes last year. I think that counters Perk and Ibaka.

        And your also forgetting they won’t see the lakers until the Conference Finals. That would mean they have to beat San Antonio first.

        Like I mentioned in couple posts here, they don’t have the composure or the battle scars of the playoffs yet. They will see the 2nd round, but I don’t think they will get past the spurs. If they push the Spurs to a 6th or 7th game, I would be very worried if I was a Western Conference team next year.