Image Courtesy of William Bennett Berry.
Hello again Thunder fans! I’m coming back to you after what has been two straight weeks of boring basketball. In fact, aside from the late comeback of Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, the Thunder haven’t played any really close games in about three weeks. It’s just been one blowout after the other. Even for the most die hard fan, those games can be difficult to watch.
Here’s a list of ways to make your time zoning out in front of the TV more enjoyable.
Watch Hasheem Thabeet
I could watch this guy play basketball all day. The weird thing about this guy is that it’s clear he’s fundamentally sound. In other words, if you challenged him and Kendrick Perkins to a skills contest in an open gym, I’m pretty sure he’d win. The few jumpshots he’s taken have good form, and as far as I know, have sunk every time. But the guy is just so unbelievably uncoordinated that you never really know what’s going to happen. He might end up fumbling away an open rebound, or he could somehow end up tipping the ball in the basket. Literally every time he steps on the floor, there’s some hilarity to be had. A perfect example was from last week’s game against the Warriors, where Thabeet made this awesome looking garbage time dunk. But before he could celebrate, he tripped over his own feet while running back up the floor. Oh, Hasheem.
Cheer For a Random Record
This one sounds lame, but its’ better than you might think it is. When the Thunder are crushing the Suns going into the fourth quarter for the fourth game in a row, there’s really not much to look at, unless you like keeping up with the benchwarmers. But when the Suns are on the verge of setting a franchise low in points, suddenly things get interesting. Suddenly, you’re cheering for Daniel Orton to block a last second layup. Why? Well, there’s the fun aspect of cheering for the team that creamed the other like never before. But there’s also the fun aspect of knowing this bit of trivia when you’re talking with friends years down the road. They’ll say, “Hmm, the Suns are a pretty high scoring team, I wonder if they’ve ever scored below 70.” And you can say, “They did. I was watching it.” Won’t you be cool then?!
Look At How the Players Pad Their Stats
I know that the Thunder are a developing team and that garbage time is a chance for them to run plays and get in practice time. Yadda yadda. But truthfully, for all NBA teams, garbage time is seen as a great opportunity to pad your stats. Normal offense degrades into nothing, players attack the paint, ballhandling gets sloppy, and defenses are always looking for steals. Things don’t get quite as bad as the All-Star game or those Summer Leagues we were subjected to in 2011, but people are definitely out for themselves. But while some guys will do the obvious and just hog the ball, others will stat pad in very strange ways. Eric Maynor, for example, will often pass up open shots so that he can get an extra assist. Jeremy Lamb will hawk up threes from way behind the line. Some guards will snatch the ball out of a big guy’s hands as he’s about to get a rebound. Big guys will just stand by the basket and hope the other team’s defense forgets about them. Really, the whole thing is an entirely new dynamic, and if you forget about the score, it’s kinda interesting to watch.
Watch the Bench
This is harder to do if you’re not at the arena, but half the fun is just seeing what’s going on with the starters while they ride out the game. Kevin Durant usually has a “nun look” going on, where he puts a towel over his head and tucks it under his shirt. Why he thinks this is a good look is beyond me. Westbrook hardly ever puts his shirt back on, and sometimes he’ll glare while a towel sits on his head. Unfortunately, Scott Brooks is one of the least entertaining coaches in terms of mannerisms, so there’s not a lot to look for there. But opposing coaches will sometimes look funny. P.J. Carlesimo is my personal favorite, as he’s constantly squatting, birdcalling, wearing crazy ties, and just generally doing insane stuff. Then again, Scott Brooks will get a little zany sometimes. What was he thinking with that tie?
Random Thunder Highlight of the Week:
We’ve all seen Kevin Durant dunks before, and I doubt this one, during a Suns blowout, will make his career reel. But it holds a special place in my heart because it’s a great example of an extreme length power dunk. In other words, that’s about as far as he’s going to get from the rim and complete a powerful dunk-like motion, even if he just barely grazed the rim. So in that sense, it’s unique.
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