If you’re like me, the only thing you really know about the Oklahoma City Barons is that their fans sometimes take up valuable parking spots during Thunder games. That’s a shame, because in addition to having attainable ice girls who probably hang out at Henry Hudsons, the Barons actually play a decent brand of hockey. I went to a few games last year and the players are fast, know how to skate, can handle a puck, and aren’t a bunch of amateur goons that sell cars on the weekends. Basically, they are the total opposite of those semi-pro Oklahoma City Blazers squads of the 1990s and aughts. I think that’s the biggest compliment you can give to a hockey team.
One example of the talent differential is the Barons Jonathan Cheechoo. Even though the dude is past his prime, he scored 50 goals during the 2005-2006 NHL regular season. You’d never see a player with those credentials in the old CHL. Scoring 50 goals in the NHL would be like a non-steroid era baseball player belting 40+ home runs in a season. It’s not the rarest feat in the world, but still pretty significant. If you’re not a sports fan and the baseball analogy made no sense, scoring 50 goals in a regular season would be like an OU frat boy legally hooking up with 10 hot girls in a calendar year. If you’re not a chauvinist pig and that analogy made no sense, I have to ask what you’re even doing on this website. Sports and inappropriate analogies are the only things we have going for us. Just ask our broads Marisa and Chelsea.
In addition to being a once prolific goal scorer, Cheechoo is also the focus of a hockey interent meme. Back when Cheechoo still played for the San Jose Sharks and his highlights would make SportsCenter, some strange hockey fan created “The Jonathan Cheechoo Song.” The fan’s wish was that the tune “be played evertime Jonathan Cheechoo scores.” In 2009, Cheechoo was traded to Ottawa, so the fan made a new version of the song. When Cheechoo’s career hit a low and he was sent around the minors, the fan recorded yet another version. And finally, after Jonathan Cheechoo was signed by the Barons earlier this season, this happened:
Hello again Thunder fans! After finally finishing the season and locking up the first seed in the Western Conference, the Thunder are headed to the playoffs! With their destiny in hand and new players in the rotation, it’s time to see if the Thunder truly have the power to return to the NBA Finals. Step 1 is beating James Harden.
But before we look ahead, let’s look back. The Thunder have accomplished a lot in a few short years, consistently improving and never-failing to excite. It only seems right to compile a list of their best wins and honor our rich history.
Here’s the criteria. For one, the game has to be a win. Losses can be fun to watch, but we wanted to get excited before the playoffs, not depressed. For two, the game has to be exciting. I love blowing out a team as much as the next guy, but I always feel better after a close win. Lastly, the game has to be judged on how significant it was at the time. A first round win might not seem like much right now, but back in 2010, it was the bees knees.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s get to it!
10. 2012 Mavs-Thunder Game 2
Western Conference First Round, Thunder Go Up 2-0
For me, this game was all about proving that the Thunder didn’t need a last second shot to beat the Mavericks. The Mavs were a constant thorn in their side that season, and gave them a serious run for their money during the first round of that playoff run. But the Thunder were able to sweep the Mavericks, and the second win really asserted their dominance. Sure, it came down to a last second shot, but the Thunder were able to nix the attempt twice. A deserving victory during a crucial time.
9. 2011 Nuggets-Thunder Game 3
Western Conference First Round, Thunder Go Up 3-0
Going into the 2011 Playoffs, we weren’t really quite sure what to expect. The Thunder weren’t exactly among the elite yet, but we all felt that they could get out of the first round. This was the game where they proved they could. Winning two games against the Nuggets at home is no joke, but going up 3-0 on the road was absolutely huge. They didn’t do it in the most grandiose fashion, allowing J.R. Smith to pull the Nuggets within a point, but it was still an impressive win nonetheless.
Image courtesy of William Bennett Berry.
This week, we eagerly anticipate the end of the season as the Thunder hopefully hold on to the #1 seed in the West and secure home court advantage throughout the playoffs. With the playoff extravaganza coming up, this leaves me with one last opportunity to do something silly before the serious train rolls into town. Thus, with tornado season right around the corner, what better opportunity do I have to compare Thunder players to roles performed in the newsroom? Never, that’s when!
Chief Meteorologist Kendrick Perkins
Okay, so Kendrick Perkins isn’t exactly the most congenial guy on the planet. But, as Gary England once informed us all, “It’s the attitude.” And if there’s one thing Kendrick Perkins can give us, it’s attitude. I mean, look at the commercial above. He was a friggin’ scientist! He laid down the FACTS! If he tells you there’s a storm in your neck of the woods, you better run to the hills!
Move over Tulsa Shock! It was recently announced that Tulsa is getting a National Premiere League Soccer team. They will be named the Tulsa Athletics.
From The Tulsa World:
Image courtesy of William Bennett Berry.
Hello Thunder fans! It’s been another week of meh as the Thunder trudge towards the playoffs. Just as it seemed they were finally headed towards former glory, they dropped a winnable game against the Timberwolves in Minnesota. Fortunately for us, the quest to be best in the West is far from over. A home game against the Spurs tomorrow could decide it all, pending matches later in the week. But, regardless of the result of tomorrow’s game, the Thunder are definitely going into the playoffs.
Big Blue is currently one game back of the first place Spurs with 8 games left to go in the regular season. Barring an absolute collapse, they’re safely ahead of the Nuggets, who are in third. That means they’ll face whoever ends up in 7th or 8th place in the Western Conference. Currently, there’s 5 teams eligible for those positions. Let’s take a quick look at them.
6. The Golden State Warriors
Games Back of 6th: 0
Thunder Leading Season Series 2-1
Will We Face Them? Maybe. The Warriors had a pretty bad streak throughout February and March, but they’ve recently regained their stride. They’ve got a couple of tough tests in their last few games, but if they continue their current rate of winning, they should be able to hold onto the seed.
Do We Want to Face Them? Kinda. The Thunder have a nice matchup advantage against this team, because they like to isolate a lot and struggle to score. But the Warriors are, when healthy, a very talented team that can run with the Thunder defensively and control the boards. Their offense isn’t arguably as talented, but they’re good at exploiting mismatches and getting in position to score. They probably couldn’t win a 7 game series in most instances, but the Thunder should hope they can avoid a tough test from Golden State.
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