Right now, the Thunder are closing out on the most disappointing month of the season. They looked near unstoppable in December, but followed it up with a clunker of a January. It wasn’t disastrous by any stretch of the imagination, but there were definitely a couple of embarrassing losses early on. Furthermore, the long six game road trip cost the team their Western Conference lead. But, above all, the trip told us that our beloved team is definitely beatable, and that the road to the championship can be long and arduous.
So, who, exactly, stands in our way? And what chance do we have of beating them? Here’s the top 5. Keep in mind that this is a brief overview and that I’m ranking the teams in order of the likelihood that they win the title, not their particular skill against the Thunder.
Honorable Mentions: The Bulls and Warriors are possibilities, but their fate depends on the return of Derrick Rose and Andrew Bogut, respectively. Until then, it’s impossible to know how good they’ll be. The Grizzlies are in the conversation, but we’ve seen this same team falter in the past two years. Beyond that, the faults are obvious. The Pacers have no bench, the Hawks can’t get to the line or rebound, and the Nuggets have no star to lead them.
5. New York Knicks
Performance vs. Thunder: 0-1 in 2011-12 season.
Positives: The Knicks are a perfect combination of star power and experience. Even the most pedestrian NBA fan will recognize most of the guys that play on their roster, and all of them are contributing productive roles on the team. They also have an excellent combination of extremes. You’ve got offensive juggernauts like J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony, but you’ve also got defensive stalwarts like Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
Negatives: Because the Knicks have so many stars, personality conflicts are bound to arise. (Fire extinguisher, anyone? Melo-KG, anyone?) Furthermore, the team’s been in a pretty big slump lately. It was thought that Mike Woodson would be able to get this team fired up on the other end of the floor, but there are definitely nights where they resort to outscoring opponents. They just keep pressuring the ball and leaving players wide open or switching on screens, causing dire mismatches that result in easy points. Finally, this team plays a lot of close games and generally lose. This is a combination of Woodson’s inability to make on the fly adjustments and bad shot selection from the Knicks’ stars.
Final Verdict: Dark Horse. Anything with this team is a gamble, really. I could see them winning the title just as easily as I could see them getting knocked out of the first round. But if they were to get into a NBA Finals series with the Thunder, I’d have to give the Thunder an edge. They don’t really have a defensive answer for Durant or Westbrook, even if their fast paced game will hurt the production of Ibaka. The only way I could see them winning is if they were able to somehow break things open down low and keep a healthy roster.
I like to think that I’m the sort of person who has a lot of common sense. I mean, I’m socially awkward and have very few friends and can offend most people with the greatest of ease. But when it comes to situations of a non-social nature, I think I’ve got my life together. I know that I need to finish all my homework before I go out and play, I know that I need to wash the dishes before they grow mold and start to smell funny, and I know that I shouldn’t make a dinner out of microwave popcorn, gummy bears, and Diet Coke. (But it’s a really good dinner, if you ask me.)
I know many things, because I’m an adult and a functioning human being, and I’m making my way in the world just fine. Basically, my existence is like the theme songs from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Laverne and Shirley mashed up and mixed. But that’s what adult life is like for women. But there are some, apparently, that don’t have the same ease and way with life. Those are the sort of people who have to be reminded to wear a seat belt. Yep, that’s right. There are still people in this world that don’t wear a seat belt. And they should, if not to save their lives, but because OHP is cracking down. According to KFOR.com:
OKLAHOMA CITY – Starting Friday, officers will be out in full force in their latest crackdown, seat belts.
Motorists should be buckling up already but this “Get Your ‘Clicks’ on Route 66” 2013 campaign adds even more of an incentive.
Oklahoma is just one of eight states taking part in the 24-hour seat belt crackdown starting Feb. 1.
OHP Lt. Ben Crockett said, “Seat belts and child car seats are the best way to protect you and your family members in the event of a crash.”
The Route 66 enforcement effort began in 2010 with a handful of law enforcement agencies in central Oklahoma.
Highway Patrol Troopers and State Police Officers from California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois now join with Oklahoma in this quarterly crackdown focusing on seat belt laws along the famed “Mother Road.”
“During the Route 66 crackdown, we’re out there to remind people that using a seat belt is not only a smart decision, it’s the law,” Crockett said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 13,000 lives are saved across the country every year by seat belts and child restraints, and motorists are 75 percent less likely to be killed in rollover crashes if they are buckled up.
Now, I know we all know those sorts of people who will argue that seat belt laws are just another example of the government over stepping their boundaries. Or, those people who say that their life was saved because they didn’t wear a seat belt on one occasion, and now never do. But I think that we can all agree that both those kinds of people are just awful and nobody likes them.
And because I know there will still be people who want to break seat belt laws, I’ve made a list of other safety precautions they can ignore. If not wearing a seat belt saved your life once, imagine how much your life could be saved if you completely threw caution to the wind.
Here they are:
Here’s a little bit of breaking news. Chesapeake Energy has announced that the Company’s founder and embattled CEO Aubrey McClendon is leaving the company on April 1.
I received a Facebook message from a Mole at 3:45pm informing me that Aubrey was “fired” and a release was being issued at 4:00, but before I could check and/or verify it, Chesapeake issued a release stating that Aubrey was “retiring.” Yeah, “retiring.”
We’ve obtained an email that Aubrey sent to Chesapeake Energy employees after the official announcement:
In our most recent mailbag, someone asked a question about swingers in the Oklahoma City area. Here was the exchange:
Not a Swingle writes:“I have been hearing a lot about swinger couples around OKC and suburbs and the stories have been told to me by people who live in different communities/school districts who don’t know each other. Is there a swinger epidemic accompanying this flu? Are some married couples really not as happy as they portray themselves on facebook and their Xmas cards? Or will I receive Xmas cards next year with swapped spouses? Do you think a lot of the swapping started at Thunder watch parties?”
Actually, I don’t really hear a lot about swingers. Then again, I don’t hang out at Friends on Memorial and Russell’s, so I’m not that engaged in swinger circles.
One other question, if we had to come up with a list of the metro’s most likely celebrity swingers and were not allowed to include the Mathis Brothers, wouldn’t Mike and Marla Morgan have to be number one? I don’t think anyone would be surprised if they were swingers. Number two would probably be Jack and Ron.
Well, it looks like I didn’t do my proper research. Number two probably should have been Jed Castles and his wife. She kind of looks like the Pioneer Women’s little sister. Check out this video from last Friday’s newscast:
I love it when our state’s legislators come up with good ideas. It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does I think we should stand up and applaud them for using the common sense God (and only God) gave them. The first, and last, newspaper I ever worked for reported about a bill that would restrict the use of welfare cash cards at places like strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores. It’s similar to a bill passed by the US house last year.
From the Shawnee News-Star:
Sen. Rob Standridge has filed legislation that would disallow the use of any welfare cash cards in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.
Senate Bill 667 states that no electronic benefit transfer card containing state or federal funds from programs including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), may be used in such establishments.
Standridge said his proposal would work to ensure the funds are directed to their appropriate use – to provide support for the needy while they get back on their feet.
Now, last time I checked, strippers don’t take cards (Editor’s Note: Well, some do, but play along). Next time you go out for some adult entertainment, try swiping your card on a stripper. You will get thrown out, even if the card is from a real bank. Also, the only cards that slot machines take are the loyalty cards you get from the casino that keeps track of your spending habits. I suppose you could use your welfare card at a liquor store, which should be illegal. I don’t want my hard-earned tax dollars spent on anything fun. Which is why I propose that any and all legislators be banned from spending money earned from their position at strip clubs, casinos and/or liquor stores. If we are going to have the ability to give you our money, we should also be able to tell you how to spend it.
Continued from Shawnee News-Star:
“The aim of programs like TANF is to provide basic support for families while the recipient finds a new job,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “If these funds are wasted at strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos, then the programs can’t achieve their purpose. Taxpayers should never subsidize this sort of self-destructive behavior.”
In order for programs like TANF to work, Standridge noted, government must ensure recipients accept welfare under certain conditions. If not, funds that could put food on the table may be wasted in a manner that directly inhibits the recipient from getting a job, such as alcohol and drug abuse, gambling and other destructive behaviors.
“The misuse and mismanagement of welfare funds has a damaging impact on the families that need help the most,” Standridge said. “It contributes to child neglect and the deterioration of the family. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to prevent this from happening.”
Let me tell you a little about State Senator Standridge, err, actually here a snippit from his website:
Always an entrepreneur at heart, Rob Standridge began his passion for small business in grade school going door to door throughout Midwest City selling anything he could sell.
Selling “anything he could sell”? That sounds like the behavior of someone that is involved in meth.
Oh, he also thinks government is too big and controlling:
Rob believes the size and scope of our government is out of control. We have gotten a long way from the ideals of our founding fathers, most notably the architect of our constitution, James Madison, who considered the necessity of government a misfortune. Government’s primary responsibility is to protect us from each other and from our common enemies. Sometimes through compassion but often for pursuit of power we have gradually drifted from the principles of government upon which we were founded. Rob does not believe in anarchy but believes we need to try to find our way back to the level of freedom our founders craved, risked their lives for, and won after much bloodshed. In our businesses and in our lives we are seeing government ever-encroaching further and further upon our freedoms and liberties.
I don’t know about you, but I want my government to be small enough to tell people how to spend their money, tell women what they are allowed to do with their bodies, make sure gay people aren’t allowed to marry, and to put one religion in all public schools. Yeah, that’s the small government I want!
OK, aside from all my snide remarks about Senator Standridge’s hypocrisy, I honestly think his bill does not go far enough. Why are those the only places that are being banned? I can think of a lot more places that welfare recipients shouldn’t be spending their money. They are as follows:
Thanks! Your message has been sent!