Thunder Writing A Story Few Would Have Believed
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
It has become an amazing, incredible, improbable story.
This run through the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder that is turning heads and shattering basketball teams from Texas to California and then maybe on to either Cleveland or Canada.
After a regular season that was consistent primarily because of its inconsistencies the Thunder have somehow suddenly transformed themselves into what appears to be the best basketball team on the planet.
The latest evidence is the charred wreckage scattered from one end of Chesapeake Energy Arena to the other of what most people thought was the best basketball team on the planet just last week.
The Golden State Warriors were coming off the greatest regular season in NBA history, they hadn’t lost two straight games anywhere this season and now they’ve not only lost two straight they’ve lost three games to the Thunder in the span of a week.
And of course this comes on the heels of OKC sending the Spurs off to golf courses early after San Antonio had turned in only the best regular season in franchise history.
But don’t start talking to the Thunder about what they’ve accomplished because they’ll tell you they haven’t done anything yet, they’ll also tell you just because they’re up 3-1 in the series and everyone outside the practice facility is saying the defending champs are toast they’re still working on some things that need to improve.
“Game 5 is not a continuation of Game 4,” head coach Billy Donovan warned after a brief Wednesday practice session.
He was echoing similar things he’s said during the playoffs. “This is its own separate game and now we’re gonna have to go on the road to play in a very difficult environment against a great team and we gotta prepare today and tomorrow.”
Kevin Durant knows all about being prepared for anything. He’s been in the spot he’s in now and he’s been in the spot occupied by the Warriors.
And when you’re on the team that’s being chased you can’t afford to relax and rely on that cushion you have and that home coming up and you can’t be too desperate to end things right now.
“We just have to be who we are,” he said. “We can’t put too much pressure on ourselves we just gotta go out there and have fun with the game and play with a lot of passion and energy.”
And the ability to adjust on the fly to whatever Golden State might throw at them. So far the Thunder have not only taken the Warriors by storm they’ve taken them by surprise.
“I’m very surprised,” a shell-shocked looking Klay Thompson told reporters. He may have also been suffering some post-traumatic stress because when he was asked what he and his teammates wanted to do that they weren’t able to get done, Thompson started by saying, “I mean we had 40 assists so that’s a positive…” only to have someone tell him he hadn’t come close to the real number, “Is that right? 15? Oh, way off. So we did not do what we needed, too low of a number, I mean we did miss some easy shots...I mean…”
See? Sounds like he’s not really sure of anything.
It’s what happens when you’ve cruised through an entire season without really being challenged, without really having to deal with adversity.
“Lucky for us we’re going home,” Thompson said. “I know we’ll show up.”
If they can remember the correct exit off the freeway, last night Thompson and his teammates seemed totally lost.