Observations, news and notes from Monday’s 113-83 loss to the Blazers…….
* You don’t know how bad I want to steal a line from Jay-Z for this entire entry and type simply, “What more can I say?” -DM-
* Just from looking at the players before, during and after games you can tell that they’re past the point of being ready for summer vacation.
* The company line after this one was stressing the importance of ending on a good note in Wednesday’s game at L.A. We’ll see.
* My question to coach Brooks and the players after the game was how much are we supposed to read into these blowout losses? That’s six losses in seven games this month. The defeats are by an average margin of 20 points.
* Nick Collison gave the best explanation, saying, “It just shows we got a long way to go. It’s who we are. We can’t hide from it. It’s on our resume so I don’t think you can forget it. You can see that we’re inconsistent. We’re capable of playing well but we’re also capable of playing pretty poorly.”
* Collison also had this gem, noting the difference between the Blazers and the Thunder, “We have potential to be good. But there’s a huge difference between having potential to be a playoff team and actually being a playoff team.”
* The difference in this one, like most losses for the Thunder this season, was defense. The Blazers had tight rotations, helped when someone got beat and closed out well on shooters. The Thunder looked like they didn’t trust each other on D all night.
* Again, why was Earl Watson benched for a month? The guy’s thumb injury is finally close to 100 percent and he shows us what kind of point guard he’s capable of being. He had a team-high 16 points with six rebounds and five assists tonight, making six of 10 shots and one of two from downtown. There’s not much of a chance of Watson being back next year, but why wouldn’t the Thunder make him the full-time backup and give him 20-25 minutes?
* Nenad Krstic and Nick Collison were about the Thunder’s lone bright spot other than Watson. Krstic finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in only 20 minutes. Collison had eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in 20 minutes.
* The Thunder’s 31 points in the first half narrowly beat its season-low of 29 in the first half, set on Nov. 7 at Utah.
* The Blazers’ bench outscored the Thunder’s 55-37.
* The Blazers outrebounded the Thunder 54-36.
* The Thunder missed 10 of 12 3-pointers.
* Kevin Durant’s 10 points were his fewest since he scored six in just eight minutes at Dallas on Feb. 27. Said Portland coach Nate McMillan, “Our defense on Kevin Durant was solid. Travis (Outlaw) guarded him, but it was pretty much a team effort. Our approach on him was to not allow him to get anything easy. We had a some schemes on where we wanted him to go and I thought it worked out well.”
* Durant scored just 13 points against Portland in the Blazers’ 35-point win inside the Ford Center on April 3.
* I can understand Durant and Green (11 points, 3-for-7 shooting) having a poor night shooting the ball. What I don’t understand is how they look completely uninterested in having an impact in any other aspect of the game. They combined to pull down six rebounds, record zero assists and one blocked shot.
* Russell Westbrook is now one game away from playing in all 82 this season.
* Look for Jerryd Bayless’ one-handed dunk off an alley-oop on SportsCenter’s top 10. And Greg Oden’s. And Rudy Fernandez’s.
* After his monster 35-point, 18-rebound game on April 3, LaMarcus Aldridge scored just five points with eight rebounds.
* In the words of Jay-Z, “What more can I say?”