Orlando Observations: Day 5
For the first time all week, the Thunder was out-hustled and outplayed by another team. The Jazz beat OKC to loose balls, took advantage of numerous defensive lapses by the Thunder to run their offense effectively throughout the game and turned the contest into a layup drill in the second half.
Add to that, the Thunder couldn’t get much of anything going on the offensive end, scoring more than 15 points in only one quarter. OKC was plagued by turnovers (20), poor shot selection and simple misses (37.9 percent shooting from the field, 2-for-12 from 3-point range) and sloppy execution all day.
Final score: Jazz 70, Thunder 60.
Don’t know if it was the white jerseys, the fifth game in five days or the Jazz just playing that much better. I’m going to say it had a lot to do with the absence of Russell Westbrook, who sat out the finale. At any rate, the Thunder wrapped up its 2009 appearance in the Orlando Pro Summer League at 3-2, a very encouraging start to the summer league schedule not because of the record of course but the way the young guys played and competed throughout the week.
Not much to say from this one, so I won’t bog down this post with minor details. Check out the box score to see who did what. Meanwhile, I’ll lace you with some words from coach Scott Brooks, who told me in a telephone interview just before tip-off that he was actually proud of his team’s effort heading into the final game. I imagine he wasn’t so pleased with what he saw over the next hour and a half after hanging up the phone with me.
But first a few observations and notes.
Serge Ibaka looked solid again, continuing to show off a smooth shooting touch from 15 to 17 feet and some nifty footwork on the interior. On one possession, he hit his defender with an up-and-under move starting from the left block and got a trip to the foul line. It was a advanced move that was pretty impressive for a player who is supposed to be raw. Ibaka had eight points, three rebounds and one blocked shot in 19 minutes.
James Harden absolutely destroyed Kevin Kruger. I actually felt worse and worse for Kruger with every drive and finish Harden had. Harden finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three steals and one assist in 33 minutes. He left the game early with what appeared to be cramping but came back and finished strong, even running the point a good amount after he returned.
Kyle Weaver sat out with a left thumb injury. He had tests done on the thumb and is questionable for Vegas pending the results of the examinations, which the Thunder should know today.
Westbrook will play in the Thunder’s first game in Las Vegas against Memphis on Sunday, making the match up that much more interesting (and watchable if Friday’s game is any indication of what OKC looks like without him). Westbrook is the Thunder’s best driver to the basket, and No. 2 overall pick and All-World shot-blocking machine Hasheem Thabeet will be lurking in the middle for the Grizzlies. Got a feeling neither will back down from the challenge.
VIDEOS FROM NBA TV
Buy Tickets View all
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 27538Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15649Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 10393Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9809Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 9381Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 8402Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 8325Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 7545Carrie Underwood donates $1 million to Red Cross for disaster relief in wake of deadly Oklahoma tornadoes
- 7311Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 6526UPDATE: Search continues for boy, 17, missing in Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients