Quick notes and observations from Wednesday’s 110-106 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
- I’m going to keep these light. Nobody truly cares about this game. We all are waiting to find out when the Thunder is playing its opening round playoff games. We now know who. It’ll be Denver in a 4-5 matchup.
- I wrote on Twitter that if I’m the Thunder I would not want to win this game. That or I would pray that the Mavs won. I sort of take that back. There is no question the Thunder just got smoother road to the Western Conference Finals. If you’re the Thunder, Denver and potentially San Antonio in the second round is better than Portland and potentially the Lakers in the second round if you ask me. But there is something about blatantly trying to avoid an opponent that doesn’t sit well with me. We saw it in Memphis’ final two games as coach Lionel Hollins did everything he could to avoid the Lakers in the first round. Where’s the pride? Where’s the competitive spirit. The more I think about it, the more it makes me sick. I’m not a fan of tanking. I take it all the way back.
- With that said, I don’t think the Thunder tried to lose this game. It’s easy to draw that conclusion based on the way Thunder coach Scott Brooks handled his rotation. Brooks didn’t play a single starter in the fourth quarter or overtime. Still, the Thunder was up nine with 1:32 to play.
- Brooks explained his rationale. “Going into the game I wanted to see different lineups, different combinations. All year long they haven’t had an opportunity to play different parts of the game. I just wanted to see how things would work out.”
- The players blew this one. The Bucks scored three points on each of their final three possessions of regulation to knot the score at 96 and force OT.
- Nazr Mohammed had a chance to win it but missed a 15-footer. And he’s kicking himself.
- I was surprised to hear a few scattered boos throughout the arena at the final buzzer. Anybody who participated, please explain.
- Right before introducing the Thunder, the PA guy introduced the Thunder as your 2010-2011 Northwest Division champion Thunder as a spotlight shined on a white and blue banner in the rafters bearing the accomplishment. Pretty cool to see and no doubt the right decision by the Thunder.
- I’ve been calling for Nate Robinson since he got to town. And he finally got extended minutes and showed his wild and crazy side. He scored seven points on 2-for-11 shooting. He had four assists but committed five fouls in 19 minutes. Our man Berry Tramel already is popping me, saying “he was a spark all right, a spark for the Bucks.” But here’s the deal. Robinson did what any good out-of the-rotation chucker would do. He let it fly early and often, knowing full well he doesn’t know when he might get another crack at it. This game isn’t indicative of what Robinson’s capable of.
- But how much fun was the Nate Robinson-Earl Boykins matchup late in the third quarter and all of the fourth? And they actually were getting after each other.
- I don’t think I’ve seen Michael Redd live in about three seasons.
- Liz Cambage, the second overall pick of the 2011 WNBA draft by the Tulsa Shock, was in attendance. She sat in the Nicholson seats.
- I’ve always liked Keyon Dooling. Don’t really know why. Just always thought he was talented.
- That’s enough about this dud. On to the playoffs. The complete schedule will be out soon enough.