Thunder appears out of sorts

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 8, 2010 at 9:23 am •  Published: November 7, 2010

Ever see one of those Tarantino films, where nothing is in order? Non-linear, they call it.

That's the Thunder. Everything's out of order. Everything's off schedule.

It's all a jumbled mess, which for the second straight Sunday night at the arena formerly known as the Ford Center describes the team formerly known as the NBA's newest hot thing.

The Celtics took apart the Thunder 92-83, just like Utah did a week ago. So while it's early, six games into an 82-game wagon train, if the Boomers are to surpass or even match their spirited dash of last season, better to start sooner than later.

This is what we figured we'd see last season. Promising but erratic pups who figured to be on the wrong side of the playoffs.

The 50-win breakout of last season is what we figured we'd be seeing now, a team blooming into something to be feared.

Sunday night was a first-half blowout. Even if it was against Boston, the class of the league ... even if it was without Jeff Green, the Thunder handyman ... even if the Thunder rallied and made the fourth quarter bearable ... how can all that be written off?

OKC is 3-3 and has been blasted out of its own building twice and has shown only occasional flashes of last season's defense.

Either the injured Nick Collison is one of the league's most valuable players and departed defensive coordinator Ron Adams should have been coach of the year, or the Thunder has everything mixed up.

Here's an example: If Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett torch you, that's one thing. But the Thunder was done in by Boston's B team. Big Baby Davis, Marquis Daniels, Nate Robinson and Semih Erden (a 7-foot Turkish rookie) combined to make 13 of 23 shots and score 33 points.

Early in the third quarter Sunday night, the teams had a 20 percent difference in shooting — Boston 55 percent, OKC 35 — which was only proper, since the Celtics had a 20-point lead.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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