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John Rohde: A Thunder season no one saw coming

By John Rohde Modified: April 15, 2010 at 5:01 am •  Published: April 15, 2010

The Thunder’s game against Memphis on Wednesday night was not what I envisioned.

When the Thunder held its Media Day last September, here’s what I anticipated would happen on April 14, 2010:

→Beating the Grizzlies would give the Thunder its 34th win of the season. Instead, the 114-105 triumph was the Thunder’s 50th win. Fifty? Really?

→This would be the final game of the season. Instead, it was the final regular-season game. The Thunder has at least two more home games and faces the defending world champion Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

→Given my projected 34-48 record and the quality of Wednesday’s opponent, hopefully a crowd of 15,000 would show up inside the Ford Center. Instead, there was a sellout gathering of 18,334, which is over the listed capacity of 18,203.

These projections seem downright insulting now. But be honest, yours were approximately the same, weren’t they?

Roughly 15,000 fans stuck around during post-game to chant "M-V-P” while Kevin Durant was interviewed by ESPN’s Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown.

ESPN switched its season-finale schedule and sent its No. 1 crew to cover Memphis at Oklahoma City. Really?

A highlight reel shown on the video board afterward concluded with "See you next week,” which drew a thunderous roar.

Durant essentially clinched the scoring title six hours before tipoff when word spread that Cleveland’s LeBron James would not play in his team’s finale, assuring Durant would become the youngest scoring champion in NBA history.

Proving his crown was no fluke, Durant poured in 14 first-quarter points and finished with 31.

Want to know one of the coolest things about Durant? Him waving a white towel while supporting teammates from the bench.


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