Thunder must not make a habit of playing the lottery

by Berry Tramel Modified: April 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm •  Published: April 3, 2009

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Lo
sing is not easily shaken. Mason is exactly right; losing can become a habit.

Check out Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. In two NBA seasons, their record is 41-115. That should concern general manager Sam Presti. That kind of losing can burden players.

"Organizationally, we’re not happy with what our record is,” Presti said. "But we’re also focused on making improvements on a daily basis and putting in the work to do that.”

Don’t let anyone fool you, every pro cares about winning.

"We all naturally have that fight in us, or we wouldn’t be in the NBA to begin with,” said the Thunder’s Earl Watson.

But defeat after defeat, season after season, can wear on a player, and one counter to that pain is to quit caring so much.

That’s when the losing habit that Mason spoke of can take root.

Building for the future is solid strategy. Playing young players. Resting injured players. But playing the lottery game is not building for the future. It’s fool’s gold.

The Thunder is much better off winning than trying to pad its losing record. Winning always is the best medicine.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

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 Oklahoman,...
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Thunder BLOG: P.J. Carlesimo Lands At TNT


Trail Blazers at Thunder
→When: 7 tonight

→Where: Ford Center

→TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37)

→Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM

Three things to know
→Portland has won four of its past five games.

→The season series is split 1-1 with the final meeting on April 13 at Portland.

→The Thunder has lost three straight games inside the Ford Center.

Probable starters

Thunder (21-53)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Russell Westbrook 6-3 15.7 4.8 5.1
G Thabo Sefolosha 6-7 9.3 5.4 2.2
F Kevin Durant 6-9 25.8 6.5 2.8
F Jeff Green 6-9 16.9 6.9 2.1
C Nenad Krstic 7-0 9.8 5.7 0.6
Blazers (47-27)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Steve Blake 6-3 11.2 2.3 5.0
G Brandon Roy 6-6 23.0 4.9 5.2
F Nicolas Batum 6-8 5.5 2.8 1.0
F LaMarcus Aldridge 6-11 18.2 7.3 1.9
C Joel Przybilla 7-1 5.5 8.5 0.3

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