Thunder in the News: Crunch-time W brings back happy thoughts

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 01: Jerami Grant
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 01: Jerami Grant /

We’re breathing major sighs of relief after the OKC Thunder handled business in New Orleans on Easter. Now the focus turns to the finishing the regular season strong.

Whew. Yesterday’s Easter Sunday win was nothing short of mandatory for the OKC Thunder. Going into the contest Oklahoma City was only a couple games out from missing the Playoffs. Losing to the Pelicans would have dropped them to the seven-seed with the Warriors and Rockets on deck – life would have been bleak for Thunder Nation.

Alas, OKC played with passion en route to a 109-104 win in New Orleans. The Thunder looked like the more talented team for 3/4 of the game (throw out the first quarter), a display that we’ve only seen in spurts all season. After three disappointing losses, this win slightly reinvigorated our hopes that noise can be made in the Playoffs.

And it starts here.

One fastbreak highlights OKC’s vast potential

This play was gawwwwwwwgeous. We haven’t had many moments this season where Russell Westbrook and Paul George ran in transition together, but when they do, something beautiful tends to happen.

It’s plays like these that give me a little hope for both the Playoffs and the offseason. There have been times all season where these two appear to be lifelong teammates, but those don’t come often enough. I should note that Paul George’s clutch three with 1:18 left was another instance where the Thunder’s two superstars played off each other perfectly.

Let’s hope there’s more of that through April and into May.

Mo Cheeks finally gets inducted to Hall of Fame

Let’s continue the good vibes by giving Oklahoma City’s top assistant some love. Maurice ‘Mo’ Cheeks finally received this much-deserved accolade over the weekend: acceptance into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Cheeks’ accomplishment almost solely comes from his playing days with the Philadelphia 76ers, but his lifelong work with the game (including his tenure with the Thunder) is what makes me so happy for the basketball-lifer.

"His ability to not only see the game from a point guard’s perspective but also to understand team dynamics has been a crucial element of his work with Russell Westbrook."

Five stats that indicate Oklahoma City victories

And finally we’re going to take a look at five key statistics that correlate with Thunder W’s. Thunderous Intentions’ own Ted Dower broke down Oklahoma City’s tendencies, ranging from rebounding to free throw numbers. It’s an interesting piece that highlights just how inconsistent the Thunder are, while at the same time proving there’s a specific winning formula in the works.

"The Thunder are 34-10  when they grab more than 50% of the rebounds in a game and 10-22 when they don’t."

Next: Thunder trending down in most recent power rankings

That’s it for today’s issue of Thunder in the News! We’ll be back tomorrow with another daily edition, but if you’re thirsty for more OKC Thunder content just check out out home page as we get you prepped for the Playoffs.