Thunderous Thoughts: The end is near

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 26: Russell Westbrook
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 26: Russell Westbrook /

Welcome to Thunderous Thoughts, your weekly look at the OKC Thunder. This week, a depressing look back on a disastrous season.

Thank God. It’s almost over.

Coming into this season, I shared the same excitement that every other OKC Thunder fan felt. Russell Westbrook signed the triple-double max extension. Paul George was in town. Carmelo Anthony was coming here to be Olympic Melo.

Steven Adams was ready to bully fools and chew bubblegum. Andre Roberson was going to lockdown anyone foolish enough to hold the ball for longer than three seconds. On paper, everything looked perfect. It would take time for things to gel. But once it clicked, there was no stopping this team.

It took longer than expected to click. There were moments in the first two months of the season of everything working. But just moments. Nothing sustained. It wasn’t until December when they turned the corner. It wasn’t until Westbrook sat on the bench in Orlando, contemplating life.

But eventually. It clicked. The offense looked unstoppable. The defense hungry. Those October and November losses looked like a distant memory following a Christmas Day victory over the Rockets. This team had arrived.

It didn’t last. Roberson missed a couple of weeks, throwing off the balance. Then, the Detroit disaster. Roberson was done for the season.

The team never found an identity after that. Josh Huestis, Terrance Ferguson, Alex Abrines. It didn’t matter who filled in for the defensive stalwart. They weren’t Roberson.

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Corey Brewer signed with the team and gave them new energy. He wasn’t Dre on defense, but he was a serviceable replacement and contributed on offense. A victory in Toronto put the NBA on notice. This team had their swagger back.

These last two weeks have been hell. The Carmelo Anthony disaster in Boston. The Carmelo Anthony disaster against Portland. The Russell Westbrook disaster in San Antonio. The defensive disaster against Denver. The three-point disaster against Golden State.

Seemingly everything that could go wrong this season, has gone wrong. A season ending injury? Check. Unexplained free throw struggles by very good free throw shooters? Check. Unexplained abysmal shooting weeks by very good shooters? Check. Lack of urgency during critical stretches? Check. Bad calls that the NBA had to apologize for? Check. Half court buzzer beaters? Check. Blowing multiple 20 point leads? Check.

You name it, it probably happened to the Thunder this season. Even things you didn’t think were possible, like losing a six point lead in 20 seconds, happened to the Thunder this season.

Two and a half weeks ago, hopes of being the three seed were alive. Now, they need two victories in three games or some help from other teams to make the playoffs. That seems like a tall task for a team that has won just twice in their last seven games.

This season has not been fun. There have been fun moments, but as a whole, this has been a long, miserable season. Wednesday night can’t come soon enough. Playoffs or no playoffs. Not making the playoffs would be a disaster given the talent on the roster.

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But at this point, it should be expected. That’s how wrong things have gone this season.

Thank God. It’s almost over.