Thunder in the news: OKC face fire to close season

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 01: Paul George
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 01: Paul George /

OKC Thunder in the news focuses clearly on the number three with the team holding their playoff hopes in their own hands.

It’s hard to imagine this iteration of the OKC Thunder would arrive at this point in the season facing so much pressure. Sure, the fan base was prepared for trials and tribulations. Thunder Nation heard all the critics cite concern of integrating three franchise stars into a cohesive unit.

Yet, with each break out game there were glimpses of greatness. Moreover, wins which came emphatically against the Association’s best squads offered room for optimism.

Recalling how great it felt to witness an emphatic beat down of the reigning champs (Warriors) and the east’s best (Raptors) those wins never felt like happenstance.

Perhaps the question which Billy Donovan and his staff must examine is what made those four games against Toronto and Golden State different? Although the Warriors present their own dynamics it doesn’t make sense this is a matter of dislike or angst.  This because Russell Westbrook is friends with DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka. Hence, perhaps it’s simply a matter of respect which we’ve also witnessed when the Thunder play the Spurs and Cavaliers.

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Looking back at the best teams over the past five seasons that would be your list (plus the Rockets) who’ve consistently delivered and won the most games.

Whatever the reason, heading into today’s match it’s important Donovan and the players summon the same mindset they brought to each of those contests. Simply put, if the OKC Thunder win out they guarantee themselves a playoff berth.

Lose a game and the situation becomes sticky with other teams’ actions factoring into the equation. And, perish the thought from your conscious mind of OKC losing more than a game (disaster).

Reading list:

Wl Harrington provides the double dip as he reflects back on the Paul George trade and also gets you fully prepped for the tip in Houston.

Ironically, Paul George spoke to media and somewhat changed his stance that it’s not championship or bust in terms of his return to OKC.

Paul George quantifies free agency parameters:

Following up on Harrington’s train of thoughts his article was timely as George spoke about his potential return to OKC. Erik Horne’s NewsOK article  offers videos of PG’s comments. Most notably is George said it was never about ‘championship or bust’. Rather, it was about building chemistry. He also repeatedly said ‘this is just the first year’.

"But instead of zeroing in on results, George said “this wasn’t a championship or bust coming into this for me,” even implying that it will take more than a season for the Thunder to reach its full potential.George said “building chemistry” is what needed to be accomplished to consider this season a success. Not winning a title, getting to the Western Conference finals, or even advancing to the second round."

Then again, George also didn’t difinitively say he’d be back. Nor did he make comments which made you feel it’s a given he’ll return either. So, if you lean toward the pessimistic side of things, there is always this little tidbit to ponder….

Add these to your reading list today:

Team USA men’s basketball list of 35 participants was released. And, conspicuously missing is the most decorated Olympian from the program. Hint – we’re talking hoodies here. Catch the story here.

In the news April 6th has a chart you can use to keep track of the final games and teams mired in the three through eight playoff seed chase.

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That’s it for in the news April 7. Sending all our positive energy to the OKC Thunder in Houston and pulling for a victory. All things in my world seem to invariably come in three’s so I’m pulling for three consecutive victories over the Rockets, Heat and Grizzlies.

Let’s do it Thunder Nation!