Thunderous Thoughts: Through two, it’s 1-1

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 18: Donovan Mitchell
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 18: Donovan Mitchell /

Welcome to Thunderous Thoughts, your weekly look at the OKC Thunder.

This week, irrational thoughts through the first two games of the playoffs.

*The OKC Thunder might be better if they started games a bit stronger. Instead of going down 16-4 or 9-0 the in the opening minutes, just try to go down 8-3. Or, crazy thought, force the Jazz to make an early comeback. That’s probably a little too ambitious. Baby steps. Just trail by five instead of 12. 

*Carmelo Anthony isn’t showing up for the playoffs. Any hope that the playoffs would light a fire under him and he would have one of those vintage Melo games, should disappear. He’s looked washed since December, and aside from a good stretch prior to Andre Roberson’s injury, he hasn’t shown that he can turn it around. Maybe he has a good quarter. At best he’s going to have a good half. But hoping he’s going to have a game where he shoots 60-plus percent from the field and 50-plus percent from three. It’s not happening. 

*Next season with no Paul George and just Russell Westbrook and Anthony is going to be miserable. 

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*Donovan Mitchell is so good. I’m jealous at how good he is. I wish the Thunder had a player who was as consistently good as he is. George and Westbrook, at their peak, are better players. But Mitchell is just steady. He’s not going to hurt the team by jacking up bad shots early in the possession, which is a skill that’s apparently hard to learn in the NBA.

*I know the Thunder aren’t afraid of Ricky Rubio shooting from three. But at least pretend to closeout. 

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*Conventional wisdom says Westbrook, Anthony, and George won’t go another game without recording a field goal in the fourth quarter. But conventional wisdom has never followed this team. Three great scorers, two of whom are elite in 2018, not making a field goal in the fourth quarter of a playoff team is 100 percent on brand for the Thunder.

*Joe Ingles hasn’t even shown up this series. Just wait until he goes off for 30. 

*Derrick Favors just grabbed another offensive rebound.

*The performance of Playoff P in Game 1 was fun to watch. But the Thunder need Playoff Russ if they want to win this series. He can’t lag on defense, even if it means sacrificing rebounds. And he has to make smarter decisions on offense. 

*On one hand, the series is 1-1 and I don’t think the Thunder have played their best game. On the other hand, I don’t know if they can play their best game against the Jazz. Their defense is too good and Mitchell’s ability to get to the rim, with almost no resistance, is worrying. 

Next: Round 1 complete series hub article compilation

*This is going to be a long series. We all knew that coming into the series. This thing was never going less than six game. If the first two games are any indication, it’s going to be a pretty miserable game for Thunder fans. 

*Miss you, Dre