The NBA season will resume tonight while the OKC Thunder play Saturday. Here are five odd things about the bubble courts.
Through three scrimmages the OKC Thunder has looked great. They’ll take to the court Saturday in a match versus the Utah Jazz and could be sitting in fourth in the West after one game.
Coming off their win over the Blazers in the last outing it was clear how comfortable the team is and how quickly they’ve adapted to their new environment. Although fans often watch games from home it becomes immediately clear how different the bubble is.
That’s why it’s so intriguing how quickly the Thunder have adapted. For a team who aren’t heavy on perimeter snipers the fact, they scored 20 deep balls on Tuesday on 40 attempts showcased precisely how much they’ve settled into the Disney campus.
It’s not just how at east the team is there are plenty of little oddities watching games without fans screaming in the background or Rumble interacting with a young fan is just – – different. Not necessarily bad either. Hey, we haven’t waited four months to be unappreciative basketball is back. Rather I’m simply pointing out the difference.
It’s weird little things. Here’s a list of things that make the bubble so unique.
5 strangest things OKC Thunder face on Disney courts
The crickets (part 1):
Okay, so that’s a bit facetious – meaning you could hear a cricket chirp. The truth is the expectation was fans would hear every comment made on the court. The reality is whether it’s piped in applause or sound that hasn’t been the case. At least not yet.
We are hearing the combined sound of the benches which let’s be honest is kind of cool. In a scrimmage this past week the two benches took turns cheering and yelling and it took us back to our youthful days playing on our first sports team.
Adam Silver noted the league has other things in mind moving forward so we’ll have to wait and see. That said, here’s hoping we do get to hear some on-court trash talk. Who doesn’t want to hear some funny or intelligent shots taken?
Who is the modern-day Gary Payton? I’m dying to find out.
Copious early games:
Ahhh – the double-edged sword. While players aren’t used to these super early start times it’s been amazing for the fans.
Having access to games throughout the day after months of no sports is about as great as it gets. With the scrimmages over, the thinking is the games will start to increase in terms of intensity but sometimes it takes players a while to get the motor revving.
That could equate to sloppy basketball with copious turnovers, airballs, or lethargy.
Then again, true hoop heads who were content to watch the coaches show drills on TV probably don’t care how ugly it gets – nahhhhhhhhh because basketball is back.
Watch out for those wild cameras!
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I’m not sure if they still have dog races in England but as a young girl, I went with a family member to see the dog race. There was this mechanical rabbit attached to the outside railing that went around in circles and the dogs chased trying to catch it.
In hindsight, it feels mean now that those poor dogs were chasing something they would never catch but as a child, I was transfixed.
Cue the other night and as Luka Doncic was leaning over to grab the ball he almost got his head taken off as a specialty Robo camera zipped by his head.
Suffice to say, there are these unique components being added but because players aren’t used to them they could be taking one from the team – literally.
Intimate arenas – with different side/end lines
I have to admit I thought the players’ perspective would be thrown off. After all, they are used to playing in jam-packed arenas. The fans sit almost on top of the court and that plus cameramen typically line the area directly under the baskets.
Perhaps because the OKC Thunder is playing so well (as are the players in other games I’ve watched) it hasn’t been obvious but it was surprising players’ perceptions weren’t thrown. I expected way more players stepping out of bounds, wild shots being way off the mark because their depth perception was affected.
Crickets (part two):
So, Brad Stevens made a big deal about how Chris Paul won the game for OKC simply based on him talking and managing the game.
Afterward, it became a big talking point about everyone needing to talk, especially on defense. While that’s right – I wonder what the opposite side of that equation will be.
Nick Nurse said last week said he was about to yell out a play call and stopped in his place because 10 heads turned to look at him. The players are expecting coaches to yell out play calls and that could be bad if the opponent is sitting on your calls.
Let’s just say the OKC Thunder needs to balance how they handle it because if the opponent is there picking up every call it’ll be a long day/night.
Moving forward the league plans on having those pictures of fans talking surrounding the outside. I’m not sure how that will behoove the product of the players (especially depending on how they are selected). I guess we’ll find out.
What have you noticed and what are you most looking forward to?