Saturday, November 22, 2008

P.J. = Purely Joking

Even before I heard the news that the Thunder fired their head coach I was secretly hoping for a big shake-up. When a TV announcer is picking a part your team, changes definitely need to be made. For the sake of all children out there, carbert and I are reserving the right not to talk about last night's ESPN game against the Hornets.

The big news is not how bad OKC played last night. Really the shocker is that coach P.J. Carlesimo lasted this long. New Orleans didn't just dominate in the blow-out -- it was much more of a disaster. Hubie Brown, former NBA coach (hopefully a candidate for new Thunder coach?), was doing the TV play-by-play for ESPN, and he did a wonderful job of showing everything the league's 4th-youngest team was doing wrong. He also talked about what Kevin Durant needs to do on a daily basis to become an elite player. All I can say is that I hope someone is listening...

In case anybody wanted to see how much difference a coaching change will make -- ta da!!! Scott Brooks takes over as interim head coach starting tonight.

Here is your chance, as this is not a repeat. The Thunder head down south to hopefully take back their manhood after the JV-like performance at home. OKC's bright spots were Nick Collison, who needs to remain at the center spot, and rookie Russell Westbrook. With Chris Wilcox and Collison both on the floor, the offense finally started to look functional.

Durant, Westbrook, and the rest couldn't make a basket, and Jeff Green couldn't even hit the hoop. But Collison was steady and really the only player who looked competitive against the Hornets. He finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds while sitting out much of the last part of the game. Look for him to lead the charge in tonight's match-up.

Westbrook continues to struggle with his shooting, but he is finding ways to get to the basket. The new coaching staff must give him some direction if he is to be the point guard of the future. While watching the game last night, both of the a.t.l. writers got the same feeling. The play was sloppy, and even Collison made a couple of 'what was that?' moves.

This team is very very young and needs to find something to build off of soon. The record doesn't matter at this point, and the new coach will get his baptism by fire this week. It is a pivotal stretch for the struggling OKC club. Is there hope? I believe so if Durant can become the leader.

Carbert brought this point to my attention, and he has a very valid argument. Only time will tell how the rest of the Thunder's inaugural season goes, but the question is...

Has there ever been an NBA team that finished with single digit wins? Answer: yes, the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers who finished 9-73. We will make a run at that record.

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