Thursday, December 11, 2008

Records Were Made

Pick any cliche you want. Then try to explain it to someone who has never heard a foreign language. Meet the Oklahoma City Thunder, a walking-talking conundrum. My pick would be 'you have to hit rock-bottom before you can pick yourself up' and I would try to say it in Portuguese. I have never felt that biblical sayings had a lot to do with professional sports, but I do think karma is playing a part in the former SuperSonics demise.

Why do I mention any of this? If last night's crushing defeat was just another loss, my story today would have focused on any number of positive things. I could have talked about Kevin Durant. Joe Smith played and did well, maybe that would have been in there. Nick Collison may finally be figuring it out, and I would have been happy to give him some print.

OKC was doing all the right things for three quarters against Memphis, but quite possibly the worst 12 minutes of Thunder history has left me unable to think positive. True, the franchise is still in its infancy, and there will be low points to come. But for all intents purposes, this season is over. I figured it would be a long year, even wondering if any of the veterans would be traded so that the club could stay competitive. Now I just pray half of the players are gone by Christmas.

Let's look at how the Grizzlies took out my heart, did a little dance on it, and gave it back with a smile. Memphis took the lead for 18 seconds in the first quarter and then sat back and watched a good Thunder show. The visitors fell behind by as many as 21 points in the first half and still trailed by seven heading into the final quarter. Here is where OKC fell apart, committing as many turnovers as field goals.

Memphis enacted their revenge and in the process, they made the Thunder better resemble a D-League team. It was definitely the low point of the season, hands down. With games against Dallas and San Antonio coming up on the road, my only wish is that GM Sam Presti finds a way to make multiple trades, even if the partner is the Tulsa 66ers. At least that way everyone on the floor will be playing with heart, knowing that one bad game could end their NBA dream.

Because right now the only things left to debate are how long the current losing streak will go and how many wins the Thunder will achieve.

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