Friday, April 27, 2012

Thunder season in review + playoff talk with Lisa.

Lisa is a fan of The Oklahoma City Thunder. She grew up a few blocks from Madison Square Garden, but don’t ask her to love the Knicks cause she won’t.

Are you a casual or devoted fan? 
This season I have definitely been devoted to the Thunder.  I live in LA and thanks to League Pass watch every single game.  When they're in town to play the Lakers or Clippers I get the best seats I can to see them live.

How'd you started being a OKC fan? Did you liked the Seattle Supersonics? 
I grew up crazy for the NBA but it lost me for a while.  I just re-found my love last year.  As soon as I set eyes on this OKC team, I became a fan. 

I loved the Supersonics in the 90s (who didn’t?)  So incredibly sad what happened there.  I believe Seattle will have a team again soon and name them the Supersonics.  Gary Payton will have a place to retire his number.  At this point it’s hard for me to look at the Thunder as the Supersonics.  They are more like a very strangely formed expansion team.

What are you doing when you aren't watching OKC? 
I like watching other NBA teams too! ;) Especially ones with fast running offense and little to no defense. I know that might not be considered "good" basketball by most but it sure is fun basketball!

Best memory of OKC's team history so far?
I can only really speak for this season but it is a very special moment in time for this team.  So much young talent at the end or nearing the end of their rookie contracts. Mature enough to play championship basketball and affordable enough to stay together.

Who's your favorite  between Russell and Kevin?  Why?  
Can't a girl like both apples and oranges?
To quote Russ, "why not?"

Do you find Harden's beard as disgusting as the rest of us? 
I wouldn't want to kiss it but it's signature.  It has also started to play its own defense which is kind of awesome.  Not sure what you mean by "the rest of us". The Beard has its own fan page on Facebook and it's own twitter account. The biggest man crushes I've see this year have been on James Harden's beard and Ricky Rubio. 

Are you happy with Scott Brooks and his staff? Which grade would you give him? 
This team went from one of the worst teams in the league to the western conference finals in 3 years under Scott Brooks.  He has players who are capable of things no one has ever done before and nurtures that.  These young guys go to work everyday and they have all been given roles and specific jobs to do.  His positivity makes me happy.  His style warrants a gold star as opposed to a grade.  I don’t know too much about the rest of the coaching staff except that Mo Cheeks is a World Champion All-Star and pretty slick dude.

Were you satisfied with OKC's performance during the season? 
They've brought me so much joy this year, so yes.

Which was the best game of the year?
It’s a toss up between the OT win against the Nuggets and the 2OT win against the Timberwolves. The most fun teams to watch OKC play are the Nuggets, Timberwolves, and Grizzles.

What about the worse?
It’s hard to answer objectively.  For me that last Clippers game of the regular season was awful. I was there and it took me a full day to shake that off. This post by KD helped me feel a little better though:
The true worst game of the season has to be the January 7th win against the Houston Rockets.  That’s the game where we lost Eric Maynor for the season.

Which is your favorite OKC player? 
I'm a huge Nick Collison fan. 

Why Collison? 
I would like to nominate him for hard hustle MVP.  He gives his body to the hardwood every game, is an incredible screen setter, and does amazing things off the ball.  He's also been the other half of James Harden.  Who needs an "assist" when your teammate is clearing a path for you to the basket?  His contract is even genius. 

Do you shake your head when people talk about KD and Westbrook's rivalry, our do you think there might be something increasing but both players haven't shown it ?  I personally feel there's nothing there and the media just wants to see a Shaq/Kobe situation all over again. 
I have to say that bad-mouthing Russell Westbrook and dunks by Blake Griffin are the 2 most played out things of the 2011-2012 season. 

Did you ever though Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were going to be this good so fast? 
I know Russ and KD are both incredibly hard workers with extreme athleticism and talent. Also, they are both 23 years old so there is much more to come.

Us laker fans were tired of seeing Fisher failed to guard anything that moved. How has been for OKC?  
When Maynor got hurt OKC was left with their rookie for a back up PG.  Reggie Jackson has potential but for a team going for it all this year he just wasn't ready.  Fisher plays under 12 min a night and meshes well with the second unit. He's able to make experienced decisions on the court and that is really what OKC needed.  Fisher will also hustle and take a charge.  As long as the guys are happy I really see no downside.  We didn't give up anything for him.  He was a low risk pick-up. 

Thoughts on the Metta-Harden situation?  
That was horrible.  A blow to the head like that could do some serious damage.  If you "unintentionally" hit someone the instinctive reaction is to turn around and see if they're okay, not assume a fighting stance.  We're talking about a guy who once jumped into the stands in Detroit, attacking a fan and inciting a riot.   James Harden is 22 years old, just came off the best game of his career in Phoenix, and is a rising star in the association.  It's just messed up.

OKC vs Mavs

How many games will the series go? 
I haven’t been watching Dallas much this season and they’ve been wildly inconsistent, so my semi-blind guess is OKC in 6.  

Who will be the key player to winning the series? 
I think Russ could be huge.  He loves using his speed against slower guards and runs circles around Kidd.

Which opposing player will be hardest to guard?
Dirk, obviously.  That question is too easy. 

Are you confident they will win it all this year? 
I've been watching basketball long enough to know that anything can happen. I'm confident every player on the Oklahoma City Thunder will give it everything they have, every possession of every game.  That’s just what they do.

Any particular team scares you?
No, I’m just looking forward to some great playoff basketball.

If OKC doesn't win it, who will?
Oklahoma City Thunder fans are so spoiled by this team that it’s pretty hard to imagine them losing.  They haven’t done much of it this year.

You can follow Lisa on twitter @lisakay18

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