ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As part of our continuing hard-hitting series celebrating the best in local advertising, let’s take a moment to say farewell to the Oklahoma City Thunder. After losing star PG Russell Westbrook in the first round to injury, the Thunder soldiered on without him, even winning a game against the Grizz in dramatic fashion, but eventually, the Grit-N-Grind Grizz sent the Thunder fishing.
But before they go home, let’s take a moment to recognize the Thunder supporting cast who did their best even if it wasn’t quite enough — guys like Thabo Sefolosha, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison and Reggie Jackson. They may not be headliners like Kevin Durant and Westbrook, but that doesn’t mean they can’t move product, as we see from their performances here in this ad from a few months back for Norman Chrysler Jeep and Dodge.
And hey, I’d like to see you try to get Perk to sing “that goofy song.” Good luck with that. -
The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Toronto Raptors earlier, 104-92. Kevin Durant scored…blah, blah, blah. KD and Russell Westbrook’s daily/nightly heroics are never not appreciated around here. It’s just that — from the vantage point of this observer — the game didn’t belong to them.
It belonged to the Raptors and Serge Ibaka. To wit, how many times have you seen Ibaka posterized twice in a game?
Ibaka got over just a bit late and Amir Johnson gladly made him pay.
And then in the fourth quarter:
To add insult to injury, Ibaka was on the wrong side of a four-point play:
I’m sure Ibaka (19 points, eight rebounds) would take the win, but I’m also sure he’d rather not get doubly posterized and four-point played in the process.
The Association has a tendency to use a lull as bait; just when you think the cadence of the season is figured out, something happens to heighten — or floor — the senses. On a 10-game Saturday night, copious highlights are a given. But what made last night unusual was the swat party invites.
Twenty-one players recorded two or more blocks. Twelve players rejected three or more shots, to wit:
Three Blocks Tayshaun Prince Timofey Mozgov Tyson Chandler Jared Jeffries Elton Brand LeBron James Joel Anthony Kris Humphries Tyrus Thomas
Five Blocks Serge Ibaka
Six Blocks Marc Gasol Samuel Dalembert
Without further ado, here are Saturday night’s top five stuffs:
OK, so Deron Williams‘ hops aren’t Derrick Rose’s. But clean blocks off dunk attempts aren’t as easy as it appears. You get the feeling that Ibaka gets out of bed for these moments.
3) Derrick Favors waits on Nikola Pekovic
Pekovic didn’t have much momentum and Favors had the angle. Plus he was preying on that play as soon as the screen was set. Just mean. And impressive.
2) Yi meets DaJuan Summers at the rim
Talk about full steam. Summers had a good four steps before he took off, but couldn’t avoid the tentacles of the mighty Yi Jianlian. Note the quick sidestep to the left by Yi before launching. Decent degree of difficulty.
1) DanteCunningham crashes DeMarcus Cousins’ party
My favorite for a couple of reasons. One, it was excellent help-side defense (not to mention footwork) by Cunningham to get to the spot in time. Two, it was a total collaborative effort by the Grizzlies. Gasol shows on the screen, hustles back to Cousins, helps off to cover Francisco Garcia, which leaves Cousins momentarily open. Seventy-five percent (armchair estimate and all) of the time … that’s either a bucket, foul or both. Cunningham, all of 6-foot-8, puts the coup de grace to the Kings’ possession.
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