The Portland Blazers crushed the Blunder on Monday 113-83, a game barely worthy of the term ‘professional competition’ as the Blazers led by as many as 35 in the route.
The Blazers remain locked in a three-way tie for the third seed in the Western Conference with San Antonio and Houston. They close out the regular season at home against the playoff-bound Hornets. The Blunder close out their first season in OKC with a scheduled loss against the Clippers (3-0 vs. the Blunder) on Wednesday.
Amid all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Blunder relocating to OKC and immediately making an impact - it just never happened. The Sonics team that Clay Bennett decimated in a calculated effort to aide his move, has exactly two wins more than last season. The Blunder claim victory at the ticket office. However, it's tough to know accurate attendance figures because they are easily manipulated by teams with agendas, as we all know: by inflating this year's figures to look good to the media vs. last ludicrous years' cries of "OMG...they aren't supporting the team!" Typical propaganda tactics that are convincing to the non-thinking milieu.
Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant who averages 25.5 points, scored only 10 points in 32 minutes for the Thunder who were led by Earl Watson's 16 points. OKC have lost six of their past seven games as they position themselves nicely for the Blake Griffin sweepstakes. Rookie Russell Westbrook added 15 points and seven assists as Brooks gave the bench heavy minutes.
From CBS Sportsline:
The Blazers stayed on track by building a lead of as many as 35 points against the hapless Thunder for their fifth consecutive victory.
Hapless sums it up nicely. Let's not forget they are hapless by design as the team attempts to build for the future. The problem is that eventually it IS the future and results are necessary to sustain interest after the new-car smell has worn off.
The Blunder needs one more loss to carry them to the 60-loss plateau, again, under Clay Bennett's guidance and vision. While the Blunder do have a nice cache of picks coming up, they desperately need a veteran presence in the middle to make them a serious contender. The trio of Durant, Westbrook and Green are a solid nucleus, but will never be enough.
OKC will face some serious off-season challenges, as all the teams will. They'll likely get a nice pick, but not necessarily one that will make an instant impact. The most intriguing situation will be the season ticket sales figures during a recession. Surely Bennett and Presti are salivating at the thought of Blake Griffin and what he could do on the court and for season ticket sales. Perhaps if they do not get the top pick, they trade this year's and next year's number one picks for it to move up. That's a long shot scenario but one the Blunder may seriously consider.
Next loss; Wednesday vs. the Clippers.
Oklahoma City's Nick Collison was honest about how his team did against the Blazers: "They play like adults and we don't play like that sometimes." The former Seattle Supersonics were met at the Rose Garden by former fans wearing Sonics' jerseys. One young girl’s T-shirt said "Missing my Seattle SuperSonics."