THE season for the Oklahoma City Thunder began with the promise of some lightning.
After being eliminated in the first round in the playoffs the previous year owing to the departure of Kevin Durant, the Thunder were able to lure in another bonafide alpa superstar in Paul George.
And then just when everyone’s minds were enamored by the intriguing possibilities of George playing beside resident superstar Russell Westbrook, the Thunder were apparently not yet through.
In came Carmelo Anthony.
Sure he wasn’t the unstoppable, scoring force he once was, but he was still an offensive threat that gave them plenty of versatility.
EXPECTATIONS. At the onset everyone had high expectations, but not everything went on smoothly.
Mid-season arrived and they were mired in the middle of the rankings.
They made it to the playoffs as the 4th seed, but that wasn’t on account of their stellar play but rather on the close level of competition in the Western conference as 3 teams had similar 48-34 records and by virtue of the playoff-tie procedure they wound up in a match-up against the 5th-seeded Utah Jazz.
JAZZ. The Jazz came in led by a high-scoring ultra-talented rookie in Donovan Mitchell and a ball-rotation, team-based offense.
In contrast, OKC still stubbornly relied on hero-ball featuring their big three, which undoubtedly proved to be predictable.
The result? A 4-2 series loss in the first round - clearly not what the franchise owners had expected this season while the Jazz now get the chance to square off against the league-leading Houston Rockets.
Three ball-dominant superstars resulted in a failed experiment for now. They might potentially see different results if proper adjustments are made.
The problem is Paul George is a free agent next season.
If he goes, the storm will have passed with the distant rumbling of the thunder, a sad harbinger to a cold, sobering shower over a graying landscape known as the OKC franchise.
LAST ROUNDS. Are on the wifey, my daughter Julia and Liezl Siu for successfully passing their Krav Maga exams. Cheers!
May 01, 2018
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