Let the Memphis Conspiracy Theories Begin

Let the Memphis Conspiracy Theories Begin

Blaming refs, blaming league officials, blaming any outside force they can think of is exactly what almost all fans do once their team has been eliminated from the postseason. Hell, the conspiracy theories out of Memphis had already started before Game 7 even tipped.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with his 33 points. Here he is with that scowl I like to see from him. Get mad, KD!

Kevin Durant led all scorers with his 33 points. Here he is with that scowl I like to see from him. Get mad, KD!

I was seeing ignorant drivel on my Facebook feed to the likes of:

“They only suspended Z-Bo because they can’t afford to have their MVP ousted from the 1st round.”

“That wasn’t a punch! That was a shove!”

“The Grizz would have won if the refs weren’t playing for OKC.”

The last statement made me laugh. If that were the case, why did the Grizzlies take 34 free throws to the Thunder’s 30 in Game 7? Why did they take 28 free throws to the Thunder’s 25 in Game 6? Why did the Grizz take 26 free throws to the Thunder’s 19 in Game 5? Why did they take 23 free throws to the Thunder’s 20 in Game 4? The refs gave the Grizz chance after chance. It’s not the NBA’s fault that the Grizzlies couldn’t cash in at the line.

Russell Westbrook's 27-point, 16-assist, 10-rebound triple-double proved historic.

Russell Westbrook’s 27-point, 16-assist, 10-rebound triple-double proved historic.

And to the idiots saying Zach Randolph only pushed Steven Adams and didn’t punch him, this tape proves otherwise.

And some sad Memphis fans still willfully put blinders on and called it a push on the video. The butthurt in the comments section is very strong. I guess I’d be disappointed too if my team had a chance to eliminate a #2 seed in Game 6, only to suffer a monumental 2-game collapse and blow the series. Quit making excuses for a thug like Randolph! He has a history of pulling this crap, and that history is what likely prompted the decision to suspend him. If you can’t hold your emotions in check, you’re in the wrong league. This is not Rucker Park, or The Cage on West 4th St. No blood, no foul does not apply to the NBA. This is a league of professionals, and anyone who fails to conduct themselves in a professional manner suffers the consequences. It doesn’t really matter anyway, because what’s done is done. Hell, I’m done with the Randolph issue. Let’s take a look at these Game 7 numbers.

Serge Ibaka dropped 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Serge Ibaka dropped 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

The Thunder used a total team effort in Game 7 to advance. Kevin Durant’s 33 points led all scorers to take the floor. Russell Westbrook’s 27-point, 16-assist, 10-rebound triple-double marks his 2nd Game 7 triple-double for his postseason career, making him only the 2nd player in NBA history to accomplish the feat, with Rajon Rondo being the 1st. The stat line also makes him the 3rd player in NBA history to score at least 25 points, dish out at least 15 assists, and pull down at least 10 rebounds in an NBA playoff game. Oscar Robinson was the first to accomplish this feat, and Chris Paul (who the Thunder will see in the next round) has accomplished it on two separate occasions. Not only that, but Westbrook’s 16 assists ties a postseason franchise record that was set by Nate McMillan back in ’87, when they were still the Seattle Supersonics. Serge Ibaka was good for 12 points, and Caron Butler scored 15 as he once again started at SG in place of Thabo Sefolosha. While you figure Sefolosha would be a little miffed at being benched, it looks like he took it in stride. I’m sure he feels like any lineup changes that result in an NBA Championship are more than welcome. I know that’s how I’d feel about it if I were in his position. But to conclude, Reggie Jackson came off of the bench to drop 16 points. With a 120-109 victory, those 16 points were the difference between an 11-point victory and a 5-point defeat. When at least one bench player scores big, the Thunder put themselves in a much better position to win.

Caron Butler scores 15 starting in place of Thabo Sefolosha for the 2nd straight game.

Caron Butler scores 15 starting in place of Thabo Sefolosha for the 2nd straight game.

Marc Gasol’s 24 points led the Grizzlies, but Mike Conley deserves some credit for dropping 20 points while playing on a bad hamstring. Courtney Lee dropped 16, and Tony Allen was good for 15 points starting in place of Tayshaun Prince and playing with an eye injury. Beno Udrih came off of the Grizzlies bench to score 12.

Reggie Jackson was good for 16 points off of the Thunder bench.

Reggie Jackson was good for 16 points off of the Thunder bench.

I will bring you the Thunder-Clippers series preview tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy the series victory. Stay basketball-hungry, my friends.

Thunder Give Their Fans An Awesome Christmas Gift: A 29-Point Slaughter Of The Knicks

Thunder Give Their Fans An Awesome Christmas Gift: A 29-Point Slaughter Of The Knicks

If you’re anything like me, you probably tuned into the game yesterday afternoon and saw the alternate uniforms the teams were wearing. You were probably thinking to yourself, “This is a first for me.” They reminded me of soccer-style jerseys to be honest. And after seeing them, I will be looking to procure one for myself. So if any readers here find out where to buy them before I do, feel free to give me a heads up on where you found them and how much the sellers are charging.

Kevin Durant finished his Christmas Day with 29 points.

Kevin Durant finished his Christmas Day with 29 points.

Apparently, wearing alternate uniforms really seems to jinx the Knicks. They’re now 0-1 in their alternate sleeved orange shirts, after going 0-6 in their alternate orange jerseys. Although I seriously doubt their choice of attire would have affected the outcome in any positive way for the Knicks.

Tim Hardaway Jr. goes up as Jeremy Lamb looks to meet him with a hand in his face. Hardaway dropped 21 points from the Knicks bench, while Lamb posted 13 from the Thunder's.

Tim Hardaway Jr. goes up as Jeremy Lamb looks to meet him with a hand in his face. Hardaway dropped 21 points from the Knicks bench, while Lamb posted 13 from the Thunder bench.

Carmelo Anthony was out with a sprained left ankle, Ray Felton was nursing a groin injury, Pablo Prigioini missed the game due to a toe injury, and Metta World Peace sat out with a sore left knee. The Knicks were severely short-handed, and knew they were in for a world of hurt due to the fact that the team coming into Madison Square Garden had rattled off 17 wins in their last 19 games.

Serge Ibaka reacts to a Tyson Chandler foul. Ibaka posted 24 points by game's end.

Serge Ibaka reacts to a Tyson Chandler foul. Ibaka posted 24 points by game’s end.

The Knicks tried to keep it close early, as they were only down 6 (35-29) going into the second. Although an 11-0 Thunder run started at the end of the first quarter went into the second, and once the Thunder went ahead by 11 (44-33), the bottom fell out completely for the Knicks. By game’s end, the Thunder gave the Knicks a 123-94 beating. I’m sure the Knicks were hoping for a better gift.

Russell Westbrook became the 5th player in NBA history to post a Christmas Day triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Russell Westbrook became the 5th player in NBA history to post a Christmas Day triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Russell Westbrook joined some pretty elite company yesterday by becoming only the 5th player in NBA history to record a Christmas Day triple-double. He finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. This now allows him to be mentioned in the same breath as Billy Cunningham, John Havlicek, LeBron James, and Oscar Robinson (who actually managed the feat on four separate Christmas Day occasions). Kevin Durant chipped in 29 points, while Serge Ibaka dropped 24. Reggie Jackson was good for 18 off of the Thunder bench, while Jeremy Lamb contributed 13.

Reggie Jackson shoots with Amar'e Stoudemire's hand in his face. Jackson finished with 18 points off of the Thunder bench. Stoudemire dropped 22 from the Knicks bench.

Reggie Jackson shoots with Amar’e Stoudemire’s hand in his face. Jackson finished with 18 points off of the Thunder bench. Stoudemire dropped 22 from the Knicks bench.

While this was the worst Christmas Day loss the Knicks have been forced to endure, some players took advantage of the absences. J.R. Smith was the only starter to manage a double, with his 20 points. However, bench players Amar’e Stoudemire and Tim Hardaway Jr. knocked down a combined 43 (Stoudemire: 22 points, Hardaway Jr.: 21 points).

J.R. Smith was the only Knicks starter to manage a double, finishing with 20 points.

J.R. Smith was the only Knicks starter to manage a double, finishing with 20 points.

It’s back on the road again for the Thunder, as Friday they will take the court at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC to face the Bobcats. Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm CST, and will be broadcast via Fox Sports Oklahoma, WWLS The Sports Animal, and NBA League Pass.