I've already been to the Staples Center for a Lakers game. I went during the playoffs last year when the Lakers were taking on the Jazz. I had had a good run in Vegas, where I was spending a few days on vacation with my cousin's wife. I remembered that the Lakers were playing that night, so when I woke up, I planned out our trip. We rented a car and drove from Vegas to LA for the game. ****Technically I need to go back for a LA Clippers game, in order to really cross the venue off of the list for basketball, but that's a whole other story.
Enough history. The real question is: Did you see the Oklahoma City Thunder v LA Lakers game tonight? It was Game 2, and now the Lakers are up 2-0. For those of you who care about numbers, the final score was 95-92.
In between planning my trip to Portland and trading messages with my friend out in Phoenix, I watched the game on TV. Wow. What a fight the Thunder put up! It was a close game, and because of it, I think this loss may hurt the Thunder more. I can't be alone by feeling this, but towards the end of the game I found the OKC Thunder's shot selection to be strange and the missed Laker free throws to be frustrating. The Lakers never really shut the Thunder out of the game, and even though the Thunder had the lead at various points they were never really able to pull ahead convincingly.
Earlier tonight, my friend predicted that Kobe Bryant would score 40. He actually ended with 39, and Kevin Durant ended with 32. The Lakers are the Lakers, and I don't need to characterize them because they're pretty well-defined. The Thunder need a few words, as they continue to gain respect and create an identity.
On the concouse in Atlanta, the Thunder aren't even represented.
They are coached by Scott Brooks, who I met briefly during this year's NBA All-Star Weekend in Dallas. For those of you that like trivia, interestingly enough, he used to be roommates with Zydrunas Ilgauskas during the 1997-1998 season, in Cleveland. Coach Brooks seems like a solid man ~ very humble, no ego.
**** Updated, 4/21/2010: Congratulations to Coach Scott Brooks, NBA Coach of the Year.
Kevin Durant is such a great talent. The Thunder are long, they're young, and exciting to watch. There's definitely room for growth. I like them, and that's strange for me to say since I never get to see them play on TV. Honestly, I think Game 1 might have been the first time I've seen the Thunder on TV. I know I've seen them play as a visiting squad at least once or twice. Let's be honest, after a while all of these games blend in my brain...
I'm very curious to see how the Thunder respond on their home court.
Game 3 is on Thursday at 9:30.
**** I just got a comment sent to me about the Thunder being the former Seattle Supersonics. Needless to say it came from a friend of mine from high school, who lives in Seattle now. I spent a weekend in Seattle once. I don't remember the year, but in that weekend, I went to the NFC Wildcard game (St. Louis Rams v Seattle Seahawks @ Qwest) and caught the Sonics v Heat game at the Key Arena. All I need to do is hit a Mariners game, and I can cross that city off of the list too!
NFC Wildcard game: Rams 27, Seahawks 20
@ Qwest Field
Heat v Sonics @ Key Bank Arena
Seattle Sonics won!