We’re officially in the playoffs!!!! On to the second season.
Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) recaps the win over the Miami Heat: “First it was a 12-0 deficit. Then 16-1 and finally 23-5. It was clear from the outset, the Thunder was going to have to earn its playoff berth. Despite missing its first 10 shots with 3 turnovers in the first seven minutes on Monday against the Miami Heat, the Thunder never relented, and scratched its way back into contention in the second quarter.”
Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on Carmelo Anthony making it back to the playoffs: “But the Thunder’s 115-93 win against the Heat Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena assured a postseason berth in his first season in Oklahoma City. For the first time since 2013, the future Hall of Famer is bound for playoff basketball.”
Jenni Carlson (NewsOK) on the effect Mick Cornett had on basketball in OKC: “But the day Cornett hands the keys to the mayor’s office over to David Holt, we can say a hearty thank you to Cornett for being right about the power of sports. We are a different city from when he moved into that third-floor space at City Hall. Sports aren’t the only reason why — we repeatedly voted for MAPS and the increased tax bill, and city leaders repeatedly delivered on the improvement plans — but in many ways, the NBA gave OKC credibility like few other associations could.”
Berry Tramel (NewsOK) looking at the ways the Thunder may end up with the 4th seed…and it all depends on Utah: “Cheering against the Warriors comes naturally to Thunder fans. Cheering against the Warriors comes naturally to most right-thinking people. But this time it means more than just anti-Kevin Durant emotions. The Thunder needs the Jazz to split its final two games, and the Thunder needs Portland to not be involved in any potential tiebreakers.”
Dan Devine (Yahoo Sports) on what Russell Westbrook has to do to average a triple double for the season: “Well, whatever your answer is, Russ went for it, pulling down a season-high 18 rebounds to go with his 13 assists (check) and 23 points in 38 minutes. Westbrook got his numbers, the Thunder got their win, and Oklahoma City’s in the playoffs for the eighth time in the last 10 years. We don’t know yet who the Thunder will face in Round 1, but with only 16 boards and the Memphis Grizzlies separating Russ from another eye-popping season-long stat line, we do know that we’ve got a reason to tune into Wednesday’s regular-season finale.”