I am not here to speak on basketball in general, mostly because I am no expert in the game. Half the time I still don’t understand what the announcers are saying about one play or another, even if I see a replay in slo-mo. I don’t get the penalties, though I think I am getting that sometimes the players cause fouls on purpose. Apparently a ploy to stop the clock and give the team another chance at the ball. I’m not sure what the purpose would be, since you are giving the opposing team a chance to get another point or three. And I sure haven’t figured out the three-pointers yet, other than they have to be made from outside the furthest line. But I’m working on it.
So now that you know that I am still kind of dumb about the game, and that I recognize that everyone has their fave team and their fave player, I’m going to make some non-scholarly comments about my fave team, the OKC Thunder.
I didn’t start watching pro basketball until about a year ago. I still don’t watch the games through the year, though I’ll pick up on an OKC game occasionally. I watch the ratings in the sports pages, so I know how the Thunder are doing. I do watch basketball in the Olympics, mostly because I watch everything I can in the Olympics, and now that I have cable, I imagine I’ll catch a whole lot more this coming August with the summer games. It is a way to get to know players names, especially since the Olympic basketball team is made up of professional players. It is why I have never liked Charles Barkley, no matter how well he plays, because he is, or was, a dirty player – especially against the Algerians way back when (Barcelona). But I digress.
I am coming to think/believe that the Thunder is a second-half team. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think they play well, and hard, during the first half. It just seems that they don’t really liven up until the 3rd quarter, and that the team does its point-making in the 3rd quarter, and Kevin Durant, who is my fave player, really comes alive in the 4th quarter. He makes some amazing plays. So why do I think this? I think they must be feeling out the opposing team in the first quarter, playing hard, but mostly learning how the man-to-man play is going to go, and how the opposing team is playing in general. They are often behind at the half (not always, but often), but it never seems to be by a number they don’t feel they can overcome in the 3rd quarter. I know they got behind 13-15 points in the first half last night against the Heat, but by the half it was only seven point behind. And then they came back so strongly in the 2nd half that they wiped that out, and by the 4th quarter, they went ahead and pretty much stayed ahead.
It makes it a thrilling game for me because I always wonder how they are going to turn it around, even though I have seen them do it time after time.
No doubt someone who knows a lot more than I do will comment on what I’ve said, and perhaps point out errors. Just understand that I am still an amateur at watching this game, and I feel certain that anything anyone tells me, as long as they are not slamming me, is a good thing for me to learn.
Anyway, go Thunder.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX