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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nobody Wants to Face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Playoffs

My second piece for The Roar focuses on the surging Oklahoma City Thunder:

Nobody Wants to Face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Playoffs

In case you missed it, my first column for The Roar compared the Atlanta Hawks to two teams that won NBA championships without having one of the league's 10 best players (the 1979 Supersonics and the 2004 Pistons):

Atlanta Hawks Seek to Win Championship Without a Superstar

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posted by David Friedman @ 4:40 PM



At Monday, February 23, 2015 5:27:00 AM, Anonymous AW said...

I agree that the Thunder if healthy will be a dangerous first round opponent.

I applaud them for trading Reggie Jackson. He was unhappy with his role. It was said he was a huge problem off the court. But the departure of Jackson could come back to Haunt the Thunder.

Jackson is like a Jason Terry type player. Can provide a spark offensively off of the bench for a title contender. Like what Terry did for the Mavs in 2011. Similar to what Bobby Jackson did for the Kings during the Chris Webber era.
The Thunder did improve their depth, but What Jackson brought may be missed.

As for Jackson, he believes he is better than what he actually is. He didn't want to be a backup. But I don't know if he's going to turn into a star like some may think. I believe he was suited for his role as a explosive sixth man. Jackson departing OKC is different than Harden's situation. He is not as good as Harden was in OKC. Plus look at how it worked for Harden. He's a mvp candidate.

Jackson gave up a shot to win a title or titles to prove he's some star in the making which may never happen.

At Monday, February 23, 2015 12:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

True on all that AW. However, nobody really believed Harden would become as great as he has, hard to really predict. Many thought might be an AS, but not this good.

Jackson is a young player who is starter PG quality. The average NBA career isn't very long. Jackson is at the point of his career where he can cash in, and might be his last time to do so. When you're as good as he is, you want a bigger role and to make more money. He's way down the totem pole in OKC. While his actions hurt OKC, it's hard to really blame him much.

At Monday, February 23, 2015 1:08:00 PM, Anonymous AW said...

Anonymous, you have some good points.

Lots of young players have the ability to become better players. As of now I dont believe he's better than Brandon Jennings. But who knows, maybe he improves. Then that would justify trading for him. I.believe Stan probably dont make that trade if Jennings never gotten injured.

Nothing wrong with a player going to a team that's willing to pay them what they feel they're worth and to take on a larger roll. All dont succeed though.

And Yes Harden turned out to.be better than what some expected. But when he left OkC he was probably a top 15 player or close. Jackson is not even close.

At Monday, February 23, 2015 4:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Harden was quite top 15 in 2012. He never made the AS team in OKC, and I don't think he was that close. Though if given a bigger role, he would've had better stats, so maybe.

Harden was really good in 13, but had a weak cast. He had an improved cast last year and they finished with 5th best record. This year looks even better only if Howard is healthy, which isn't the case. Though, HOU is playing pretty much as well without Howard. Howard is slowing down, and even if healthy, he looks like a borderline AS at best. You're not going to win in the playoffs without at least 2 star players playing well and then you still need a deep solid cast behind you.

Jackson does look like he can be a solid starter. He can get more playmaking opportunities in DET than in OKC. But, yea, he still might only be 4th best player on DET. DET is confusing, though. They're still a bad team, and they shouldn't be with the players on that team.

At Monday, February 23, 2015 5:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About time you got your own column. Great NBA writer. Congrats.


At Tuesday, February 24, 2015 3:53:00 PM, Anonymous AW said...

Detroit made a turnaround at some point in the season. I can't say they're a bad team.

Jennings may not be the same from that injury so maybe it was worth trading for Jackson. Jackson may get his new contract before it's known if Jennings will be the same. So jennings may eventually leave.

At Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:49:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Thank you!

At Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DET is 23-34 in a terrible conf. They're tied for 19th best record in the league, probably would be 22-23rd best if everyone played same schedule. They're 8-15 vs. West, 15-19 vs. East. The easier schedule really does help a lot for the Eastern teams.

They did start playing better once Smith left, but how could you play worse than the way they started? They're still only 6-8 in last 14, and only 11-11 after their 7-game win streak.

At Saturday, March 28, 2015 12:22:00 AM, Anonymous KD said...

With KD out for the season, I don't think many teams will fear facing OKC in the first round of the playoffs.

At Saturday, March 28, 2015 11:15:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


That is rather obvious. At the time that I wrote the article, it was not known that Durant would require further surgery that would sideline him for at least four to six months.


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