The Oklahoma City Thunder faced off with the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night in a matchup between two of the premier teams in the Western Conference and the NBA thus far this season. The Blazers entered the game at a stellar 15-3 with the Thunder not far behind at 13-3 and their matchup delivered on quality basketball.
Despite a big game from Kevin Durant who continues to be a monster all over the floor for the Thunder, the Blazers were the ones that ultimately came out victorious in the contest. LaMarcus Aldridge’s 38 points led the way for Portland on their way to the 111-104 victory and their effort was heavily aided by some timely shooting by Nicolas Batum.
Though many can look at this game on the surface and think that maybe the Thunder aren’t the cream of the crop in the West this season and might just be a really good basketball team, that’s far from the truth. This game, even though it was a loss, only further confirms that this team is a contender out West.
For starters, this Blazers team is absolutely on fire right now. They have won 14 of their last 15 games now and have been one of the most dynamic and powerful offensive teams in the league so far this season. It doesn’t matter how good the Thunder are when the Blazers are playing on the level that they have been and were on Wednesday.
More than just the Blazers, though, Wednesday night’s game was simply a bad situation for OKC. This was the second game of a back-to-back for the Thunder with both games being on the road. Even going beyond that, their game on Tuesday night was a tightly contested one against the Sacramento Kings that was surely a bit taxing for Oklahoma City. The fact that they were able to hang with Portland and put up the fight that they did is pretty impressive given the circumstances.
If you’re trying to make generalizations based off of the Thunder losing to a good Blazers team on Wednesday, just stop what you’re doing. This game was entertaining and it’s a matchup we could see down the line in the postseason if both teams play well, but there are way too many factors at play to make any sweeping statements about OKC. They are just fine and I’d be willing to be that they’ll prove that in the near future.