On the night that their best player was recognized as the league’s best player, the Oklahoma City Thunder got redemption with a Game 2 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The win was inspired and emotion driven more than strategic execution, which may not pose a good sign for the Thunder.
After being handed the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player award for the first time in his career, an enthused Kevin Durant went out and set fire to the Chesapeake Bay Arena. Durant’s 32 points and 12 rebounds were an example of none other than a pure “feel good” game because of his recent accomplishment. It was one of those nights where he felt as if nothing could go wrong and gladly enough for the Thunder, it didn’t.
Even his running mate in Russell Westbrook went from walking away from a team huddle during a timeout in Game 1 to a triple-double production kind of night. The fire and passion exhibited by the dynamic duo was right on cue as they faced a good possibility of going down 2-0 as they head to Los Angeles.
But what would’ve happened if Durant did not receive the award? What type of effort would have been put forth if it were not one of those nights? The answer is a Clippers victory. Once again, the Thunder relied on their two best players to carry the scoring load and they just so happened to outscore the Clippers. But this strategy (or lack thereof) will not hold up against a team led by the likes of Chris Paul and Doc Rivers. They are just too talented in their positions to lose a firefight of this magnitude.
Unless the Thunder’s head coach Scott Brooks has something else up his sleeve, his job and the Oklahoma City’s hopes are as good as gone.