Thunder, CP3, KD, Big Cheese, new Poke and SEC

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:32 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Jan 24, 2011 8:44 PM CDT

<STRONG>Thunder came out playing intense defense at New Orleans tonight (Monday) where they would need it to snap Chris Paul and Company&rsquo;s eight-game win streak. Looked like they got the message after recovering from the disastrous first half defense last game to get after it and hold the Knickerbockers to only 38 second half points. (Just as I finish this piece I look up and OKC trails after playing poor second quarter defense, 50-45 at intermission). </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>It&rsquo;s not that I was a Jerry Sloan on defense myself,&#160; but I do know defense wins championships. And defense wins regular season games. OKC best pick it up a notch and keep it there for the long haul or they&rsquo;ll be one and done in the playoffs. </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Star Thunder play-by-play man Matt Pinto uncommonly outspoken at his disgust with Chris Paul. &quot;Its ridiculous. It gets old,&quot; referring to CP3 exaggerating contact. BTW, if youve not done so, listen to Matt call a game on radio. Then realize he does it solo, with no color analyst. Hard to do and he does it mighty, mighty well. </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Anyone rather have the Hornets&rsquo; franchise than the Thunder? Didn&rsquo;t think so. </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>I&rsquo;m betting as much as the David Stern would like to keep the Hornets in New Orleans, their poor attendance and overall revenue will lead them to flee. Maybe Sprinting to the Arena in Kansas City.</STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>A friend of mine who is well-informed on the Thunder, told me last year that one key to this season would be playing better against teams with a winning record.&#160; He reports back that the Thunder has won 54 percent of its games against team with winning records. Last year they won only 44 percent. (That was before the Knick and Hornet games.) </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>I still don&rsquo;t like the game-deciding shots OKC gets off. KD hit the fall-away deep 3 against NY. But even for KD, that&rsquo;s no better than a 25 percent attempt. One problem is he often gets the ball 30-35 feet from the basket. May sound crazy but KD gets so much attention that I&rsquo;d occasionally make him a decoy and get someone else a much better shotalthough I&rsquo;d be afraid of Westy being called for a potentially-killer offensive foul (see, coaching&#160; the Thunder from my laptop is really not that hard, and there&rsquo;s no way I could be wrong! Joke).</STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>As we reported five days ago, OSU has hired Kasey Dunn of Southern Miss as RB coach. I&rsquo;m told he was in Stillwater this weekend and nailed down the commitment of star RB Herschel Sims who was on his official visit. People who should know, tells me it was another good Gundy hire. </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Pet peeve. Announcers complaining refs calling too many fouls on their team. </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Jay Cutler is finding out that when you aren&rsquo;t that well-liked or respected it&rsquo;s hard to get the benefit of the doubt.</STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>I felt the other day that Texas A/M might have gotten its feathers ruffled when the Mr. Texas and Mrs. ESPN got married in that little 20-year fling. They know OU will have their own channel and can&rsquo;t feel good about being the little brother to the Big Boys of the Big 12. </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Well, today I see where there is re-speculation (not a word, but seems appropriate in this era of 10 million bloggers who spread nothing but rumor, innuendo and communicable diseases) that Texas A/M is once again considering a move to the SEC. </STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>One outfit had an SEC Western Division of A/M, OU, OSU, LSU, Arkansas Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Missouri (don&rsquo;t know where Missouri came fromI guess Columbia).</STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Of course the Big Cheese would go independent in this scenario and meet teams like OU and Notre Dame every year. Speaking of Big Cheese, we just talked with Mack Brown here in Oklahoma City. He watched the best high-schooler in Oklahoma play basketball. Millwood DB Josh Turner was in Austin this weekend and is yet another local kid who decided he&rsquo;d rather fly past The Red en route to Sixth Street.</STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Follow me on twitter @deanblevins.</STRONG></P>&#160;</P>&#160;</P><STRONG>Luego</STRONG></P><BR/>