Play hard, then lose is no problem here

Thursday, April 9th 2009, 12:30 am
By: News 9

Let's play the percentages with the future of the Thunder.

I love the Thunder and think that overall they've been as solid a success in year one as a 21-win team can be.  But throw out all those short-term feelings.  For long- term purposes, it is time to play well, and then lose.  Play well, then lose.  Play well, then lose. Play well , then lose.

Four more games, then it's time to sack up the balls and go home and watch the draft. Denver wins its ninth straight, beating the Thunder in the Mile High City by ten. It was perfect. Yes, they played well, then lost.

Come to think of it, the ‘play well, then lose' system, has played out most of the season for our Thunder.  The Thunder played well for a good part of the season. And for the longest time they lost. 

Then our young guns finally figured out how to close the deal, and suddenly we started winning. Naturally, that led to a lot of optimism about the future of this franchise which has not exactly had a lot of nice things said about it in the past three or four years (referring mostly to the final few years in Seattle), which led to many Ford Center faithful to become optimistic about the future.

When you lose, you win. Or at least, you up the percentages for your chances of winning.  I'm a percentage guy. Don't know why. Maybe it's simple to understand.  The percentages show that the Thunder are in the position that if they win games, the two teams with one more win by teams playing pitiful basketball-Minnesota and Memphis-could easily drop OKC to the sixth worst record. Lose out and we're guaranteed fourth worst.  And the NBA draft gives the teams with the worst records the most ping pong balls, thus the best chance of getting the best player and players. 

The Blake Griffin Sweepstakes are at stake! We probably won't get lucky enough to get the Sooner stud. But losing will give us a better chance of getting No. 2, and I want the second pick over the fifth or sixth-and that's where we could easily wind up if we win a couple of games

14 non-playoff teams are in the lottery.  The lottery determines the top three picks in the draft. Picks 4-14 go in reverse order of the won/loss records of the remaining teams.  

Crazy, but just the facts. So Thunder, just play the percentages. Repeat after me, "play well, and lose."

I asked Mike Gundy Monday night at the grand opening of Barry Sander's new car dealership what the best thing he came away with from spring practice. Says he's two and a-half lines deep-"on the offensive and defensive sides...something we've not had here."

Saw Wayman Tisdale the other night at a Thunder game where he was awarded the Community Hero Award. Got to thinking as the eyes teared and the sold-out crowd roared, Tiz is one of the most popular sports figures in state history. He's fighting a tough war with an admirable spirit. But he'll need your prayers as more challenges are on the horizon.

I believe OKC's young General Manager Sam Presti  made good in-season pick-ups. New point guard Sean Livingston is not the same guy who was extraordinarily gifted when drafted No. 4 overall straight out of high school. But he seems to have a good head on his shoulders and clearly knows how to put the ball in the basket. I love Thabo Sefalosha, and not just because I can pronounce his name on TV.

NBA people I respect are saying Blake Griffin is 6-8 and not the 6-10 he's listed. If that's the case, he's a big 6-8 and others around him are listed two inches taller than they actually are.

I'm still not believing the whole "Texas won the Big 12 Conference asterisk "story.  I don't know what's harder to believe: the fact that it was posted in UT's training area for all to see, or that everyone from the top on down claims to not have known about it.  All we can say is the spin cycle is in full circle. Just one more reason to circle the wagons and circle the date. 2009 OU-Texas looks like one for the ages. And please. No whining. No asterisks.

Check out our All-Time Blitz this Sunday. Eddie Sutton live in-studio and extended one on one interviews with Blake Griffin, Barry Sanders, Mike Gundy, Wayman Tisdale, and Brian Bosworth. 

See you then.....db