A regular season contest in the NBA is often described as a “game of runs,” and in effect, the regular season as a whole is no different. Teams will rattle off a few wins at a time or go into extended losing streaks, and often a team with a hot start can simply coast into the playoffs based on the power of that one, impressive run.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are hardly in a position to coast in the competitive Western Conference, but they’re in the middle of quite the run themselves; the Thunder haven’t lost since January 27th, making them the winners of nine straight and one of the hottest teams in the league. They’ve tackled the Nuggets, the Hawks, and the Mavs over that time, and over the course of their streak, OKC has climbed from 11th in the conference to 5th.
A victory tonight against the Suns would signal the longest winning streak for the Thunder/Sonics since 1996. So no pressure, or anything.
In the process of taking down nine straight opponents, the Thunder appear to have cemented themselves within the tier of quasi-contenders. They’re obviously not yet on the level of the Lakers or Nuggets, but is it so absurd to group them with the Mavericks or Jazz? They’ve outgrown classification with the Spurs, Blazers, and Rockets, and based on their play of late, they deserve consideration for the West’s nearly-elite class of playoff juggernauts. The playoffs are still a lifetime away, but based on how productive OKC’s offense has been, is it so absurd to think that this Thunder team could actually make some noise in the playoffs?
Last May, Magic Johnson tweeted that the Lakers chase LeBron James, Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan in free agency. All three players were still under contract with their teams until July 1.
In response to that apparent tampering, the Lakers announced Johnson had asked the team to remove his title of Vice President.
Too little, too late.
William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn of ESPN:
Outside the Lines learned this week — and confirmed with a senior Lakers official — that the NBA fined the team over Johnson’s communiques about players under contract to other teams.
If Drake got the Raptors fined for tampering by pitching Durant during a concert, the Lakers deserved this fine.
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian are dating. There are mixed reports about whether they’re engaged.
No matter their exact terms of their relationship, it brings increased attention to the Cavaliers – who are already in the spotlight as LeBron James‘ team and the defending NBA champions.
LeBron might not welcome increased scrutiny.
Gabriella Ginsberg of Hollywood Life:
LeBron James hasn’t been happy that Tristan Thompson is dating drama magnet Khloe Kardashian, and we hear that the teammates had a locker room showdown before the Cavs’ home opener game.
“Tristan isn’t taking any crap from his teammates anymore. As far as he’s concerned, Khloe’s coming to every damn game she chooses,” the insider reveals. “Tristan told LeBron straight up before last night’s game that Khloe was coming and that was that.”
There’s nothing wrong with LeBron, as a friend, advising Thompson about his personal life. They share an agent, Rich Paul, and that obviously means a lot to LeBron.
But at a certain point, LeBron should back off. Neither coworkers nor friends have a right to determine who someone dates.
76ers players are unsure how to respond to their franchise blocking Sevyn Streeter from singing the national anthem because she wore a “WE MATTER” jersey.
Justise Winslow is seemingly trying to nudge Philadelphia in a certain direction.
The Heat forward posted a photo with himself and the 76ers’ Jerami Grant raising fists and captioned it “WE MATTER”:
I’m unsure when this photo was taken, but my best guess is after the Miami-Philadelphia preseason game – which was preceded by the national-anthem singer kneeling during her performance.
Was Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha making the smart play to beat the defender or just showing off?
Either way, I’m glad he did it.