Instant Classic Redux: The Thunder & Warriors do it again

Westbrook game winner

As this rematch of the Thun­der & the War­riors came down to a final pos­ses­sion in over­time with a few sec­onds left, i  remem­bered Iggy’s game win­ner at the buzzer and thought – there’s no way it can hap­pen againAND THEN IT DID. DIf­fer­ently but still the same. A dra­matic, impos­si­ble shot to end what had been a thrill-a-minute game between two of the most watch­able teams this season.

The final sequence was a series of reac­tive thoughts in quick suc­ces­sion – the missed shot… oh that’s game… wait… they’re try­ing to save it… he saves it… can they?… Rus­sell has it… but he’s swarmed… won’t be able to shoot… wait… he’s shoot­ing… no way… no… way… NO WAY!!! THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN! AGAIN!

It was more than crazy just watch­ing… but imag­ine being there:

These teams WILL meet in the play­offs, and when they do, the league should just inter­vene and extend the series to a best of 15… and even that may not be enough…

Other quick reac­tions from the game:

Ibaka’s devel­op­ment offen­sively has been huge and i don’t think it would have hap­pened if Harden had stayed. He was huge for them down the stretch with Durant trust­ing him for many big bas­kets down the stretch.

He was huge on D too. Not just block­ing shots – that he always did – but as a team defender affect­ing the other teams offen­sive pos­ses­sions. Big step up. He could be elite very soon.

Durant’s really learn­ing to help his team when he’s strug­gling offen­sively and has really added to his rebound­ing and pass­ing game. Spe­cially pass­ing. This too could be cred­ited to Harden’s depar­ture. It was a big loss for the team, but the growth his absence cat­alyzed in OKS key stars has soft­ened the blow significantly.

Har­ri­son Barnes was huge, play­ing like he did in the San Anto­nio series, and even seemed like their go to guy late down the stretch. For a team with so many weapons, that’s really say­ing some­thing. And it’s just his sec­ond year in the league. This team has a lot of poten­tial to be in the con­ver­sa­tion in the west for many years to come. Unlike the mon­strous assem­blages of the new east teams, the pieces here make so much sense together – team build­ing at its best.

Steph is the best off the drib­ble shooter ever. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating.

The Thun­der bench is really look­ing legit. Now all they need to do is flip Perkins for some­one who plays bas­ket­ball and they could make a lot of noise this postseason.

And finally – WESTBROOK! He has no con­science! In all fair­ness he hit gamewin­ners for them in both the games. & this time it counted. 

Dev Kabir Malik has a clinically alarming dependence on basketball and spends most of his time watching, analyzing, writing and even playing a little pickup (and some 2K too). In the little time he has left, he dabbles with design, art & music.