It may come as a hollow compliment, but the Oklahoma City Thunder earned the respect of Eric Gordon during the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Thanks to our good friend Tyler Milner of 610 Sports in Houston, we know that Gordon was impressed with the way the Thunder hung tough.
"You gotta give OKC credit they played well, they really did."..."I wish we could have been more consistent by how we played."..."Because the games that we won, we won by a large margin, and you would think we would kind of have better efforts in the games that we did lose."
Houston deserves praise for being in control of Games 1-5; by Game 6, the Thunder had them figured out. Oklahoma City also got a considerable offensive contribution from Lu Dort in the last two games of the series, even setting a record for an undrafted rookie with 30 points in Game 7.
When looking back at why the Thunder didn't advance to the Semifinals to play the Lakers, the last seven minutes of Game 7 will be the bane of every Oklahoma City fan's existence.
The Thunder could manage only six points on two shots from beyond the arc from Dort and Shai Gilegous-Alexander. During that stretch, the every steady Dennis Schroder missed three jumpers and lay-up, while Chris Paul committed the Thunder's 20th over of the evening.
The best clutch team in the NBA was anything but, on Wednesday night, and what might have been the most fun season since 2012 came to an end. This team deserved one more round; if, for no other reason, so they could spend more time together. You rarely see a group of professional athletes get along so well, and chances are you won't see it again anytime soon.
It's hard to know what the future holds for Schroder, Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, and Chris Paul. While it looks like we are heading for a full rebuild Sam Presti has surprised us before, so we must expect the unexpected.
Schroder Finishes Second in 6th Man Voting
Dennis Schroder got 35 first-place votes for the NBA's 6th man of the year award, While the Clippers Montrezl Harrel received 58. Harrel had 397 points overall, with Schroder getting 328, which was good enough for second.
Schroder averaged 19 points, shot 46 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from three. Schroder was also apart of the Thunder's closing lineup that outscored their opponents by 268 points. Schroder is in the last year of his contract and eligible for an extension.
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.