Thunder Buddies Podcast: Dennis Schroder rolls in Salt Lake City
Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studios' comedy 'Ted,' but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder.
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Thunder Buddies – Schroder rolls in Salt Lake City (Game 23 of 82) – Dennis Schroder scored a team-high 27 points Monday night in Oklahoma City's win at Utah. The Thunder has now won four of its last five road games, and this one came without Danilo Gallinari. Darius Bazley earned his first career start and Lu Dort did Lu Dort things. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Payback in Portland (Game 22 of 82) – The Trail Blazers couldn't miss against the Thunder less than two weeks ago. On Sunday, they couldn't make much. OKC limited Damian Lillard and company to a season-low 36 percent shooting performance. Chris Paul and the point guards shined on offense while Lu Dort emerged as a defensive stopper. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies– Prayer answered against Timberwolves (Game 21 of 82) – The Thunder topped the Timberwolves 139-127 Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in improbable fashion. A bungled Minnesota free throw situation led to a Steven Adams Hail Mary pass to Dennis Schroder for a game-tying layup. It sent the game to overtime, which the Thunder dominated. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies Podcast – Keeping Pace (Game 20 of 82) – After getting blown out at Indiana a month ago, on Wednesday the Thunder was a Terrance Ferguson 3-pointer away from tying the game with 16 seconds left. Steven Adams led the Thunder with 20 points on 8-of-8 shooting, winning his matchup against former teammate Domantas Sabonis. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss another close loss.
Thunder Buddies Podcast – Soaring to 3-0 against Pelicans (Game 19 of 82) – The Thunder traveled to New Orleans to face the Pelicans for the second time in less than 48 hours. In Sunday’s game, a 107-104 Thunder win, the Thunder yet again had a hot start and finish. But this time it held its ground in the third quarter. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Bench powers OKC past Pelicans (Game 18 of 82)– Dennis Schroder and Abdel Nader led the Thunder in scoring Friday night, combining for 44 points off the bench in OKC’s 109-104 win against New Orleans. They fueled the comeback victory after the Thunder, yet again, fell into a third quarter funk. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Torn to shreds in Rip City (Game 17 of 82)– Did the Thunder celebrate Thanksgiving a day early? Because it played like it had downed a turkey feast before a 136-119 loss at Portland. The Trail Blazers scored over 40 points in the first and third quarters, and Carmelo Anthony again rewarded Portland for bringing him on. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Vanquishing the Warriors ... eventually (Game 16 of 82)– OKC claimed its first road win of the season, a 100-97 victory at Golden State's new Chase Center. But it took a wild 13-0 run at the end for the Thunder to beat the Warriors in a building Golden State has only won one game in. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Lakers sequel even more suspenseful (Game 15 of 82) – The Thunder fell to the Lakers 130-127 Friday night in OKC, three days after a five-point loss to the Lakers in L.A. There were superstar highlights, third-quarter runs, an ejection and a crucial crunchtime decision in this one. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – No love in La La Land (Game 14 of 82) – Even 31 points from Dennis Schroder couldn't save OKC from a second loss at Staples Center in as many days. Scoring 27 points on turnovers, the Lakers beat the Thunder 112-107 Wednesday night, extending OKC's road losing streak. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Paul George puts Clippers on top (Game 13 of 82) – Paul George reminded the Thunder of how clutch of a shot maker he’s become. George drained a game winning 3-pointer Monday night against his former team in the Clippers’ 90-88 win. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – OKC out-muscles Philadelphia (Game 12 of 82) – The Thunder recorded its signature win of the young season Friday night, a 127-119 victory against Philadelphia. After trading buckets in the fourth quarter, OKC dominated in overtime. Chris Paul was classic Chris Paul and Terrance Ferguson set a season high in scoring. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Outpaced in Indiana (Game 11 of 82) – The Pacers beat up on the Thunder 111-85 Tuesday night in Indianapolis. OKC, which had stayed competitive even in losses, shot a dismal 36 percent from the floor and 24 percent from three. So, what exactly went wrong? Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Beware of the Bucks (Game 10 of 82) – The Thunder could only slow Giannis Antetokounmpo for one half Sunday night. In the second half, Antetokounmpo showed why he’s the reigning MVP. He beat up the Thunder … and a Thunder sign. It was a 121-119 win for Milwaukee. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Waxing the Warriors (Game 9 of 82) – The Thunder beat the Warriors 114-108 Saturday night. It was OKC's second victory over Golden State in the last two weeks. The Thunder's offense exploded for 30 assists while shooting 14-of-30 from three. Was it improved offense, or just taking advantage of bad defense? Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Spurned in San Antonio (Game 8 of 82) – Thunder killer LaMarcus Aldridge struck again, scoring 39 points on 19-of-23 shooting. With good ball movement, the Thunder kept it close for most of the game. But the Spurs kept calling on Aldridge’s hot hand down the stretch to give the Thunder a 121-112 loss.
Thunder Buddies – Casting a spell on Orlando (Game 7 of 82) – The Thunder held off the Magic 102-94 on a memorable night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Family members of the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were honored in an emotional pregame ceremony. The Thunder capped off the night with a victory, thanks in large part to Steven Adams’ return to the lineup.
Thunder Buddies – Bazley's Breakout (Game 6 of 82) – The Thunder moved to 2-4 after a 115-104 win against the Pelicans on Saturday night. Darius Bazley had a career-high 17 points, Chris Paul had his best game as a Thunder player and Billy Donovan unveiled a new lineup. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto break down the game alongside special guest Cameron Jourdan.
Thunder Buddies – Great Dame (Game 5 of 82) – OKC fell to 1-4 after a 102-99 loss to Portland on Wednesday night. Damian Lillard and the Blazers lit it up from 3-point land. The Thunder? Not so much. The Oklahoman’s Maddie Lee, Berry Tramel and Joe Mussatto break down the game.
Thunder Buddies – Holding tight in Houston (Game 4 of 82) – For the first time ever, the Thunder faced Russell Westbrook as an opponent, in a 116-112 loss to the Rockets. Dennis Schroder had another standout game. Chris Paul was given a tribute video. And it all fell apart in the third quarter. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – OKC claims first win of the season against the Warriors (Game 3 of 82) – They weren’t the Warriors of old, or the Thunder of old for that matter. But the Thunder holds a team to 100 points or fewer for the third time this season and gets its own offense going in a 120-92 win. Maddie Lee, Joe Mussatto and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Thunder drops home opener to Wizards (Game 2 of 82) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tied the game 83-83 with just under five minutes left, but the Wizards finished on a 14-2 run to beat the Thunder 97-85 in its home opener. OKC’s defense was strong, but its offense is still a work in progress. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss what else we learned from the game.
Thunder Buddies – A surprising start to the regular season (Game 1 of 82) – The Thunder kept its 100-95 loss to the Jazz surprisingly close. What else was surprising? Only three points from Steven Adams. A career-high 26 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. And so much more. Maddie Lee and Joe Mussatto discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Analyzing the Thunder's preseason finale – The Chris Paul-less Thunder put up a better fight against the Mavericks Wednesday than it did at Dallas Monday, but OKC still lost 124-119. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss. Plus, Erik makes a special announcement.
Thunder Buddies – What we liked and didn't like from preseason Game 3 – The Mavericks smashed the Thunder, who played without Chris Paul and Steven Adams, in Dallas. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – What we liked and didn't like from preseason Game 2 – The New Zealand Breakers were overmatched against the Thunder in a blowout. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – What we liked and didn't like from preseason Game 1 – Steven Adams made a 3-pointer. Darius Bazley didn’t look lost. The Thunder did things we haven’t seen. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Jenni Carlson discuss the good and the bad, the surprises, the caveats, and the key takeaways from Thunder vs. Mavericks.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Thunder Camp, Week 1 – The Thunder has wrapped up its first week of preseason camp. What did we learn? What stood out? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Sam Presti's season-opening press conference –When Sam Presti shows up with a beard, you know it's going to be a different season. The Thunder general manager spoke to the media Thursday about Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and a variety of topics. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies -- Betting OKC, NBA odds, Western Conference predictions with Matt Moore of The Action Network -- How do you wager on a team which could look completely different after the All-Star break? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee welcome Matt Moore of The Action Network to discuss how he's approaching the NBA and the Thunder this season from a betting standpoint, his favorites in the Western Conference and an overlooked album from the early 2000s.
Thunder Buddies – Portland's next steps, "fixing" FIBA, Kevin Durant comments and Western Conference predictions with Jason Quick – Erik Horne and Berry Tramel are joined by special guest Jason Quick, Portland Trail Blazers writer for The Athletic, to talk about the new-look Blazers' offseason, how the U.S. can fix its international basketball "issues," and Durant's latest comments about Oklahoma City.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Nuggets expectations with Mike Singer – The Nuggets are loaded and are getting plenty of buzz as the Western Conference’s best team. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Oklahoman business reporter (and Nuggets fan) Dave Dishman welcome Mike Singer of the Denver Post to the podcast to talk Jerami Grant, Nikola Jokic, why the Nuggets losing the Blazers in the playoffs wasn’t a bad thing, and the Western Conference pecking order. Part 3 of the four-part series previewing the Northwest Division.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Jazz offseason, Westbrook vs. fans and more with Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News – The Utah Jazz are getting big buzz as a Western Conference favorite. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee are joined by Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City to break down the Jazz’s offseason and the Western Conference pecking order.
Thunder Buddies – Talking T-Wolves, Thunder and the Northwest Division with Jon Krawczynski – Erik Horne is joined by Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic to dive into the psyche of Minnesota sports fans, the outlook of the T-Wolves’ season, how much Jimmy Butler affected Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul to Minny (?) and projecting the Northwest Division. Part 1 of a four-part series.
Thunder Buddies – Western Conference predictions, Thunder over/unders and (way too much) Andrew Wiggins talk – The NBA is in its down period, which means Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel are feeding the content void with predictions! The Oklahoman's Thunder coverage team gives its Western Conference standing predictions, Thunder over/unders and we go back to the Wiggins Well because why not?
Thunder Buddies – Talking Russell Westbrook, CP3 and more with Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle – Russell Westbrook's a Rocket. Chris Paul's a Thunder. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee called Jonathan Feigen, Rockets beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, to talk about one of the offseason's biggest deals and its ramifications.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Thunder-Clippers trade with L.A. Times Clippers writer Andrew Greif – What did the Thunder-Clippers trade mean in Los Angeles? What’s to expect from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari? Will Patrick Patterson fit in with the Clippers? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee ask first-time Thunder Buddies podcast guest Andrew Grief, Clippers writer for the Los Angeles Times.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Paul George’s presser, new Thunder unis and new assistant coaches – Paul George was introduced as a member of the Clippers on Wednesday. Did he say anything interesting? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee are joined by Oklahoman intern Hallie Hart to discuss George, the Thunder’s new uniforms in partnership with the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, and the slew of new coaches.
Thunder Buddies – Chris Paul's future – Now that Chris Paul is officially a member of the Thunder, OKC could have trouble trading him this summer. What's the likelihood that Paul starts the season with the Thunder? What would OKC look like with and without him? Erik Horne, Berry Tramel and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – The Russell Westbrook Era has ended. What's next? The trade that everyone knew was coming was still a shocker when it happened. Russell Westbrook is a Houston Rocket. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss, including the Thunder getting Chris Paul, their top Westbrook moments, the scene of Westbrook's final night as a Thunder player and OKC's plan for CP3.
Thunder Buddies - Trade scenarios and what’s next - The Thunder is rebuilding. First it was Paul George. Now it’s Jerami Grant. Is Russell Westbrook next? Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss, including some trade scenarios for Westbrook ranging from realistic to ridiculous.
Thunder Buddies – Goodbye Paul George, hello uncertainty – The Thunder dealt Paul George to the Clippers in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Erik Horne, Berry Tramel and Maddie Lee discuss how it went down and where this unexpected turn of events leaves the Thunder.
Thunder Buddies – Free Agency Day 4 – Free agency opened with a bang. Only four days into it, most teams in the Western Conference have improved, the Thunder outperformed expectations (within its budgetary constraints), and the NBA eagerly awaits Kawhi Leonard's decision. Erik Horne, Berry Tramel and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Free agency frenzy – Free agency begins on Sunday evening, as teams across the NBA compete for members of the expansive and star-studded 2019 class. Erik Horne, Berry Tramel and Maddie Lee discuss the Thunder's offseason options and provide free agent suggestions within OKC's budget.
Thunder Buddies – Who is Darius Bazley and what's OKC up to? – The Thunder didn't just go young in the NBA Draft, but to the prep-to-pros well for the second time in three years. Why did they pick Darius Bazley? Jenni Carlson, Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the draft, plus the Thunders' offseason plan.
Thunder Buddies – Kevin Durant's injury impact, NBA Finals Game 5 recap and Thunder draft talk – Everyone's talking about Kevin Durant. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss KD's injury plus how the rest of the NBA Finals will shake out and reports of the Thunder shopping the No. 21 pick.
Thunder Buddies – Talking NBA Finals, Thunder coaches and 'Growing Up George' – The NBA Finals are an injury-riddled drama. The Thunder's assistant coaching situation is turning dramatic as well. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss, plus dive into Lee's story on the Thunder's latest film "Growing Up George," which debuts this week at deadCenter Film Festival.
Thunder Buddies – Talking NBA Finals, OKC assistants and offseason drama – Do the Raptors have a chance? Does the Thunder have an exodus on its hands? Do the Lakers have the market cornered on offseason turmoil? Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Talking NBA playoffs, Zion and Billy Donovan – The Thunder isn't in the playoffs, but that doesn't mean the conversation stops. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss their biggest takeaways from the postseason so far, the NBA draft lottery and the Billy Donovan rumor mill.
Thunder Buddies – The besti of Presti – Thunder general manager Sam Presti faced the media Monday after a disappointing season. He said he anticipated coach Billy Donovan returning next season, defended Russell Westbrook and much more. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Asking what's next in Thunder exit interviews – The Thunder held exit interviews after a third straight first-round exit. Russell Westbrook is introspective. Paul George may be looking at offseason surgery. Markieff Morris wants more playing time. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – The rise and fall of OKC in Game 5 – The Thunder's season came to an end courtesy of a late collapse and the brilliance of Damian Lillard. The Thunder now goes into the offseason with all the questions you could ask. Erik Horne and Berry Tramel discuss Game 5, what's next and answer your Twitter questions.
Thunder Buddies – Season on the line after Game 4 flop – The Thunder's duo of Paul George and Russell Westbrook are getting outplayed by C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard. It means the Thunder is nearing another first-round exit and more questions about its future. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Bounceback at home for the Thunder in Game 3 – Is the Thunder back? For one night it was in a win over the Blazers in Game 3, fueled by Russell Westbrook, 3-point shooting and some defensive adjustments. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Big trouble in Thunderland after Game 2 blowout loss – The Thunder heads back to Oklahoma City in an 0-2 hole thanks to its poor shooting and not being able to stop C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard. Erik Horne and Berry Tramel discuss and try to find some silver linings for the Thunder headed back to Oklahoma City.
Thunder Buddies – Assessing the OKC shooting woes against the Blazers in Game 1 – The Thunder put up a woeful shooting performance in Game 1, fronted by Paul George's struggles. But should the Thunder panic? What needs to change? Erik Horne and Berry Tramel discuss from Portland.
Thunder Buddies – A wild night sends OKC to PDX (Game 82 of 82) – The Thunder combined a win with good fortune to get a seemingly ideal matchup with Portland. It rained 3-pointers down on Milwaukee to lock up the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Good sign or an outlier? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including the playoff matchup to come.
Thunder Buddies – Talking late-game heroics against the Rockets and the playoff picture (Game 81 of 82) – The Thunder pulled off a heroic win against the Rockets via a Paul George game-winning shot, some heady play from Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams, and a defensive stand in the fourth quarter. What about the playoffs?! Seeding is in the Thunder's hands. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – The good and bad of OKC's win against Minnesota (Game 80 of 82) – The Thunder finally beat Minnesota. The win came with some notably strong offensive performances, some calamitous defense and more looks into what this Thunder rotation will look like when the playoffs start. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – The juice returns against the Pistons (Game 79 of 82) – The Thunder looked more like itself Friday than any game post-All-Star break – swagging, running, dominating the glass. It started with Russell Westbrook, who set another unprecedented record, and carried over to Dennis Schroder. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, and answer your Twitter questions.
Thunder Buddies – Russell Westbrook makes history against the Lakers (Game 78 of 82) – The Thunder ended the skid with a double-digit win against the Lakers. It came with a history-making performance, a tribute and some controversy from Russell Westbrook. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Downer against Dallas (Game 77 of 82) – The Thunder again struggled against a team with no real incentive to win. How did it happen? A little bit of everything going wrong for the Thunder, which now has lost seven of 10 games. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Swept away by Denver (Game 76 of 82) – The Nuggets have the Thunder's number. Denver separated again from the Thunder in a 10-point win Friday. Why has Denver been so good against the Thunder this season? Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Jenni Carlson discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Outpacing the Pacers (Game 75 of 82) – The Thunder looked more like the Thunder in a second-half explosion against the Pacers. What fueled the turnaround after one of the worst losses of the season? Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – OKC plays the blues in Memphis (Game 74 of 82) – A new low for the Thunder this season? After an inspired second half against Toronto on Friday, the Thunder looked disinterested and unfocused again in a loss in Memphis. Billy Donovan took blame after the loss, but there's plenty of finger-pointing to go around as the Thunder dropped to eighth in the West again. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Revival against the Raptors (Game 73 of 82) – Where has this Thunder team been? That was the question asked in the second half of the Thunder's win against Toronto on Friday, where OKC's defense locked down and the offense found its free-flowing rhythm. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the Thunder's much-needed win.
Thunder Buddies – Ripped by the Raptors (Game 72 of 82) – The Thunder slump continues with a rally but ultimately some recurring issues against the Raptors. Don't look now, but OKC is the No. 8 seed. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the Thunder's fourth-consecutive loss.
Thunder Buddies – Zoned out against the Heat (Game 71 of 82) – The Thunder was without Russell Westbrook and Nerlens Noel against the Miami Heat, but a listless performance in the middle of a race to the postseason? The Thunder's inconsistency continues and Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Offensive exposure against the Warriors (Game 70 of 82) – An inept Thunder offense and a stifling Warriors defense meant a blowout loss for OKC in what started as a playoff atmosphere. When it was over, the gulf between the Thunder and Warriors was apparent. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – An OKC collapse in Indy (69 of 82) – The Thunder was rolling until Paul George's game came unglued. The fouls and the defensive drop off didn't help either. The Thunder blew a 19-point lead in Indianapolis, and Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Cutting down the Nets (Game 68 of 82) – No drama on Wednesday. The Thunder dominated the Nets in the second half, where Paul George found some rhythm and Russell Westbrook took complete control of the game. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including second-unit contributions, Deonte Burton Watch and more.
Thunder Buddies – A drama-filled night in Salt Lake City (Game 67 of 82) – The Thunder completed a sweep of the Jazz, but not without some controversy away from the game. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss Thunder-Jazz, including Russell Westbrook's run-in with Jazz fans, Paul George's defensive masterpiece, Dennis Schroder stepping up, injuries piling up, and more.
Thunder Buddies – Assessing a foul-happy back-to-back for OKC (Games 65 and 66 of 82) – On Friday, the Thunder had a foul frenzy and nearly pulled off a victory against the Clippers with some courageous second-unit play, but Russell Westbrook and Paul George ultimately fouling out. On Thursday, the Thunder came into Portland with a four-game losing streak and left with a four-game regular season sweep of the Trail Blazers. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss both games.
Thunder Buddies – Paul George returns and so does the struggle (Game 64 of 82) – The Thunder’s struggles continued up north, with Minnesota blasting the OKC defense. Paul George made his return, but it wasn’t with the assurance we’re used to seeing from the MVP candidate. It’s possibly the worst time for the Thunder to have an out-of-rhythm George. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Breaking the slump against the Grizzlies (Game 63 of 82) – The Thunder snapped a four-game losing streak with some clutch play and defense after a slog of unfocused play through three quarters. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder's play, the positives from the close and a critical road trip to come.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Missing Paul George Round 2 against the Spurs (Game 62 of 82) – The Thunder lost its fourth-consecutive game and the struggle without Paul George was even more apparent against the Spurs at the AT&T Center. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder's offensive struggles, the Thunder's defensive issues without George and more.
Thunder Buddies – Missing Paul George against the Sixers (Game 61 of 82) – The Thunder missed its best player and it showed against the Sixers. But the Thunder again missed opportunities and closed poorly for the third time in four games after the All-Star break. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Why can't the Thunder beat the Nuggets? (Game 60 of 82) – Denver took a four-game lead on the Thunder in the Western Conference standings and a 3-0 lead in the season series. Why have the Nuggets been so good against the Thunder this season? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Assessing OKC's up-and-down game against the Kings (Game 59 of 82) – The Thunder had some controversy, some courageous play and some calamity against the Kings on Saturday. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the highs and lows, including another 40-point performance from Russell Westbrook, a rare off game from Paul George, and Markieff Morris arriving on the scene.
Thunder Buddies – Outlasting the Jazz (Game 58 of 82) – The Thunder has the Jazz's regular-season number. It has Paul George to thank this time. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss the Thunder's double-overtime thriller.
Thunder Buddies All-Star Edition Part 2 – Wrapping up the weekend and looking ahead – Paul George and Russell Westbrook had fun in their All-Star Game experience. What's next for the duo and the Thunder in the final 25 games of the season? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including their highlights from the All-Star Weekend.
Thunder Buddies All-Star Edition Part 1 – Hamidou Diallo Dunkfest – Diallo may not have been a household name entering Saturday's Dunk Contest, but the Thunder rookie was by the end of the night. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss that, plus changes needed in the dunk contest, the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest results, and running into soccer stars.
Thunder Buddies – OKC looks ready for the All-Star break in NOLA (Game 57 of 82) – The Thunder looked ready for the All-Star break after losing to the Pelicans. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee give run through an All-Star break list of Thunder related topics, plus talk about the signing of Markieff Morris and how he can help OKC down the stretch.
Thunder Buddies – Assessing a record-setting night against the Blazers (56 of 82) – The Thunder won for the 11th time in 12 games behind the spectacular nights of Russell Westbrook and Paul George ... and Deonte Burton and Raymond Felton. The short-handed Thunder scored an impressive win over old rival Portland for the third time this season. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – An all-time rally against the Rockets (Game 55 of 82) – After digging a massive hole, the Thunder stepped up to the challenge in Houston. The biggest comeback in Thunder history was part-star power steadying the ship, part-role players stepping up. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss another MVP game for Paul George, Russell Westbrook's interesting extension of his triple-double streak, and the key figures – from Deonte Burton to Dennis Schroder – involved in the road rally.
Thunder Buddies – Gashing the Grizzlies ... eventually (Game 54 of 82) – The Thunder took a while to wake up against the Grizzlies' zone defense, but it eventually rolled to its ninth win in 10 games. Will the buyout market give OKC another boost? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the blowout of Memphis and more.
Thunder Buddies – A Magic sweep for OKC (Game 53 of 82) – The Thunder completed the sweep of the Magic. Good news: The offense was prolific yet again. Bad news: The defense continued to show cracks until a stand in the third quarter. Time to change the trade deadline target? Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – The streak ends in Boston (Game 52 of 82) – One streak ends and another continues. The Thunder's seven-game winning streak was snapped Sunday, but Boston extended its winning streak over OKC to four games. How did it happen this time? Defense, defense, defense. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss, plus some trade deadline talk.
Thunder Buddies – Paul George cool against the Heat (Game 51 of 82) – The Thunder extended its winning streak to seven behind another dominant performance from Paul George. No defense could stop him on his way into the Thunder record books. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including Russell Westbrook beating the zone, Dennis Schroder's scorching second quarter and what to expect in Boston on Sunday.
Thunder Buddies – Ousting Orlando with a lot of magic (Game 50 of 82) – The Thunder was shorthanded against the Magic but was still impressive in its sixth consecutive win. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Dennis Schroder all had dominant stretches, but there was also a fill-in factor that spurred the Thunder to victory. Oh, and Alex Abrines was back. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Besting the Bucks (Game 49 of 82) – The Bucks entered Oklahoma City with the best record in the NBA. Of course, the Thunder relishes a challenge. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss the Thunder's big win, its defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George's MVP moments, and more.
Thunder Buddies – Pushing past the Pelicans (Game 48 of 82) – The Thunder was dominant until it wasn't against the Pelicans on Thursday, but New Orleans limped into Oklahoma City on the second night of a back-to-back with no Anthony Davis, Julius Randle or Nikola Mirotic. Lucky for OKC. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss, including some intriguing nuggets from the All-Star voting results.
Thunder Buddies – Burning the Blazers (Game 47 of 82) – Is the Thunder's defense back? Paul George never left. Russell Westbrook played one of his best games of the season. And Billy Donovan shook up the rotation on the second night of a back-to-back to great effect against the Blazers. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Jenni Carlson discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Kicking the Knicks (Game 46 of 82) – The Thunder made quick work of the Knickerbockers in New York with a big game ahead on Tuesday against Portland in Oklahoma City. The Thunder did it by defending, rebounding and continuing its streak of hot 3-point shooting. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Surviving the Sixers (Game 45 of 82) – The Thunder found its defense (a little), but some key mistakes put OKC in danger of dropping a game that should have been easier. Good thing the Thunder has Paul George. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss, including fouling 3-point shooters, Russell Westbrook's wild shots, Westbrook's beef with Joel Embiid, Billy Donovan's adjustments and more.
Thunder Buddies – Where's the D? OKC still searching after loss to Lakers (Game 44 of 82) – What has happened to the Thunder's defense? The Thunder hit a team record for 3-pointers and it still lost to the Lakers on Thursday. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss the recent deconstruction of the Thunder's defense.
Thunder Buddies – An energy deficiency in ATL (Game 43 of 82) – A new low for the Thunder? OKC was torched for 40 points in the final 10 1/2 minutes in Atlanta. What went wrong? What does the Thunder, losers of four of its last five, need to get back on track? Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – OKC gets even with the Spurs (Game 42 of 82) – The Thunder went back to what it does best: Forcing turnovers, playing defense and getting out on the fast break. Who thought Dennis Schroder would lead the charge? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the Thunder snapping a three-game losing streak, Abdul Nader stepping up, the Thunder's wild officiating streak, Nick Collison's big day coming up and more.
Thunder Buddies – A controversial classic in San Antonio (Game 41 of 82) – What a game. The Thunder and Spurs played arguably the game of the season in San Antonio on Thursday, filled with epic performances, crazy calls and ultimately a 154-147 Thunder loss in double overtime. Moral victories? Lessons? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Thunder, the NBA and more with Thunder TV analyst Antonio Daniels – Who better to talk Thunder with than Antonio Daniels, pregame and postgame analyst on Thunder Live? The former NBA champion and lottery pick talked to Erik Horne about his origins in Ohio, his lessons learned playing in San Antonio and Seattle, the legacy of his late brother, Chris, and of course the Thunder’s season at the halfway mark.
Thunder Buddies – Different night, same issue for OKC's rebounding (Game 40 of 82) – What has happened to the Thunder's rebounding advantage? The Thunder wasn't blasted like it was by Washington on Sunday, but key rebounds weren't grabbed in a 119-117 loss to Minnesota. The defense faltered. Nerlens Noel suffered a scary injury. San Antonio looms. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Assessing the Thunder's worst game of the season (Game 39 of 82) – Well, that was bad. Following its best win of the season, the Thunder suffered its worst loss of the season Sunday against Washington. What happened? Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Pushing past Portland (Game 38 of 82) – Until Friday, it had been nearly five years since the Thunder's last win in Portland. How did OKC pull it off? With contributions across the board and an escape in the final three minutes. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including Nerlens Noel's big game, the Thunder's pick-and-roll defense, Steven Adams vs. Jusuf Nurkic, Russell Westbrook and Paul George putting on a show, and more.
Thunder Buddies – Playing the Lakers a song at Staples (Game 37 of 82) – Paul George's game slowly blossomed, but so did the Thunder's second unit in a win against the Lakers. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including Russell Westbrook's turn in the fourth quarter, Abdel Nader showing off his versatile game, air guitar, the anti-George atmosphere and more.
Thunder Buddies – Westbrook bounces back in back-to-back (Game 36 of 82) – Coming off one of his worst shooting performances of the season, Russell Westbrook bounced back with some help from the glass. The Thunder needed him to be on after Paul George faded and the Mavs caught fire from 3. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss including Terrance Ferguson's return, the Thunder forcing turnovers and some New Year's resolutions for the Thunder.
Thunder Buddies – Wrapping up Westbrook's woeful shooting month (Game 35 of 82) – Russell Westbrook has had a long December. There's one game left, but he had rough shooting night in Dallas on the first night of a back-to-back that went beyond his missing shots. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss that, plus Patrick Patterson showing a pulse, the Thunder's clutch time struggles and more.
Thunder Buddies – Schroder and Westbrook scorch the Suns (Game 34 of 82) – Dennis Schroder and Russell Westbrook were struggling for three quarters without Paul George. Then the fourth quarter happened. What does it mean for the Thunder going forward? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including Abdel Nader's arrival, bad pick-and-roll defense getting fixed and the bug going around the Thunder.
Thunder Buddies – OKC in the spirit of giving against the Rockets (Game 33 of 82) – Defensive rebounding was the issue on Christmas for the Thunder. OKC gifted the Rockets with second chances and it led to its second-consecutive loss. There were other issues, ranging from Billy Donovan's managing of minutes to Russell Westbrook's continual struggles from the field, to the Thunder's lack of spacing hurting in the second half. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Topped by the T-Wolves (Game 32 of 82) – Russell Westbrook found his shot (sort of). He found Alex Abrines for a potential game-winning shot. Jerami Grant found himself on the end of two controversial plays in the late stages of a loss to Minnesota. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss what went wrong and what went right for the Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back.
Thunder Buddies – OKC living on the edge in SLC (Game 31 of 82)– The Thunder pulled off a big win against the Jazz through Paul George's brilliance and often in spite of Russell Westbrook. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the highs and lows of the Thunder experience in Salt Lake City.
Thunder Buddies – No Schroder, no problem against the Kings (Game 30 of 82) – The NBA delivered a surprise decision against the Thunder on Wednesday. No problem. Without Dennis Schroder, Paul George took over the second unit and the Thunder took over Sacramento. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss, including Russell Westbrook showing signs, Steven Adams' rebounding, Grant and Ferguson, and more.
Thunder Buddies podcast – OKC payback on the Bulls (Game 29 of 82) – It was an exciting blowout for the Thunder, from Paul George’s second quarter explosion, to the explosive scrum in the third quarter. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss, including Russell Westbrook’s journey back to rhythm, the bench play, Jim Boylen putting Jerami Grant in a choke hold (!?) and more.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Clipping the Clippers to end a key week (Game 28 of 82) – Russell Westbrook had another strange one. What helped was Westbrook engaging himself defensively after the first quarter. Oh, and Paul George. And Jerami Grant. And Steven Adams. After letting games slip away on the road, the Thunder closed a four game in six nights stretch 2-2. Good? Bad? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Down in Denver (Game 27 of 82) – The Thunder missed another opportunity in a comeback to take down the Denver Nuggets. Some of the same issues returned to bite them, from free throws to defensive rebounding to executing on key possessions with the game in the balance. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Problems and positives against the Pelicans (Game 26 of 82) – Russell Westbrook bailed the Thunder out. Westbrook also was a part of the Thunder’s free throw follies and turnovers. There was good and bad from the Thunder’s loss to the Pelicans, and neither falls completely on the Thunder’s point guard. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – OKC plays a different note for the Jazz (Game 25 of 82) – The last time the Thunder played the Jazz, it was an older, slower team. This time? The Thunder took it to the Jazz with efficiency from Paul George and waves of defense for Donovan Mitchell. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Jenni Carlson discuss, plus the difference in the Thunder from April to now, Russell Westbrook's shooting struggles, Terrance Ferguson's improvement, and more.
Thunder Buddies podcast – An offensive defensive stretch for OKC (Game 24 of 82) – The Thunder's defense gave up 70 points in the first half in a loss to the Bulls. But it wasn't the only problem for the Thunder on Friday. Turnovers. Lack of finishing. The Thunder sputtered in its final road game of the three-game trip, yet still had a chance to win. What needs to get corrected before Utah on Monday? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Witnessing the Paul George Experience in Brooklyn (Game 23 of 82) – For about 40 minutes, the Thunder looked on its way to a loss. Then, Paul George exploded. The All-Star outscored the Nets in the fourth quarter. The Thunder scored its biggest rally in franchise history. How did it happen? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Pummeling the Pistons for No. 15 (Game 22 of 82) – There wasn't much to complain about in the Thunder's battering of the Pistons. It was a game won a different way than the 3-point parade against the Hawks, however. Steven Adams and defense ruled in Motown as the Thunder started its three-game road trip with some promising play. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Playing the right way against the "A" (Game 21 of 82) – The Thunder won't hit 18 3-pointers every night, but the ball moved and defense led to offense on a night where OKC could have easily sulked in the wake of Andre Roberson's latest setback. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson breaking slumps, Westbrook's continued bounceback from the Denver debacle and Trae Young's rookie lessons.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Russell Westbrook's passing fancy against the Cavs (Game 20 of 82) – The Thunder had some slog moments against the last-place Cavaliers until Russell Westbrook kicked it into high gear in the second quarter. His passing was the precursor to his best perimeter shooting night of the season. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee break down the Thunder's win, including Jerami Grant and Deonte Burton's contributions.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Examining OKC's misfire against the Nuggets (Game 19 of 82) – Rallying from 25 points is notable, but so was the way the Thunder lost to the Nuggets on Saturday. Russell Westbrook was again at the center of the comeback and the demise. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies podcast – Surviving the (injury) swarm against the Hornets (Game 18 of 82) – The Thunder completed the sweep of Charlotte Hornets despite missing rotation players and getting away from its offense in key moments. Good thing OKC is more talented than the Hornets. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the Thunder’s rise to the top of the Western Conference standings.
Thunder Buddies – Assessing OKC's beatdown of the Warriors (Game 17 of 82) – When the Thunder wasn't fighting through freak injuries, it was running the Warriors off the floor in Oracle Arena, paced by a bounceback performance by Dennis Schroder, a balanced offensive effort and a disruptive defense. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – A Kings problem in Russell's return (Game 16 of 82) – What is it about the Kings? A third of the Thunder's losses this season have come to Sacramento. What went wrong in Russell Westbrook's return to the lineup? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – No guards, no problem against the Suns (Game 15 of 82) – No Westbrook. No Ferguson. No Abrines. No problem. The Thunder hit a few rough patches, but beat the Suns in a place its struggled in recent seasons. Paul George, Steven Adams and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (?!) were at the center. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Pick-and-rolling past the Knicks (Game 14 of 82) – The Thunder is having fun. In its ninth win in 10 games and fifth in a row without Russell Westbrook, the Thunder did a lot of things right against the lowly Knicks. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel break down the win.
Thunder Buddies – Powering past the Suns (Game 13 of 82) – Paced by Paul George and Steven Adams, the Thunder played a brilliant first 30 minutes. But it's always an adventure with the Thunder, right? Erik Horne and Maddie Lee break down the Thunder's eighth win in nine games, George finding a rhythm, Adams punishing a rookie, and OKC getting back to doing what it does best to fend off Phoenix.
Thunder Buddies – OKC comes back to earth in Dallas (Game 12 of 82) – The Thunder's Mavericks problem resurfaced again on Saturday, with plenty of lapses on offense and defense. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the disastrous 3-point defense, the second quarter slump, and what the Thunder needed even before its seven-game winning streak ended.
Thunder Buddies – Examining the Thunder's throttling of the Rockets (Game 11 of 82) – The Thunder won its seventh consecutive game and swept another back-to-back, this time with a stunning blowout of the Rockets without Russell Westbrook. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss Terrance Ferguson's big game, Carmelo Anthony theories, and more.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Schroder Time and winning ugly in Cleveland (Game 10 of 82) – The Thunder won its sixth-consecutive game of the season the hard way, with a grind-it-out victory over the one-win Cavs on the first night of a back-to-back. Maddie Lee reports from Cleveland and Erik Horne joins in to discuss the Dennis Schroder-led highs and the Russell Westbrook-less lows of the Thunder's win.
Thunder Buddies – What's next after Russell Westbrook's ankle injury? (Game 9 of 82) – Russell Westbrook limped off. The Thunder blasted off. Rather than lose, the Thunder fought off the Pelicans for its fifth-consecutive win. All eyes turn to Westbrook now. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Jenni Carlson discuss.
Thunder Buddies – Breaking down OKC's dismantling of the Wizards (Game 8 of 82) – What is going on with the Wizards? The Thunder doesn't care, as it enjoyed its best night of offense all season in D.C. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss Paul George's bounceback, the Thunder's continued success on 3-point defense, the ball movement, and more.
Thunder Buddies – Talking OKC's rally in Charlotte (Game 7 of 82) – Russell Westbrook and Paul George couldn’t hit anything. The Thunder went down 19 points. That didn’t stop them in a furious rally against the Hornets, led by Alex Abrines. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the comeback, including Abrines, Dennis Schroder’s contributions, George’s stunning revelation and Westbrook’s dominant fourth quarter.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Westbrook vs. Beverley and OKC's wild third quarter against the Clippers (Game 6 of 82) – You thought Russell Westbrook vs. Patrick Beverley was over? Nope. The latest chapter in their rivalry almost overshawdowed the Thunder's most dominant quarter of the season. Erik Horne, Maddie Lee and Berry Tramel discuss.
Thunder Buddies: The Nerlens Noel effect on OKC's first win (Game 5 of 82) – The Suns aren't very good. Neither was the Thunder through four games. None of that matters to Nerlens Noel, who was a catalyst for OKC on a night without Steven Adams. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss Noel's impact, what the Thunder did right and what it did wrong against Phoenix.
Thunder Buddies – Examining the Thunder's 0-4 existence after crumbling against the Celtics (Game 4 of 82) – In a league which is experiencing an offensive revolution, the Thunder is the worst offense in the league and one of only two winless teams in the NBA. Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss the fatal flaws of this Thunder roster and OKC's loss to the Celtics.
Thunder Buddies – Discussing Russell Westbrook's return, OKC's flop against the Kings (Game 3 of 82) – The Thunder is 0-3 for the first time in franchise history. Yep. Berry Tramel, Erik Horne and Maddie Lee discuss Westbrook's season debut and what's gone wrong for the Thunder in its winless start.
Thunder Buddies – Talking Thunder-Clippers with Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times (Game 2 of 82) – Inconsistencies plagued the Thunder last season, and they crept back into the game Friday in a blowout loss in Los Angeles. Erik Horne sits down with Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times (for a little bit) to discuss, plus answering your Twitter questions on Billy Donovan, the Thunder's shooting woes and more.
Thunder Buddies – Assessing Thunder-Warriors opening night with Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group (Game 1 of 82) – The Thunder had a shot at toppling the Warriors even without Russell Westbrook. How did it get away? Erik Horne and Mark Medina, Warriors beat writer for the Bay Area News Group, discuss from Oakland.
Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›
Maddie Lee followed an NBA team from Seattle to Oklahoma City, she just took a 10-year detour in between. Lee joined the Oklahoman in October 2018 as a Thunder beat writer, fresh off a stint in Oxford, Miss., where she covered Ole Miss for the... Read more ›