Thunder Destroys Bobcats: Is Charlotte Really That Bad, or Is Thunder That Good?

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2012

Nov 26, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russelll Westbrook (0) is congratulated by Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) after a play against the Charlotte Bobcats during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Oklahoma City Thunder threw together the beatdown of the year (and probably the next few years) as they took the Charlotte Bobcats to the woodshed, smacked them in the face with a shovel and drove a pickaxe through their foot, winning 114-69.

Halfway through the game, the MPAA decided to put an NC-17 rating on this game due to excessive blood, gore and emotional distress.

Oklahoma City more than doubled Charlotte's score in the first quarter, winning that one, 28-12. The Thunder tripled Charlotte's second-quarter attempt at 36-12. They kept the fourth quarter even, scoring 26 points apiece, but they still lost by 45 points.

As insane as it sounds, the Thunder actually had triple Charlotte's score deep into the third quarter, leading 76-25 at one point.

Do you guys get the point yet?

I'll let ESPN Stats and Info sum this historic beatdown up in fewer than 140 characters:

Elias tells us #OKCThunder were 1st NBA team to lead by 40+ at half since Warriors led Kings by 47 on Nov 2, 1991

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 27, 2012

Any time you're doing something that hasn't been done in 21 years, there's something worth talking about going on.

So, what was it about this game that made the Thunder win by so much, or the Bobcats lose by so much? Was it Charlotte's ineptitude or Oklahoma City's dominance?

Well, yes. In any game like this it's impossible to credit one side for the result. There are a lot of things going on with either side, good on one, terrible on the other, that leads to results that warrant a triple-take.

The biggest sign that the Bobcats just had a flat-out terrible game is that Oklahoma City didn't exactly dominate in many statistical categories that would point to a blanketing win.

Charlotte only turned the ball over only 11 times compared to Oklahoma City's 14, the Thunder only shot one more free throw than the Bobcats and were actually out-rebounded on the offensive glass. They out-rebounded Charlotte by 19 on the defensive end, but that's going to happen when your opponent misses so many shots.

Oklahoma City dominated because it moved the ball (31 assists compared to Charlotte's 12), sank shots (obviously) and blanketed Charlotte on defense.

The Bobcats would constantly get shots in the paint, but physicality from the likes of Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka and really everybody on Oklahoma City led to Charlotte continually missing shots right at the rim.

In the end, we have to look at this game not as a microcosm of the season at hand, but rather as a single game from two teams. What we saw was most like the absolute worst from the Bobcats and the absolute best from the Thunder. Those two fronts tend to meet a few times throughout the season, and the results are what we just saw.

Charlotte has showed this season that it is a completely capable team at times. It is, after all, 7-6 after this one.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City has shown that it's a vulnerable team at times, playing a few shaky games against Detroit.

A year from now we'll all look back and reminisce on a huge blowout and a career day from Hasheem Thabeet:

Hasheem Thabeet gets his first double-double of his career. Congratulations?

— Royce Young (@dailythunder) November 27, 2012

Even still, we have to recognize that Oklahoma City showed that its luster is not gone. The Thunder are still the dominant team we've known for the past few seasons, even if they have a different makeup. 

Oklahoma City's starters posted plus/minus numbers of plus-45, plus-44, plus-41, plus-35 and plus-33, so they were absolutely that good Monday night. Charlotte might have contributed a bit, but the Thunder absolutely exploded early and often, taking all fight away from the Bobcats.

If it were a win over the Los Angeles Lakers or the San Antonio Spurs, it would be a statement—against the Bobcats, it ends up being a footnote and a game lost to history.