Daily Thunder Rumblings – 15 June 2017


Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World looks at what a difference five years can make: “June 12, 2012, is a date that ranks among the more significant in this state’s sports history. That night, Game 1 of the NBA Finals was played on Oklahoma soil. StubHub’s ticket prices ranged from $312 to $10,140. With Thunder Mania at its zenith statewide, Oklahoma City defeated LeBron James and the Miami Heat 105-94. In Tulsa and the surrounding area, the ABC telecast was seen by 277,000 viewers. Kevin Durant scored 17 of his 36 points during the fourth period. Russell Westbrook finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double. OKC limited the Heat to 41 second-half points. With young superstars, that Thunder team improved to 9-0 in the postseason at home and had the homecourt advantage in the Finals. That Thunder team seemingly was destined for championships. The fifth anniversary of the Thunder-Heat Game 1 — June 12, 2017 — will not be remembered as having been locally significant.”

Robert Mitchell of WTLC looks at the fate of Jerami Grant with the Thunder: “The number that really stands out is Grant’s three-point percentage, because he only shoots 30% for his career. In his last full year with the Sixers, he shot a lousy 24% from three, and 24.6 in catch-and-shoot opportunities. This is either drastic improvement by the young forward or last season was a complete mirage. Further, while Jerami Grant is a sky walker that converted 66% of his shots at the rim last season, we know he can protect the rim and perhaps become the stretch power forward the modern NBA calls for. But, can he add 2-4 more attempts per game while maintaining those shooting percentages? If so, it would be in the best interest of the Thunder to offer him a more permanent role with the franchise.”

Nick Gallo looks at Victor Oladipo’s summer and how that may impact his next season: “It was his best season as a professional. No doubt about it. But for 25-year old guard Victor Oladipo, the 2016-17 season didn’t make him feel validated. It shined a brighter light on where he wants to keep growing. The numbers were truly solid for Oladipo in his first season with the Thunder – a year in which he played on a team that won 47 games, just one fewer than he did in his first two NBA seasons combined and 12 more than the 35 games he won during his third year in the league. In his fourth NBA season, alongside his new teammates in Oklahoma City, Oladipo maintained a level of production and efficiency, but did it in an environment with much higher expectations.”

Russell Westbrook working on life after basketball with his investments: “Six-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook waited little time after the conclusion of the NBA Playoffs to do some work off the court. Today, he is announcing an investment in Blend, a company focused on creating consumable news for generations Y & Z, which has plans to launch a new app called Genies in the near future. The Genies app, which will allow users to create mini digital clones that look, act and think just like them as they react to news, has already curated a wait list of 235,000 individuals. It is currently planned to become available for download in mid-July.”

Steven Adams working on his game in his native New Zealand: “The Wellington Saints’ final four preparations have been given an intensity boost by the presence of Steven Adams this week. The 23-year-old Kiwi is one of the NBA’s premier centres, but that didn’t stop him mixing it up with the Saints at training on Monday as he continues to work on his game during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s off-season. It turned what was meant to be a light day of training for coach Kevin Braswell’s side into one of their more intense practise runs of the season. “They went so hard on Monday with Steve in I had to tune it back today,” Braswell said after leading the team through a light session on Wednesday, with Adams watching on for part of it at the ASB Indoor Sports Centre in Kilbirnie.”


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