Daily Thunder Rumblings – 05 Oct 2017

Sports Illustrated picked which teams they thought would be the biggest flops in the NBA this season: “But there are still a bunch of open questions. Is Westbrook wired to balance his own exceptional scoring and playmaking with the pure distributing skills that are needed to fully involve George and Anthony? Is Anthony willing to scale back his ball-stopping and turn up his defensive intensity in a new role? Is George, who openly demanded every important shot in the 2017 playoffs for Indiana, willing to regularly take a backseat in crunch time? Can these three talented scorers find ways to make each other, and their limited supporting cast, better? Or, do their skills prove to be redundant enough to hold back Oklahoma City’s overall offensive efficiency?”

Victor Galvez of Clutch Points says the Rockets/Thunder preseason game was the most watched preseason game since 2011.

Kevin O’Connor (The Ringer) looks at how the Thunder will play with a Big 3 in tow: “After Thunder general manager Sam Presti pulled off a miracle by trading for both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this offseason, Westbrook now has teammates worth sharing with. Like Westbrook, both George and Anthony have experienced their share of playoff disappointments. They know the burden of trying to build a winner without another superstar on their side. “Honestly, in this league, it’s hard to [win] alone. Russ averages a triple-double and couldn’t get out of the first round,” George said at Thunder media day. “You just need guys of that stature and that level to be able to help and create something special.”

Victor Oladipo defending Oklahoma City and spitting truths at Kevin Durant.

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on the Thunder’s depth at the center position: “When he’s healthy, power forward Patrick Patterson also could see some time at the five, where he played 9 percent of his minutes last season with Toronto, according to Basketball-Reference. And though he’s unlikely to see significant time, 7-foot rookie Dakari Johnson is “more of a true center,” Donovan said, a bruiser who could see some situational minutes against bigger teams. He played 11 minutes Tuesday after Adams left the game.”

Skip Bayless (FoxSports) praised Carmelo Anthony’s performance in his debut with the Thunder. No Black and Milds were pulled out for this segment.

Erik Horne (NewsOK) on if the Thunder need to fill the 15th spot on their roster: “Semaj Christon’s 2017 salary is non-guaranteed if he’s waived before Oct. 15. If he’s waived and Isaiah Canaan doesn’t make the roster, the team could enter the season with 14 of its available 15 guaranteed contract slots filled. The Thunder has ballhandlers to choose from with Westbrook as the starter at point guard, Raymond Felton as the backup, and George and Anthony capable of initiating the offense, as well, so the third point guard spot isn’t as much of a question as last season.”

Erik Horne on how Raymond Felton will solidify the second unit: “Russell Westbrook was a one-man wrecking crew at point guard — with emphasis on “one man.” With the Thunder facing elimination in Game 5 against Houston, the soon-to-be MVP erased an 11-point lead in less than four minutes. Westbrook had a hand in 24 of the Thunder’s 27 points in a furious third-quarter rally. Then, Westbrook started the fourth quarter on the bench. By the time he returned, the Thunder’s five-point lead was a five-point deficit. His rhythm was broken. The second unit had wilted.”



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