Daily Thunder Rumblings: 06 Oct 2017

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Matt Moore (CBS Sports) says that in order for the team to succeed, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have to believe in a dream: “The Thunder have to know who they are. Sharing the ball is awesome but not necessarily essential. For years, OKC has been built on elite defense, under the radar. That gets harder with its current roster, which has a young bench and two questionable defenders (Anthony and Westbrook) in the starting unit. But the offensive talent will take care of itself, at least to a degree. Maximizing it will be a trick, but maintaining the defensive toughness and consistency is more important.”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) says Russell Westbrook practiced Thursday and may play in Friday’s game: “There’s a possibility he could (play),” Donovan said. “There’s a chance he couldn’t. I think a lot’s gonna depend on, if he does go, how many minutes he would be able to play. Or it may be a situation where he says, ‘I maybe need a little bit more time to rest.’ So it’s kind of, let him absorb what happened today and then get together tomorrow.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) say the Thunder’s offensive success is not just dependent on more passing: “I think sometimes putting a pass count on … ‘we want to do this, this and this before we take a shot’ … we’d like to try to be aggressive early,” Donovan said. “There are going to be some times where Russell may come down the floor and may get into the thick of the paint and they may come over and rotate and it may be one pass to Paul George in the corner, and he’s gotta take that shot. That’s great offense.”

Westbrook promoting his new sponser, TUMI: “Leading the way as the fashion innovator of the NBA, Russell Westbrook worked hand in hand designing the collection with the TUMI team, knowing exactly how he wanted to blend TUMI’s known functionality and technical innovation with his trendsetting fashionable flair. Looking to TUMI’s existing collections (which Westbrook uses for personal travel) for inspiration, the two conceived a six-piece collection of the brand’s high-performance ballistic nylon in a tonal red camouflage featuring black leather accents throughout the assortment.”

Kobe Bryant was asked some things yesterday, and he was his honest, poignant self: “As for Bryant, he couldn’t be happier with how the film turned out — or more pleasantly surprised by the growing awards buzz around it. “To even hear ‘Oscar contender’ next to Dear Basketball is beyond the realms of dreams,” he tweeted shortly after our conversation. Bryant still keeps an eye on basketball — he says that he thinks college athletes should be paid, that the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook is the up-and-comer who most reminds him of himself, that Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time and that he would kneel during the national anthem if he was still suiting up for games…”

Marc Berman (New York Post) on Carmelo Anthony’s happiness in OKC being a dig at New York: “Anthony knows his four-year playoff drought is about to end. “I’m like born again a little bit,’’ Anthony said. “I feel like I’m in college again. My second college campus being around in a city with a college feel. The energy and joy is back with the game of basketball. I can feel it when I wake up. That energy is different. I think you’ll see something special.’’

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