Daily Thunder Rumblings – 10 Oct 2017

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Matt Moore (CBS Sports) looks at how the new superteams are playing this preseason: “The biggest question for OKC has been whether Anthony will adapt and do the little things, if he’ll move the ball, or if he’ll just be the same player he was in New York. If you want to know what a great version of Anthony looks like, watch him defend in the transition post vs. Anthony Davis, snag the board, run the break and make quick decisions, leading to a secondary assist”

John Schuhmann (NBA.com) looks at one issue that plagued the Thunder last season and why it matters for this year: “The Thunder’s no-Westbrook issues weren’t quite as dramatic in the regular season, but they were 12.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor (plus-3.3) than with him off the floor (minus-8.9). That was the seventh biggest on-off NetRtg differential in the league and the Thunder lost eight regular-season games in which Westbrook had a positive plus-minus. As was the case in the playoffs, Westbrook and Adams usually sat at the same time.”

Austin Sternlicht (Thunderous Intentions) with a plea to Thunder fans to enjoy the hell out of this season: “Here’s a question. When was the last truly enjoyable Thunder season? Think about it. While Westbrook’s individual season last year was amazing to watch, it was painful at times from a team standpoint, especially when the playoffs rolled around. In 2016, the entire season was spent worrying about whether Kevin Durant would leave. Even when OKC went up 3-1 on Golden State in the Western Conference Finals, it felt too good to be true. It was. 2015 was the injury riddled season where the OKC Thunder missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009. That certainly wasn’t fun. 2014 was a great season. But that feels like such a long time ago. Especially with Durant, the man who made that season so incredible, is now public enemy number one.”

Stephen Douglas (The Big Lead) says Kevin Durant is the one that hasn’t moved on: “Look, exes isn’t a perfect analogy. Only one team gets to win a title every season. and there are like 5 or 6 happy couples in the world. Maybe more. Westbrook and OKC are happily married. The folks in OKC are doing great. They won 47 games last season and Westbrook won MVP and now and he and they just married Carmelo Anthony and Paul George who are ladies in this, but also men when you think about their old teams as ex-girlfriend? Also, they’re prepared to get divorced in a year. And they had to trade some family members for the new wives. Or husbands? See how weird this is when you try to flesh it out?”

Joe Hight (Journal Record) on Oklahoma having a way of growing on you: “Westbrook’s decision comes at a time when Oklahoma needed good news. We’re facing legislators resigning because of scandals, a state Legislature that can’t seem to agree on anything, teacher and education crises, man-made earthquake concerns and criminal justice and mental health issues, among others. You may not like that an NBA basketball player can command so much money while our teachers can’t even get a raise, but who can blame an MVP pro athlete who packs an arena and never wears the same clothes twice from getting as much as he did. I hope we reward our great teachers who pack classrooms someday, too. Despite our issues, Oklahoma just has a way of growing on you.”

Carmelo Anthony has a great opportunity this season to join the Triple Crown club.

Erik Horne (NewsOK) with five things to watch in the final preseason game: “Josh Huestis is entering a fourth professional season and is still an enigma. It’s a critical time for Huestis, not just because he’s fighting for a spot in the Thunder rotation, but the team has until Oct. 31 to pick up his option for 2018-19, valued at $2.24 million. Aside from the climactic end to Sunday’s game against Melbourne United where Huestis had two blocks in the final two minutes, his Thunder contributions have been sparse (just seven appearances). He’s also improved his 3-point shot to 38.5 percent with the Blue last season, and Kyle Singler hasn’t shown anything in the last two seasons to indicate he’s guaranteed a rotation spot.”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) says roster moves will be made after Tuesday’s game: “Oklahoma City has 14 players on guaranteed contracts. A 15th, Daniel Hamilton, is signed to a two-way deal that allows him to split time between the Thunder and its G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. Hamilton’s deal doesn’t count against the Thunder’s 15-man roster limit, meaning the team has an open spot. That could go to Semaj Christon, OKC’s second-string point guard most of last season. His contract becomes guaranteed on Oct. 15, meaning the Thunder could waive him before that at no cost.”

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