Daily Thunder Rumblings – 17 Oct 2017

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Igor Sopar (Clutch Points) says the Thunder got more likable this offseason: “That exact win or bust situation will force the fans to continuously tune in and track the progress. If everything clicks, and the Thunder eventually face the Warriors in the latter stages of the postseason, they will get the support of an army of neutral followers, but if any adversity causes the train to derail, there will be loads of those who will wallow in schadenfreude. The Thunder will, without any doubt, be under relentless scrutiny of the public eye over the course of the season, and a good percentage of their matchups in the upcoming season will be a must watch even for the casual fans.”

Fred Katz (Norman Transcript) on embracing iso-ball, injury updates, and roster information: “The Thunder employ three elite isolation players, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. And though all three like to take opponents one-on-one often, coach Billy Donovan isn’t necessarily trying to stifle their habits. It’s the opposite. He’s trying to use them for good.”

Cliff Brunt (Associated Press) on the Thunder’s “3-star rating”: “None of the new Thunder teammates has an NBA title. They say that is what drives this version of the NBA’s latest Big Three. The NBA season gets underway Tuesday with two games, while Oklahoma City begins Thursday by hosting Anthony’s former team, the Knicks. “It’s a different energy, a different focus, a different motivation that (I) myself have, Paul has and Russ has, being that we haven’t won a championship yet in our careers,” said Anthony, who grew up in Baltimore and played at Towson Catholic. “That’s our ultimate goal.”

Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) on the Thunder’s light day of practice on Monday: “Donovan disclosed what numbers he looks at to determine whether his defense has played well. It might be a surprise to hear that before field goal percentage, total points or other factors, Donovan put fouling at number one on his list. He said that if a team gets into the bonus early in the quarter by fouling too often, it makes defending at a high level extremely difficult. When they aren’t hamstrung by foul trouble, the Thunder wants to get back in transition (to limit fast break points), protect the rim (prevent high points in the paint totals) and contest three-point shots (limit three-pointers attempted).”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) reports the Thunder are in talks with P.J. Dozier for their 2nd 2-way player contract.

Tim Bontemps (Washington Post) on Westbrook going from a solo artist to the conductor of an ensemble: “Russ is still special. Carmelo is still special. We’re all still special,” Paul George said earlier this preseason. “That doesn’t change our abilities. It’s just, now we have don’t have to have that burden of having to do it every possession night in and night out, having that pressure of doing it alone. That’s the only thing that changes. “We still want Russ to be in attack mode, we want Russ to be aggressive, we still want him to look for his. Now he just has help to help him get to his dribble pullup, he has help to get to his mismatches.”

Forbes Magazine simulated the NBA season on 2K18, and these are the results.

Erik Horne (NewsOK) covering Westbrook’s WhyNot? rally in OKC: “The M.C. was right. Russell Westbrook could have had his Jordan Why Not? Rally anywhere, but last year’s NBA Most Valuable Player chose the 8th Street Market three days before the start of this highly-anticipated season. Jordan Brand moves fast. In less than three weeks, the group collaborated with the Thunder on how to best serve the community and give a select group access to some exclusive Westbrook merchandise and the All-NBA guard himself.”

Bravo to Kendrick Perkins for putting his pride aside and suiting up for a G-League team to keep his NBA comeback dream alive.

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