NTTB Rumblings – 24 Oct 2017

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Royce Young (ESPN) on the referees missing two calls down the stretch against the Thunder: “The NBA announced Monday that there was one incorrect no-call and noted the officiating crew didn’t see Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau calling for timeout in the final five seconds of the frantic finish against the Thunder that led to Andrew Wiggins’ game-winning buzzer-beater Sunday. Karl-Anthony Towns’ screen on Paul George that freed Wiggins was ruled to have been illegal, based on Towns’ stance being too wide. The report notes that Towns was stationary but his leg was out, which clipped George.”

Jack Maloney (CBS Sports) with a great break-down of the Thunder last 10 possessions in crunch time: “Thus, as Sunday night’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves went down to the wire, the new-look Thunder were put into a close game for the first time. Last season, there was no debate who would have the ball in the clutch: Russell Westbrook. But with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George — each a No. 1 option used to having the ball down the stretch for his old team — now in town, how they would handle end of game situations was one of the main questions heading into the season.”

Sports Illustrated on the influence Twitter has on the NBA’s media coverage. 

Apparently, Russell Westbrook’s new fashion line made an inconspicuous debut (via GQ): “The next day, lo and behold, a press release hit our inboxes crediting Westbrook’s T-shirt and sweats to “Honor the Gift”, a new brand. Simultaneously Westbrook shared an Instagram photo, pointing to Honor the Gift’s account with the caption “Coming Soon”. Honor the Gift is only following Russell Westbrook on Instagram and launched two days ago. We’ve reached out to Westbrook’s team and are awaiting official confirmation, but all signs point to something big.”

Christopher Kline (The Sixer Sense) on comparing Ben Simmons to Russell Westbrook: “There’s more to player comparisons than a generalized, all-in equivalence, though, and there are parts of their games that bear resemblance. Those similarities, in many ways, are what help shape their production. There’s  a clear gap physically. Westbrook stands in the 6-foot-4 range, while Simmons is legitimately pushing the 7-foot mark. Simmons can match almost any point guard stride-for-stride, but doesn’t quite have the raw explosiveness that makes Westbrook so unique.”

Russell Westbrook is an MVP candidate in the “Dad Life” category.

Erik Horne (NewsOK) on Westbrook experimenting in crunch-time: “With Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, Westbrook has been experimenting through three games. The Thunder’s fourth quarter was a continuation of that experiment, with equal parts Westbrook dominance and distribution. Call it success in a loss. Against Minnesota, Westbrook struck a balance in the fourth quarter that could be vital to the Thunder’s offensive cohesion this season. That version of Westbrook wasn’t present in the Thunder’s loss in Utah on Saturday, where he shot just twice in the final period.”

Could an offseason knee procedure still be troubling Andre Roberson?: “Though the Thunder hadn’t previously announced it, Roberson did have what a team spokesman on Monday called a plasma treatment on his left knee over the summer. But Roberson has had significant time to recover from the June procedure. By August, when he traveled to New Zealand for Steven Adams’ basketball camps there, he was running and jumping.”

Sam Presti gives tickets to a kid who sent his allowance to the Thunder to help keep Westbrook in OKC.

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