NTTB Rumblings – 31 January 2018

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Bruce Jenkins (San Francisco Tribune) on the Thunder being a contender to dethrone the Warriors: “That was the goal in OKC, but it simply wasn’t working. Only when a clear decision was made — this is Westbrook’s team, and he will rule the offense — did this team elevate itself into relevance. “I think the fact that Russ is just playing, not trying to defer to anybody, just letting us play off him — we needed that,” George told reporters recently. “We need that Russ out there. Let the rest of us figure it out.”

A very informative article by Eric Pincus (Bleacher Report) on the Thunder’s future salary cap implications: “With George, along with Westbrook at $35.4 million, center Steven Adams at $24.2 million, Roberson at $10 million and Anthony at $27.9 million (with an early termination option), the Thunder could be looking at paying between $250 and $300 million for their roster. Should Anthony opt out, that would help solve the team’s budget crisis, but that doesn’t appear likely.”

Peter Schmuck (Baltimore Sun) on Carmelo Anthony adjusting his game and the positive results: “Totally different feeling … mentally … physically … emotionally,’’ Anthony said late Tuesday night after scoring 19 points on 7-for-21 from the field. “To have an opportunity to be a part of a winning team and getting that feeling back. The confidence that grows from that is unprecedented. I think everybody knows that.”

Royce Young (ESPN) on how Paul George’s initial All-Star snub may play in OKC’s favor: “They’ll head to L.A. together as All-Stars, with a stronger knot tied between them. They’ll both be on Team LeBron, and it will be a week of bus rides to events, posing for pictures, trash-talking sessions in the locker room and showing off their sprouting chemistry.”

Are Carmelo Anthony’s dining habits really a thing? This is the 2nd article I’ve seen about this in as many days.

Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver (Sports Illustrated) on how Blake Griffin could become the new Melo: “No, not at all, because I think that is really how you get stuck, and the Knicks were really stuck because they kind of believed in Melo. They talked themselves into Melo, and the Clippers could have made that mistake. It’s very easy to see them chasing the sixth seed year after year, he looks like a star, he puts up some per-game stats like a star so therefore he’s a star. But in reality, his impact isn’t quite living up to that, and let me just say this: the Knicks could make that work because they’re the Knicks in New York. They’re the show. The Nets are still the challenger brand, they’re across the bridge, people don’t really respect them and they’ve been a complete mess.”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on Alex Abrines’ expected bump in playing time after the Roberson injury: “Not at the moment that he gets injured, but yeah,” Abrines said Tuesday, before the Thunder’s 102-96 loss to the Wizards at Capital One Arena. “After a couple days, you realize he’s gonna be out for the rest of the season, so me, (Terrance Ferguson, Josh Huestis), we’re gonna have to do a step forward, do something else and try to cover Dre’s injury.”

R.I.P. to the Thunder’s favorite summer vacation spot: The Orlando Summer League.

 

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