NTTB Rumblings – 16 February 2018

img_4063Kyle Wagner (FiveThirtyEight) on the effect Andre Roberson’s absence is having on the team: “But the Thunder have yet to capitalize on the additional space available with Roberson out. Westbrook has played well in some ways, creating at James Harden/Chris Paul levels on the pick and roll, and poorly in others, shooting just 43 percent from the field and 18 percent from the three in the games since Roberson’s injury. George has been hot from the three — he’s hit at least five 3-pointers in four consecutive games — and has averaged 29.6 points on a 62 effective field goal percentage through those 10 games. But Anthony has gone absolutely dormant, and both he and Westbrook missed two games to injury.”

Dan Woike (LA Times) on Russell Westbrook’s defining characteristics even being there in high school: “Arturo Jones, the current basketball coach at Leuzinger, helped out with the program while Westbrook was in school and said some of the things that stand out about him now were apparent then. “He was always a hard worker,” Jones said. “His trajectory always continued to grow.”

Eric Pincus (Bleacher Report) looks at the Lakers’ options if Paul George (and/or LeBron James) say no to signing there: “Oklahoma City has serious financial issues ahead to avoid a payroll well over $250 million next season. Some NBA executives believe Carmelo Anthony will welcome a trade to a larger city, which would help normalize the Thunder’s finances. Other executives have even suggested Anthony may opt out to play in a larger market with a better chance to win a title—perhaps a place like Houston. But it seems far-fetched Anthony would leave $28 million behind, when he can simply start the ring chasing in 2019.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) on the offensive impact Steven Adams has: “He was opening up the game for us early in the game,” Anthony said. “Paul got it going first quarter. I got open. Just what he brings to the game, it opens it up for everybody else. So when he’s not out there, they’re able to make their adjustments.”

Horne on Paul George’s chances in the 3-point shooting contest: “George comes into the All-Star break shooting a career-best 43.3 percent from – sixth in the NBA – and is second in the league in 3-pointers made (187) behind James Harden (206). He’s in the midst of a streak of five consecutive games with five or more 3-pointers made, tied with Harden and Stephen Curry for the longest streak in the league this season.”

Albert Dadson (Thunderous Intentions) says Josh Huestis is the Thunder’s best in-house shooting guard option: “Huestis may not be known as a defensive specialist that Roberson was, but he can recreate some of the things Roberson did with his intangibles, which means doing the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet but exemplify good defense, like diving for loose balls and using his long arms to deflect passes.”

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