NTTB Rumblings – 20 March 2018

img_4063Tim Cato (SB Nation) says the Thunder’s recent win streak is answering questions about them: “The schedule is still hard — their next nine games are all against teams in the playoff hunt, only for the final game of the year to come against the Memphis Grizzlies. Some games look easier now than on paper: the Boston Celtics are injury ravaged, and that’s Oklahoma City’s next opponent; Kawhi Leonard still might not be back for the San Antonio Spurs on March 29; who knows how hard the Golden State Warriors (April 3) and Houston Rockets (April 7) will be trying.”

Russell Westbrook was named Western Conference Player of the Week.



Mark Gilbert (WTLC) does not think he can count on Paul George: “Remember when the almighty Golden State Warriors played the Thunder on February 24th? I do. It was supposed to be a good night. I had wings. Lemon Pepper to be precise. I also had a celebratory margarita, because I was of the sentient that the Thunder were about to have a 3-0 season lead over the Warriors, and it was a night worth celebrating. And then came Paul George.”

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe with some kinds things to say about Westbrook and the Thunder.

Berry Tramel (NewsOK) on the tough road ahead for the Thunder: “Not that the Thunder automatically will need wiggle room. The Thunder suddenly has won six straight, and all the talk of feasting on an easy schedule ended in Toronto. OKC beat the Clippers and the Raptors in a span of 43 hours, the latter in a building in which Toronto was 29-5. For comparison sake, the Rockets are 27-6 at home this season. Still, the challenges keep coming for the Thunder. The Clippers and Raptors began a string of 11 straight games against teams with winning records.”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on the Final 2-Minute Report from the Thunder vs. Raptors game: “He was so convinced he’d been hacked on his layup attempt with 33 seconds to play that after the Thunder’s ensuing possession, DeRozan earned two technical fouls and an ejection. On Monday, the NBA said officials were right not to make the call on Brewer.”

The Thunder move up in ESPN’s latest Power Rankings.

Fred Katz (Norman Transcript) on Steven Adams and successful jump balls: “The Thunder center can reel off the intricacies of each referee’s tossing form. And it’s helped. He’s won just over 71 percent of jump balls this year, fourth in the NBA among qualifying centers, according to tracking by analytics site Nylon Calculus. The rate is up from last year’s 66 percent, which ranked seventh among qualifying centers.”

Kevin O’Connor (The Ringer) with 4 big questions about the Thunder as they head towards the playoffs: “This gantlet stretch will serve as a litmus test for their postseason hopes. Fortunately, they’ve generally played up to the competition, posting the NBA’s fourth-best net rating against teams with a record over .500, according to data provided by The Thunder could snatch home-court advantage in the first round while also showing they have what it takes to battle deep into the playoffs. But they could slip and slide down to the 7- or 8-seed, where the Rockets or Warriors will be waiting.”

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