NTTB Rumblings – 11 April 2018

img_4063Jon Hamm (Bleacher Report) on the Thunder’s wild ride this season: “In true Thunder fashion, clinching the franchise’s eighth playoff berth since 2008 on Monday night came with requisite drama. Sewing up a playoff spot required OKC to battle back from an 18-point first-quarter deficit against the Miami Heat. It was par for the course for a Thunder squad that stumbled to an 8-12 start then spent the rest of the season playing catch up.”

Ben Mertens and Chris Grenham (WTLC) with a detailed breakdown of the Thunder’s playoff scenarios: “I said in previewing the final stretch of the season that OKC doesn’t deserve to be a playoff team if they can’t even beat a mediocre Grizzlies team with nothing to play for. That’s still true, even though OKC has locked up a spot. Beyond improving their seed, OKC needs to win this game just go into the playoffs with momentum, following the nice wins over Houston and Miami. A deep playoff run starts with taking care of this putrid Memphis team.”

Tyler Crandall (The J Notes) looks at the possible first round matchup between OKC and Utah from a Jazz perspective: “Playing the Oklahoma City Thunder has also been a possibility. Is this a cause for concern? Lately there has been a trend of Jazz fans stating that the OKC Thunder create a bad matchup for the Utah Jazz. If that’s true, that’s unfortunate because they are the most likely playoff opponent for the Jazz for multiple seeding scenarios.”

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Colin Cowherd with some negativity towards Russell Westbrook.

Royce Young (ESPN) on Russell Westbrook stealing rebounds via an “bitter” Carmelo Anthony: “Sometimes you want to fight him a little bit, push him out of the way,” Carmelo Anthony said Tuesday. “For me, it’s good because to have a guard like that to be able to crack back and get rebounds. He steals sometimes. He steals rebounds sometimes. But any time you can have a guard like that to come back and rebound the way he does, because we want to push the break, when he gets it off the rebound he’s able to jump start the break and a lot of good things happen from that.”

 

Kyle Rooney (HNHH) with some new Melo’s that commemorate his national championship at Syracuse.

Brad Rowland (UPROXX) on Blake Griffin praising Steven Adams: “During the game, though, Pistons star Blake Griffin anointed Adams as “so underrated” and that might feel strange given his statistical performance, but he happens to be very right.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) on what a Westbrook triple-double season will mean the second time around: “I think it speaks to what kind of fingerprints he has on games in a lot of different aspects,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said when asked what back-to-back triple-double averages would mean. “It doesn’t make a difference who’s playing with him, whether it’s him passing the ball and creating and generating assists, or his ability to rebound, those two things are always going to be constants because of his game.”

Jenni Carlson (NewsOK) on the differences between this season and last season: “In some ways, life has been easier for Wesbrook. He doesn’t have to score as much; his scoring average is down from 31.6 points a game a season ago to 25.6 this season. He is getting better shots; his shooting percentage is up from 42.5 a year ago to 45.0 this season. Those numbers help tell the story.”

Berry Tramel (NewsOK) on the symbolism of Nick Collison starting this season finale: “But it would be symbolic, too. It would pay homage to a blue-collar player who was drafted 15 years ago out of Kansas – Collison began playing for the Jayhawks in 1999, can you believe it? – and has been a distinguished and reliable pro ever since.”

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