NTTB Rumblings – 17 April 2018

img_4063Nick Gallo ( on what needs to continue into Game 2: “One of the major bright spots for the Thunder on Sunday, and a development that needs to hold firm, was the play of Anthony on the defensive end and around the rim. After an early adjustment to drop the veteran forward into coverage on pick and rolls, Anthony was able to use his quickness and sleight of hand to make 3 steals and 2 blocks to go with 7 rebounds. On many occasions, Anthony was the last line of defense between the Jazz and a potential layup or a put back, and he held firm with toughness and veteran guile.”

Brad Rock (Desert News) on the Thunder being what the Jazz want to be one day: “So here we go with the country-speak: The Oklahoma City Thunder are what the Utah Jazz want to be when they’re all growed up. Trailing 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, the Jazz aren’t conceding anything. It’s just that OKC is what the Jazz want to be, i.e., a seriously strong team in a relatively underrated city.”

Rexwell Villas (Clutch Points) on whether the addition of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony prevented Russell Westbrook from getting the MVP: “For one, the Thunder needed Westbrook to wreak havoc and be a full-scale Kaiju on the floor to survive in 2016-17. That season, Westbrook’s usage rate was at 41.7 percent with 13.1 win shares. Steven Adams was second on the team in win shares that season with 6.5, a huge gap that shows how seriously dependent the Thunder were on Westbrook.”

Jenni Carlson (NewsOK) on the reserves giving Thunder fans reason to cheer: “But consider for a moment who was leading those particular cheers — the backup point guard and a backup shooting guard. Reserves both. A year ago, there wasn’t much to cheer when the Thunder started bringing guys off the bench. In Oklahoma City’s playoff series against Houston, you could argue the bench cost the Thunder victory in three of the four losses.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) on the Thunder needing their defensive intensity to continue: “Anthony didn’t think the Thunder lacked communication early in the season, but it’s been different as the playoffs have approached. The Thunder has overcome double-digit deficits three times in the past two weeks — on the road at Houston and Miami and Sunday against Utah.”

Berry Tramel (NewsOK) on the Paul George/Joe Ingles spat being nothing new: “Well, not in any civilized manner. Turns out, this isn’t the first PG13-Ingles spat. Back on Dec. 23, literally 11 seconds into the game, whistles blew as George and Ingles had already gotten into a spat. The Jazz won the opening tip, and before the ball even crossed the 3-point line, George and Ingles were jostling.”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on the Thunder planning to continue attacking Rudy Gobert: “That means continuing to work to pull Gobert away from the basket when it can. It did that with some success in Game 1. Gobert contested 10 shots — the Thunder made four of them — and blocked two.”

Marc Hinton (Stuff NZ) on the continued education of Steven Adams: “But there is brain to match the brawn, which is evident to anyone who watches Adams closely, and also to anyone willing to dive deep enough into the statistical ocean that is the NBA. The Thunder’s $100 million man (the value, in US$ of his current four-year contract) has solid enough stock-standard numbers – 13.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks for the season – but his real value lies in the areas not quantified.”

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