NTTB Rumblings – 16 May 2018

img_4063Erik Horne (NewsOK) looks at Andre Roberson’s value to the Thunder: “The injury had elements of a Greek tragedy. The Thunder’s defense carried it through the first two months of the season as the offense finally came around in December. The demolition of the Pistons was the apex — the Thunder overwhelming them on both ends with Roberson at the core, snatching defensive rebounds and starting the fast break, cutting to the basket for give-and-go layups off Steven Adams post passes, shutting off drives to force ball reversals and turnovers.”

Albert Dadson (Hoops Habit) says the Thunder need to try and get into the first round: “An interesting place that Carmelo may not agree to go but would be a place where he could win again is Philadelphia. The Philadelphia 76ers will more than likely have two first round picks after the Los Angeles Lakers’ pick falls out of the first three slots, in addition to their own pick at No. 26. That second first round pick would be the one to target, though again, expecting a first-rounder for Melo at this stage is an uphill battle.”

Fred Katz (Norman Transcript) grades Raymond Felton’s season: “The Thunder were worse with Felton on the court, but that’s to be expected, considering Felton’s presence usually meant the absence of Russell Westbrook. Still, the team maintained at respectable levels while their backup ran the offense, getting outscored by 1.7 points per 100 possessions but running at an extraordinarily slow pace, as to limit the number of possessions with Westbrook off.”

Christian Rivas (Silver Screen and Roll) says the Philadelphia 76ers could make a play for Paul George: “The 76ers will have roughly $31 million to play with this summer, enough money to sign George to a max contract starting at $30.6 million. However, they would be just a few million dollars short of offering James’ a max contract which will start at $35.7 million.”

Alec Nathan (Bleacher Report) on Paul Pierce saying the “honey nut cheerio” beef Carmelo Anthony had with Kevin Garnett was just a rumor: “Rumor has it that the comment was lobbed Anthony’s way during a game between the Celtics and Knicks in January 2013. After the two engaged in a heated altercation on the floor at Madison Square Garden, Anthony tried to confront Garnett back by the Celtics locker room and team bus. Anthony was suspended one game for his actions.”

Berry Tramel (NewsOK) grades Andre Roberson’s shortened season: “Roberson’s defensive prowess, well known in OKC, received a national boost in the 2017 playoffs, playing against James Harden, and Roberson was on his way to perhaps first-team all-defense this season. The Thunder defense ranked in the top five before Roberson’s injury; the starting lineup had a defensive rating of 95.9 (points per 100 possessions) with Roberson, which is world-class.”

Tramel (NewsOK) on how the Supreme Court’s ruling on sports betting could hinder point shaving: “But the regulation of sports betting absolutely could impede game-fixing. The companies that contract with casinos to run sports wagering closely monitor the bets. If tons of money come in on Texas A&M-Arkansas, red flags appear. That’s how many of the modern scandals were busted; Vegas casinos alerted authorities that something was amiss.”

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