NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 12 July 2018

img_4063The Thunder website looks at the transformations the Chesapeake Arena has taken over the 10-year run of the Thunder: “It was the centerpiece of renovations that took place in the months that followed the inaugural season of Thunder Basketball – the new “Thunder Vision” scoreboard. At 31 feet tall and 35 feet wide, it was impossible to miss, offering 10 video screens and an LED ring. A unique feature of the scoreboard was the tilted video panels on the bottom of the scoreboard, a first in sports with the goal to provide easier scoreboard viewing for players, coaches, referees and fans in the lower seat levels.”

Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) looks at rookie forward Kevin Hervey, who was a fan of the team while growing up: “The Thunder selected the long, lanky and skilled big man – who played close to home at University of Texas-Arlington for his collegiate years – with the 57th selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. The kid who once cheered on Russell Westbrook will get to play alongside him. Well, eventually. For now, Hervey is in Las Vegas with the Thunder’s Summer League squad, and has been solid so far as he learns the NBA ropes.”

The Thunder website looks at the fan support throughout it’s 10-year run in Oklahoma City: “With more than 5,000 fans and nearly 100 chapters, the Thunder Blue Alliance is vital in bringing the spirit of Thunder Basketball to the local level. Volunteer captains in cities throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states having been helping fans connect with one another since March, 2011, when the program was launched to help foster fan engagement. Chapter captains organize watch parties, distribute Thunder products and invite fellow members to various community events involving the team.”

Jordan Buckamneer (Thunderous Intentions) looks at Rashawn Thomas, who has been the most consistent player for the Thunder in summer league: “Nothing has come easy for Oklahoma City Thunder prospect Rashawn Thomas. His unlikely route to the NBA and recent success sure seems worthy of landing him a roster spot with his hometown team. There are no guarantees and he’ll need to keep producing during the second round of the NBA Summer League.tournament. Still, if you had to pick one standout to put at the top of the shortlist Thomas is the guy.”

Meanwhile, on the Carmelo Anthony trade front:

Robbie Stratakos (Sir Charles In Charge) says the Thunder could be a Western Conference dark horse: “At the end of the day, Anthony was never a great fit in OKC. He struggled to adapt to being the third scoring option and, at times, wasn’t even on the floor in the fourth quarter of the Thunder’s first round series matchup with the Jazz. The Thunder decided to take advantage of a star player wanting out of his current situation, and chose to roll the dice. Now, they get to see what they can be and would’ve been before acquiring Anthony — with the exclusion of Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, who were both sent to the New York Knicks for Anthony.”

Zandrick Ellison (Reddit) on why the Thunder may be better than most think: “Basically everything that went “right” for the Thunder the prior season went “wrong” this past season. Let’s take a look at all our indicators again…Point differential. This time around, the Thunder achieved a healthy point differential of +3.4, nearly 3 full points better than their mark the season prior. To me, that indicates that they should have won about 48 games, as they ended up doing.”

Berry Tramel (NewsOK) on what the Carmelo Anthony trade cost the Thunder: “Doesn’t seem to be anybody’s fault. The starting lineup actually was quite good in the regular season when Andre Roberson was healthy, but in the playoffs, without Roberson, Carmelo’s value went south, which is what happens to 33-year-olds with limited defensive chops. NBA playoff teams can pounce, repeatedly, on vulnerable prey.”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on returning players bringing familiarity and comfort to Billy Donovan: “From the time the season ended, every conversation I had with Paul, everything with him was forward-thinking…,” Donovan said. “He was talking to me about things later in the summer, later in training camp. It was all very open, optimistic and forward-thinking. It was never any, like, ‘I’m not sure. I may want to go through looking at some other teams.’ There was none of that at all.”

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