NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 07 August 2018

img_4063Berry Tramel (NewsOK) looks at the Vegas win odds: “A few things to remember. This isn’t a prediction. An NBA team or two will reach the extremes on both ends. But Vegas can’t account for that. It can’t predict that the star-studded Warriors will win 69 games. Few teams in NBA history will do that. Vegas can’t predict that Atlanta will win 14 games. Few teams in NBA history will do that. The Warriors might very well approach 70 wins again, and the Hawks might threaten the all-time worst record. But this isn’t a prediction. This is a process by which Las Vegas tries to remove as much money from your wallet as it can.”

David Aldridge (NBA.com) says Oklahoma City had the best offseason: “This is real simple: with Roberson on the court last year, OKC’s opponent offensive rating was 99.2; when he was off, it was 110.7. The Thunder was a near-elite defensive unit when Roberson played and was awful when he didn’t. His Real Defensive Plus-Minus, per ESPN.com, was 4.34, second only to Utah’s Rudy Gobert (5.06). So when Roberson ruptured his patellar tendon in late January, the Thunder’s ability to use George as a weakside defender who could freelance and use his length to create deflections and turnovers (because Roberson had the strong side absolutely locked down) went away.”

Zach Buckley (Bleacher Report) says Billy Donovan will be one of the coaches on the hot season this season: “That continuity, though, could be a blessing and a curse. While it should help Donovan get players more deeply ingrained into his system, it also raises the expectation levels for a club that Presti (and many others) felt “disappointed” in last season. Despite surrounding Westbrook with George and Anthony, OKC only increased its win total by one (47 to 48) and again exited the playoffs in the opening round.”

Zachary Weisleder (Inside the Loud House) says the departure of Carmelo Anthony will help Jerami Grant: “Over a year ago, I eluded to how Grant’s “statistics may not jump out at you, but his on-court presence tells a different tale.” Additionally, I stressed the fact that at that point in time, “offensive talents outweighed defensive talents.” However, in an era in which players like Grant are making nine million a year more for their exploits on defense rather than offense, the narrative is changing around the association, and for the better.”

Keith P. Smith (Real GM) on some Thunder offseason notes: “He’s got all the potential in the world. Amazing size for his position. His athletic ability is off the charts. A scout said he reminds him of Terrence Ross and that isn’t a bad comp. We think he’s got a great future.”

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