Thunder At A Glance – 12 October 2018

img_4063Royce Young (ESPN) with the medical update on Russell Westbrook: “Russell Westbrook is “progressing” and getting nearer to a return, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Thursday, but has not been cleared for full-contact practice yet, leaving the All-Star point guard’s status for the season opener in question.”

BetSDI, a sports-betting website, has set the over/under total on Russell Westbrook triple-doubles this season at 22.5. Check more of the prop bets and where Thunder players land on those bets. 

Austin Sternlicht (Thunderous Intentions) previews Paul George’s upcoming season: “That may be something to celebrate, especially after the last major free agency decision a Thunder player made. Yet, the fact of the matter remains if the Thunder are going to be legitimate contenders, they need the Indiana Paul George that carried the Pacers to the playoffs his final two years, not last year’s Paul George who went 2-16 in an elimination game against Utah. If #PlayoffP is still in there, the Thunder need to do whatever they can to bring him out.”

Nick Gallo ( recaps the Thunder’s preseason from a statistical point of view: “These guys have put a lot of time and a lot of work in to trying to get better defending the three,” said Donovan. “You may not be able to totally keep the number of attempts down but what you can do is understand that contestedness matters. The more contested shots are, the more you have a chance to keep shooting percentages down.”

Cliff Brunt (Associated Press via The Washington Post) on the team’s expectations with Paul George in tow: “I just think we worked through a lot in one year, and people expected us to be a lot further along,” George said. “But honestly, that’s the reason why I’m here for year two. I knew it wasn’t going to be something that happened in one year being with this group. You’ve got to build certain habits, and that’s the habits we’re hoping that we build, is that consistency.”

Berry Tramel (NewsOK) profiles Steven Adams: “The Thunder center probably is the strongest player in the league. He’s also quite nimble and fast for a 7-footer. But Adams also has the scraggly beard and the wild hair, like something out of Lord of the Rings, all with a New Zealand accent and an ornery twinkle in his eye, and a biting wit to go with a natural charm. J.R.R. Tolkien meets F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

Jenni Carlson (NewsOK) on Patrick Patterson and Jerami Grant being big keys to the Thunder this season: “I think Billy D. is underselling the impact he believes Patterson and Grant can have. And maybe trying to keep expectations under control is the way to go. Last season, everyone expected grandeur from the Thunder, and the disappointment was great when it didn’t happen.”

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