Give a listen to the new episode of the NTTB Podcast. We discuss whether Russell Westbrook is running out of excuses, review the schedule, and much more.
Erik Horne (NewsOK) chronicling the loss of long time NBA/Thunder photographer Layne Murdoch, who passed away on August 10: “We’ve lost a friend and special member of the Thunder family,” the post reads. “Layne was among the best in the business and a fixture on the Thunder baseline for the first ten seasons. The images he captured at our games and events provide a vivid archive of our team and organization. Beyond his skills as a photographer, Layne’s smile, sense of humor and engaging personality connected him with anyone he met. He had a deep passion for his craft, our team and our city.”
Condolences to Layne Murdoch’s family and friends. Lord knows, a lot of the pictures on this website have been used without his permission. He was a technician with the camera. He could tell a story with his pictures. Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings -13 August 2018
Berry 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.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 07 August 2018
Check out the new episode of the NTTB Podcast, where we christen the Westbrooks with the name of their new bundle of joy, we discuss who should start at power forward, and we discuss the LeBron James vs. Donald Trump debate.
Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) looks at what Patrick Patterson can bring to the Thunder this upcoming season: “A step behind to start the year, Patterson’s role ended up being a 15-minute-per-game player, with averages of 3.9 points on an admirable 38.6 percent three-point shooting, along with 2.4 rebounds per game. In 2018-19, the Thunder and Patterson himself believe he can contribute more, not just on the stat sheet but also in terms of the team’s overall gameplay and style.”
Gallo (OKCThunder.com) chronicled the Thunder’s day at Lake Castaic in Paul George’s fishing tournament: “But then came one of the final boats, which included Nader, the newcomer to the Thunder roster who hadn’t fished before despite always enjoying the outdoors. Throughout the 6 hours on the lake, George, Westbrook and Roberson had been visible and camped out along the shore line. Nader was nowhere to be found. Turns out he and his professional partner knew Castaic’s secrets, because they brought back the limit – five bass fish – including the biggest fish of the day at 4 pounds, 12 ounces.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 06 August 2018
Jerry Tipton (Kentucky Sports) on Hamidou Diallo getting used to NBA life in Oklahoma City: “I’m from New York,” he said. “So definitely any city I probably go to — unless it’s L.A. or Chicago or a couple other of those major cities — it’s going to be a little culture shock. For the most part, Kentucky prepared me for it. So I’m cool. It’s a cool city. Cool people.”
Noah Schulte (Thunderous Intentions) looks at 4 Thunder players that need to step up this season: “For the past two years they’ve been one of the shallowest teams in the league, rarely having any impact players to fill in when one of the starters goes out. Furthermore, OKC’s complete lack of three-point shooting has made their offense far too predictable to advance in the bloodbath that has become the Western Conference. Seemingly the Thunder have the right players to address those problems, but for one reason or another, those guys just haven’t come through to their potential yet.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 03 August 2018
Torrey Hart (Yahoo Sports) on Kevin Durant doing Kevin Durant things.
(Complete sidebar: I love Twitter, but sometimes, when famous people “mobilize their stans” it can get ridiculous and almost threatening. This girl put out a tweet, KD responded knowing his followers would attack, and now there are people trying to hack into her account and threatening her. For as much as Kevin Durant talks of his disdain for Donald Trump, he sure does follow his Twitter formula.)
Colin Ward-Henninger (CBS Sports) grades every team’s offseason, and he rates the Thunder pretty high. Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 02 August 2018
Bryan Kalbrosky (HoopsHype) on the possibility of Kevin Durant returning to the Thunder: “Westbrook and Durant played together on the All-Star team last season and they’re currently practicing alongside each other for Team USA. While it’s likely not something they’re constantly discussing, it’s hard to imagine the topic has not even come up in conversation while in such close proximity.”
The Thunder announce their 2018 preseason schedule.
Ti Windisch (FanSided) is not a big fan of Dennis Schröder playing alongside Russell Westbrook: “Billy Donovan will not have it easy with that decision. He might even catch the blame for those two not working together, which is tough. Schroder just isn’t useful without the ball in his hands, and he’s not nearly good enough to justify Russell Westbrook not having it when they’re on the floor together.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 01 August 2018
Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) on the reliability that Raymond Felton provides to the Thunder: “Felton has played all but 4 games over the past three years, for the Mavericks, then the LA Clippers and then the Thunder. This July, the 34-year old Felton re-upped with the Thunder for another run to play behind, and sometimes alongside, Westbrook and newcomer Dennis Schroder in OKC. Few in the league play with as much passion, intensity and fire as the Thunder’s All-Star point guard, but Schroder and Felton provide a similar dynamic as the floor generals for the bench group. Felton and Westbrook built an incredible connection last season that helped shape the locker room.”
Erik Horne (NewsOK) with 7 highlights from Steven Adams’ autobiography: “One of Adams’ older sisters, two-time Olympic shot put gold medalist Valerie Adams, was the only family member with media experience. She suggested the best thing to do was for Steven to say nothing, even thought the stories circulating about his family didn’t accurately depict the caring unit of brothers and sisters who worked together to ensure his future.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings -31 July 2018
Marc J. Spears (ESPN) interviews Paul George on his decision to stay in OKC: “It was absolutely tempting,” George said. “Honestly, I wanted to come back home. But again, I got traded to Oklahoma. Loved the situation. Loved where I was at. I decided to stick around a little longer.”
Jemele Hill (The Undefeated) interviews Carmelo Anthony on his one season in OKC: “To get bought out, to get waived, you were looked at like, you’re done,” said Anthony, who was in Washington, D.C., to attend a private Nike event Wednesday night. “Now, it’s just almost like the norm. If something doesn’t work, go ahead and get a buyout or go ahead and get traded. That’s the new norm in our society in basketball. I had to get over that.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 27 July 2018
Zac Oakes (A Sea of Blue) on Hamidou Diallo signing with the Thunder: “He came close to never playing a game for Kentucky, as he put his name into the draft in 2017, though he withdrew and returned to Kentucky. He would go on to finish fourth in scoring for Kentucky this past season, averaging an even 10 points per game.”
Erik Horne (NewsOK) on what the signing of Diallo could mean to the rest of the roster: “In order to free up a roster spot and alleviate luxury tax burdens this season, the Thunder could stretch Singler’s contract over three seasons at an average of $1.6 million per season. But, like the Carmelo Anthony trade which was finalized on Wednesday, the Thunder would prefer to get return via a trade rather than waiving Singler.” Continue reading NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 26 July 2018