Erik Horne (NewsOK) looks at the year that was for Russell Westbrook: “Before his nine 3-point attempts against Milwaukee with George injured, Westbrook had averaged 1.9 per game in his last seven. The Thunder went 6-1 and Westbrook shot 55.5 percent from the field. “Russell was the MVP last year and he’s having to play different,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Carmelo, an incredible scorer and an elite player in this league for a long time, he’s had to change. Same thing for Paul, Patrick Patterson or any of these guys. Everybody’s had to change a little bit for the betterment of the team.”
Jimmy Do (OKCThunder.com) looks at Paul George’s Christmas party for stroke awareness: “Through the Paul George Foundation, the friendly zap session was part of the fun and games at Main Event Entertainment during the inaugural PG Christmas Celebration for seven local families with stroke survivors. With a red Santa hat sat cocked atop his head, George arrived with a large bag full of gifts slung over his shoulder doing his best impersonation of Jolly Old St. Nick.”
Am I a homer? Heck yeah. I’m a fan of the team I write about. It’s not a difficult concept. I like to write about things I’m familiar with. I know basketball, but more specifically, I know Thunder basketball. So I write about it.
Predictions are always a difficult thing when it comes to sports. They are usually made with the caveat that a ton of variables remain static. Things such as injuries, front office moves, suspensions, chemistry can’t be taken into account.
When you look at these 20 predictions, know two things: 1) They are likely going to favor the Oklahoma City Thunder in some form or fashion. And 2) Because I know a little about basketball, I’ll never make a prediction so outlandish that it won’t have a chance of coming true. Without further ado, here are the predictions:
20. Josh Huestis will play over 750 minutes this season for the Thunder.
In his first two seasons, Huestis played a grand total of 86 minutes for the Thunder. But the third year forward looks determined to get some minutes this year, and his play in the preseason may warrant some looks. While 750 minutes may seem like a lot, that’s just 9.2 minutes per game over 82 games. I think Huestis will be a full-time NBA player this year and will get enough playing time to reach that minutes mark. Continue reading 20 Thunder-centric predictions for the season→
There is actually a Thunder game tonight. Woo-hoo!!!!!!
Paul George is now willing to seriously consider OKC during free agency next summer: “The source says George has been impressed by the culture of the Thunder and how meticulous general manager Sam Presti and the organization are in building the roster and the franchise. George was impressed that the front office “had the (guts),” in the source’s words, to put everything on the line in getting him, and followed it up by getting Anthony without giving up any of the team’s core group.”
David Aldridge (NBA.com) on Westbrook’s loyalty to Oklahoma City: “But then came Westbrook, last Friday, finally signing the $205 million extension that the Thunder had had on the table for weeks. The impact reverberated well beyond the 405. Westbrook didn’t, as everyone seemed to accept as a fait accompli the last year and a half, play out his contract after collecting an extra $28 million in extension money from OKC last season, and bolt to the Lakers, Tom Joad with a 401(K) and options, in the summer of 2018. The scuttlebutt was that Westbrook would go back to his hometown and be united with LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony and/or Idris Elba and/or Shonda Rimes.”
Several Thunder players were in attendance as the organization put together a visit to the zoo: “The caped players made their next stop at Aquaticus, which showcases more than 1,500 marine life creatures from around the world. Piper emerged from the waters to wave hello at her tall guests setting the tone for a mutual admiration society. During the rendezvous, hearts melted and cheers erupted when each player took turns hugging the affable sea lion. Piper and the players officially cemented their friendship with each wet embrace.”
Several other Thunder players went to the fair to get their cheat meal on: “After all, it was the right day of the week for his socks, a true “Taco Tuesday”. But as his teammate Andre Roberson made a bee-line for the deep fried oreos upon arrival at the State Fair, Patterson eye was drawn to a different delicacy – the donut burger. It’s not the healthiest option at the Fair, though there’s not much competition in that department. After an intense voluntary workout at the practice facility, however, Patterson and his teammates Roberson, Jerami Grant and Doug McDermott all deserved a fun cheat meal and afternoon of games out on the west side of town.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 21 September 2017→
Now we get into the meat of the rotation. From here on out, these are likely the players that will eat up the bulk of the minutes played and will likely be the ones finishing out games. Injuries to any of these players will have a big effect on the team moving forward.
Jonathan J. Bates of WTLC looks at a potential death line-up for the Thunder: “The Thunder welcome two significant additions this season: Paul George and Patrick Patterson. It is not only that they are better players, but also the skill sets they bring that will radically change the Thunder. George shot 46.1 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from downtown per game. Patterson shot 37 percent from the three point line and averaged 6.8 points. 6.8 points seems low, but he only averaged 24 minutes per game as the fourth scoring option on the team. The Raptors only used him (Usage Rate). According to Scott Rafferty of Fansided, Patterson knocked down 36.9 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.”