- When: Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
- Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
- Line: OKC -12.0 | O/U – 215
Ten years strong and we’ve almost seen it all. We’ve seen two MVP’s. We’ve seen one Coach of the Year. We’ve seen one 6th Man of the Year. We’ve seen four Western Conference championship appearances. We’ve seen one NBA Finals appearance. We’ve seen injuries derail promising seasons. We’ve seen front office moves that have left us cheering and ones that have left us confuzzled (confused and puzzled). We’ve seen players we love traded. And we’ve seen players who were once heroes to us turn into absolute villains. Continue reading Knicks vs. Thunder Primer (Game 1 of 82)
It’s GameDay. Finally!
Royce Young (ESPN) on Paul George having to re-live his own gruesome injury after the Hayward broken ankle: “If there’s one player who understands what Gordon Hayward is going through, it’s Paul George. The Oklahoma City Thunder star said seeing Hayward’s devastating injury Tuesday night made him “nauseous.”
Marc Stein (New York Times) on who really convinced Carmelo Anthony to accept OKC as a destination: “My son said he wanted me to play for O.K.C.,” Anthony said. “Even before O.K.C. was in the picture.’’ Anthony proudly told that story on Tuesday afternoon after practice, lounging on a comfortable courtside bench while watching his son, Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, who is 10, work on his one-on-one moves against some Thunder staffers and, for a few minutes, Westbrook himself.”
Caroline Vandergriff (FoxNews25) on the Thunder opening up the Thunder experience to sensory-sensitive fans: “The atmosphere inside Chesapeake Arena is electric when the Thunder hits the court, but sometimes that energy can be overwhelming for fans living with autism, PTSD, Parkinson’s, or early onset dementia. “Whether it’s kids or adults who may be challenged by the noise or the commotion, there are opportunities and solutions to provide a better experience for those fans,” said Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of sales & marketing for the Thunder.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 19 Oct 2017
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
Happy Thunder’s Eve. Prayers out to Gordon Hayward. Wishing a speedy recovery for him.
Royce Young (ESPN) on recent 2-way contract recipient P.J. Dozier showing up to his first Thunder practice wearing a familiar jersey number: “It was an unusual sight walking into the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility Tuesday and seeing No. 35 on the wing, attempting 3-pointers with assistant coach Vin Bhavnani. No, Kevin Durant was not visiting his old stomping grounds. It was the Thunder’s newest signing, undrafted rookie P.J. Dozier, who signed to a two-way contract Tuesday.”
Tony Heim (Thunderous Intentions) on Billy Donovan figuring out the rotation through a hypothetical conversation with Sam Presti: “This season is different though Billy. We can’t be a four-seed, we can’t play Golden State in the second round. We need to make the Conference Finals to convince PG and Melo to stay. That’s why I brought you in here today.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 18 Oct 2017
Igor Sopar (Clutch Points) says the Thunder got more likable this offseason: “That exact win or bust situation will force the fans to continuously tune in and track the progress. If everything clicks, and the Thunder eventually face the Warriors in the latter stages of the postseason, they will get the support of an army of neutral followers, but if any adversity causes the train to derail, there will be loads of those who will wallow in schadenfreude. The Thunder will, without any doubt, be under relentless scrutiny of the public eye over the course of the season, and a good percentage of their matchups in the upcoming season will be a must watch even for the casual fans.”
Fred Katz (Norman Transcript) on embracing iso-ball, injury updates, and roster information: “The Thunder employ three elite isolation players, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. And though all three like to take opponents one-on-one often, coach Billy Donovan isn’t necessarily trying to stifle their habits. It’s the opposite. He’s trying to use them for good.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 17 Oct 2017
It’s Opening Week. Let’s Go!!!!!
Royce Young (ESPN) explaining why the Thunder could have a crunch-time conundrum on their hands: “With Paul George and Carmelo Anthony now his teammates, that appears likely to change. “Carmelo’s been a closeout guy the places he’s been, the same thing with Paul. But any time you have a team you have to do it by finding the open man,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Clearly for us last year, somebody creating and generating a shot for himself or someone else, it was Russell. But obviously now with Carmelo and Paul being here, I think it’s about making the right play and right decision.”
The Thunder will be in the midst of a 3-game road trip when Halloween hits, so they decided to celebrate it a little early this year. Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 16 Oct 2017
Happy Friday the 13th, guys!!!
Paul Pierce is now my favoritest retired basketball player:
Tim Cato (SB Nation) on how the team’s culture actually became it’s saving grace: “For the Thunder, this didn’t take years. It took one summer. After Durant’s departure, the Thunder doubled down on Russell Westbrook and let him run rampant for an MVP. It was delightful, but an inevitable first-round defeat followed. They were a team built for two stars in a league that demands several of them, and Westbrook was but one. From atop the franchise, general manager Sam Presti preached patience. “We feel really good about the momentum that’s been created,” Presti said at the Thunder’s exit interviews last May. “We’re trying to do something here that I don’t think there’s a ton of examples of in the NBA.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 13 Oct 2017
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s preseason came to a close on Tuesday with a road win over the Denver Nuggets. The Thunder finished the preseason 3-1, losing only to the Houston Rockets in their first preseason game. Also of note in that game was the fact Russell Westbrook did not play.
In the games where all the starters played, the Thunder went undefeated, ushering the era of the Thunder’s Big 3. When it comes to the preseason though, each team has a different objective for what they want to garner out of these practice games. For the Thunder, it was clear they wanted to build chemistry between Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. And they wanted to see what they had in a couple of their young guys.
There’s not a lot that can be extrapolated from four games. The Thunder likely won’t win 75% of their games this season. And the Big 3 likely won’t average just 21 minutes a game. With that said, there were some takeaways I noticed from this past week. Some are positive. Others are worrisome. Here are five takeaways from this preseason. Continue reading Five Takeaways From the Preseason
Chris Mannix (The Vertical) on what pushes Paul George: “You need special talent to build championship teams,” George said. “It’s no secret. You feel more comfortable out there when you have guys who can play at the same level, who can play at a high level, play with high energy as well. I’m not going to be perfect every night. But to have a guy that can play at that same level that I can some nights, that I can benefit from, is a luxury. Look at Russ — the guy averaged a triple-double and had a hard time getting [in] the playoffs. It’s just hard to do in this day and age. That was one of the hardest things for me in Indy. I wanted to be there, I wanted to stay there so much. It just didn’t seem like we were going to get to that level, of having high-level talent to win a championship.”
Nick DePaula (ESPN) says Jordan is looking to discontinue Melo’s shoe line: “Jordan Brand is halting the Melo shoe series after 13 models, according to industry sources, making last season’s Melo M13 sneaker the final model of the line. Though he has continued wearing the M13 during Thunder preseason games, it’s expected that Anthony will wear a combination of shoes from the brand this upcoming year, such as the Air Jordan XXXII, custom editions of retro models, and possibly even a remixed version of his very first signature model.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 11 Oct 2017
Matt Moore (CBS Sports) looks at how the new superteams are playing this preseason: “The biggest question for OKC has been whether Anthony will adapt and do the little things, if he’ll move the ball, or if he’ll just be the same player he was in New York. If you want to know what a great version of Anthony looks like, watch him defend in the transition post vs. Anthony Davis, snag the board, run the break and make quick decisions, leading to a secondary assist”
John Schuhmann (NBA.com) looks at one issue that plagued the Thunder last season and why it matters for this year: “The Thunder’s no-Westbrook issues weren’t quite as dramatic in the regular season, but they were 12.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor (plus-3.3) than with him off the floor (minus-8.9). That was the seventh biggest on-off NetRtg differential in the league and the Thunder lost eight regular-season games in which Westbrook had a positive plus-minus. As was the case in the playoffs, Westbrook and Adams usually sat at the same time.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 10 Oct 2017