Another long regular season in the books and the Oklahoma City Thunder have, once again, made it to the playoffs. This past week of games has been a long and arduous road, but one that has seen the team grow from a bunch of unknowns to contenders. After a 2-1 regular season, the Thunder found themselves as the 6th seed in the Las Vegas Summer League playoffs. Anything can happen from here on out as the playoffs are a tournament format where you either win or go home.
Every time summer league approaches, I get giddy with anticipation. I know it usually won’t amount to anything in the future, but it’s always fun to see a random Robert Vader or a Ryan Reid “career” game in summer league. It’s great to see a second year player like Reggie Jackson go off in the second half of a summer league game while the team’s last 21 points and bringing the team back to victory. Continue reading Thunder vs. Hornets Preview (Summer League Game 1)→
It’s that time of year again. A time to dream. A time to hope. A time to….oh, what’s that? The Golden State Warriors acquired DeMarcus Cousins for just $5 million dollars. Oh, well. It’s still a time to play. And for many of us who haven’t seen our teams lace them up in over a couple months, it’s a brief respite into competitive basketball and a slight glimpse into the future. Some of the players that will step foot on the Thomas & Mack Center (or Cox Pavilion) will be the superstars of tomorrow. But for many of the players that will play in the Las Vegas Summer League, the court in the Mojave Desert will be the closest they ever get to donning an NBA jersey.
For the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team will be looking for their youngsters to show improvement from where they were just 2 months ago. Even though the Thunder were one of the most veteran-laden teams in the league last season, they still counted on a couple rookies to provide valuable minutes throughout the season. Terrance Ferguson and Dakari Johnson showed that they belonged in the league last year. Now, the team will be looking for them to be consistent contributors on the roster. Continue reading Summer League Preview for the Thunder→
Before we even go into specifics, there are three things you need to know about this game:
It was the first preseason game for both teams.
The Thunder were without Russell Westbrook, Patrick Patterson, and Alex Abrines.
The Houston Rockets launched 55! three-pointers (Why?)
In essence, the Thunder treated this game like it was a preseason game. Work out little kinks here and there, let the starters get comfortable with each other for the first half, and find out what you have from the bench. Houston, on the other hand, almost treated this game like it was a regular season game. The eight players who will likely be prominently featured in Houston’s rotation all played over 20 minutes, with James Harden leading the way with 29 minutes. Continue reading Rockets beat the new look Thunder 104-97→
Rob Hennigan returns to the Thunder: “Hennigan worked for four seasons in the Thunder front office, ascending to assistant general manager before being hired by the Orlando Magic as general manager in 2012. Hennigan was fired in April after the Magic went 132-278 (.322) in five seasons.”
It’s that time of year again. With about 35 days until the season starts, it’s time to start ranking players. Sports Illustrated has started their Top 100 list. ESPN has followed suit. But ranking 100 players is just too much for me. Especially, since I mainly just focus on one team.
I’ve decided to do an Oklahoma City Thunder players ranking based on the 20 or so players that are currently involved with the franchise. This first installment will look at players ranked 16-20. These will likely be a combination of training camp invitees, 2-way players, and/or under-performing veterans.
20. Unsigned Training Camp Invitee
Technically, the Thunder still have one more spot available for their 20 man training camp roster. There are still plenty of unsigned free agents looking for a chance to make a roster. For every run of the mill training camp invite that ends up getting cut, you sometimes ends up with a player like Lance Thomas that works on his game and takes advantage of the training camp opportunity to earn a roster spot. Continue reading NTTB Rank: 20-16→
David Scott of Ridiculous Upside looks at Daniel Hamilton possibly being Oklahoma City’s next great sharpshooter: “Oklahoma City has longtime been lack of a dedicated deep shooter since the exit of Anthony Morrow. Therefore, a skilled outside offense-man coming out of their very own development team would be both efficient and something to brag about for the organization. They currently boast Doug McDermott and Alex Abrines who have already stood out to be improvements in OKC’s outside shooting efficiency, so hopefully fans of the Thunder can expect to see a change of momentum from outside this season. No matter the turnout, it will still he interesting to see how the Thunder’s young team turns out with the addition of Dakari Johnson, Terrance Ferguson, and now the sophomore, Daniel Hamilton.”