Tag Archives: Indiana Pacers

NTTB Podcast (Episode 21) – Talking Thunder and Marvel

IMG_4109On Episode 21 of the NTTB podcast,we discuss the following topics:

  • Looking back at the 4 games from this past week: vs. Charlotte, @Indy, @Philly, @NY
  • Looking back at how the Thunder Big 4 did (Russ, PG, Melo, and Adams)
  • The Good, Bad, and Ugly from this past week
  • The Thunder’s City jerseys
  • NBA News
  • And a surprising 40 minute conversation on Disney/Marvel’s purchase of Fox

Intro/Outro music provided by OSC Productions

Thank you for listening. We will be doing a podcast once a week. If you have any Thunder or NBA related questions, make sure you hit us up on Twitter (@alexroig_NTTB or @Montero_A13).

We are on ITunes under the NTTB Podcast. Make sure you leave us a 5-star review if you can. As always, Thunder Up!

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The Week That Was: 23-29 October 2017

big 3This “superteam” was supposed to be 6-0 and on their way to the first 96-0 (82 + 16 playoff games) record in league history. The Oklahoma City Thunder were supposed to leading the league in Offensive and Defensive Rating. They were supposed to be winning games by at least a margin of 20+ per game and Dakari Johnson should now have six games worth of experience under his belt.

Instead the Thunder find themselves at only 3-3. Chemistry is still an issue as they attempt to assimilate three alpha-dog scorers into a cohesive system. It is no longer just grab the ball and score, as all three have been used to throughout their careers. Now, it’s run the offense until there’s an open shot and if nothing develops, then revert back to your natural instinct of isolation dominance. All the while, there are two other players out there on the floor that can be involved in the offense also.

It’s going to take some time. We can look back at all the other recent iterations of super teams and see that there were adjustment periods for all of them. Some of those teams adjusted quickly, like the Warriors of last year and the Celtics of 2007-08. Others took at least a season to find themselves, like the 2010-11 Miami Heat. But they all eventually found success. Continue reading The Week That Was: 23-29 October 2017

NTTB Rumblings – 26 October 2017

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Great win last night. Sure wish Oladipo could have consistently played like that for the Thunder last season.

Jeremy Lambert (Thunderous Intentions) would like to remind you the sky is not falling in regards to the Thunder: “We’re one week into the NBA season and the OKC Thunder sit at 2-2. Not a bad record, but given the firepower on the squad, most fans probably hoped for better. And it could be 3-1 if not for an Andrew Wiggins buzzer beater, so the sky isn’t exactly falling. That’s the theme for this column: the sky is not falling. Neither is Paul George’s shot, Russell Westbrook’s free throws or Andre Roberson’s anything.”

Royce Young (ESPN) on Paul George’s struggles against his former team: “George then fouled out with 6:15 left in the fourth, with only 10 points on 4 of 8 shooting in 19 minutes. “That hasn’t happened often in my career,” George said of winning the game despite his struggles. “Fortunate to have those guys carry me. They knew how big this game was for me, and they went out and got it for me.”

The Thunder opened up a new basketball court in Calumet.  Continue reading NTTB Rumblings – 26 October 2017

Pacers vs. Thunder preview (Game 4 of 82)

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  • When: Wednesday, 25 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -14.5 | O/U – 218

I’ve never been a huge fan of moral victories. It feels like a gateway to developing a losing mentality. The great, “Oh, we lost, but…” A team says that enough times and failure becomes an acceptable habit. “Missed it by this much” becomes the norm.

Sunday’s loss felt different, though. Yes, it was definitely a moral victory, which means it was a loss. But it felt like the team discovered something about itself in that fourth quarter (almost) comeback. Russell Westbrook, who has had to adjust on the fly to having two scoring wings next to him, reverted back to what felt natural to him. And it worked. Shots fell. The team got stops. And what started as a 13-point deficit heading into the quarter turned into a one point lead with 5 seconds left. Of course, we all know what transpired after that as Andrew Wiggins and the three referees made sure Minnesota came out of that game with a victory (shouts out to you, Last 2-Minutes report).  Continue reading Pacers vs. Thunder preview (Game 4 of 82)

NTTB Rumblings – 25 Oct 2017

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Kyle Wagner (FiveThirtyEight) on the Thunder’s sudden inability to rebound: “However, the George and Anthony moves do seem to have had an effect on another piece of the team’s core identity: For the first time in a decade, the Thunder are struggling to rebound. The Thunder have grabbed just 47.5 percent of available rebounds in their first three games — about 6 percentage points lower than last year and 24th in the league. As a team, the Thunder haven’t finished outside the top 10 since they moved to Oklahoma City.”

When the robots finally attack, they can point its genesis to the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Clifton Brown (Indy Star) on Paul George facing his old team for the first time: “There was no way to reconcile those conflicting emotions, as George prepared to play his first game against the Pacers on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. George was smiling and had the aura of a man at peace after Tuesday’s practice at the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility. But George admitted that the timing of his departure from the Pacers was awkward and that if he could do it again, he would have handled some things differently.” Continue reading NTTB Rumblings – 25 Oct 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 12 September 2017

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Russell Westbrook was on the Jimmy Fallon Show last night and it was awesome.

A chronology of Paul George’s recent history with the Pacers that led him to this point. I don’t think Thunder fans will like the end of the timeline, though.

Lottery reform is on the agenda again, and the Thunder have a history of pushing back against any proposed lottery reform: “In 2014, Presti lobbied against lottery reform which would have given all 30 teams an equal chance at the first pick, citing how such a system could hurt organizations in small markets. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported at the time that NBA owners voted 17-13 in favor of lottery reform then. The league needed 23 “yes” votes to pass the rule. The Thunder voted, no.”

Enes Kanter holding a camp for kids in Oklahoma City.

It’s from about 6 months ago, but this is an interesting read from training camp invitee Bryce Alford on the Player’s Tribune: “After almost four years here at UCLA, I like to think I haven’t let the haters bother me too much — I like to think that I’ve never cracked. There was one time, though. It was in a game my sophomore season. I can’t remember who we were playing, but we won. And — the strangest thing about it — I played fine, if not pretty well. At least I thought so. But as I was walking off the court, I heard a voice behind me.”

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 16 August 2017

img_4133-5Thank you for reading. Here are the Rumblings…

Paul George talks about his return to Indianapolis: “After repeated first-round playoff exits, George, 27, faced a contract year with idle 42-40 Indiana, and clarified his desire to chase victories elsewhere. And though much hearsay exists concerning where the four-time All Star may land next season, for now, George and reigning-MVP teammate Russell Westbrook look to ascend the Western Conference rankings.”

Enes Kanter reunited with Kevin Durant in a pick-up game in New York City: “Enes Kanter and Kevin Durant … playing pickup basketball … together? That was the scene Tuesday at New York City’s Life Time Athletic Sky, where Kanter and his former Thunder teammate were videoed playing a 5-on-5 game on the same court along with LeBron James, J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 16 August 2017

Paul George traded to the Thunder

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Sarah Phipps – The Oklahoman

Just as I was about to release a primer for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s foray into this summer’s free agency, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN dropped this bomb:

It was just 12 days ago that George put out the feelers that he wanted out of Indiana and was not going to re-sign with the Pacers when his contract expired after the 2017-18 season. I wrote about the Thunder’s chances of obtaining George when the statement came out. He included in his statement that he had an eye towards signing in his native Los Angeles when he became a free agent. That statement was released a full three days before the draft. The timing of the statement was no accident.  Continue reading Paul George traded to the Thunder

Do the Thunder have a chance at acquiring Paul George?

paul george russell Westbrook

At around 2:00 PM CST on Father’s Day, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski released the following tweet:

First off, the timing of the tweet makes it very purposeful. Over four days before the NBA Draft is due to take place gives the Indiana Pacers plenty of time to receive trade offers that have some meat behind them. While many will look at this as a negative move from Paul George’s part, it actually likely helps the Pacers in the long run.

No one in the NBA wants to see a lame duck season from a player or a team. That’s what the 2017-18 season would’ve been like for the Pacers had they allowed George to just go through the motions next season. With this definitive statement from the George camp, both sides can now put into motion the necessary steps to move forward from this break-up. Continue reading Do the Thunder have a chance at acquiring Paul George?

Indiana Pacers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preview (Game 57 of 82)

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  • When: Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 7:00 PM EST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

Six in a row and 8 out of 9. The Thunder finally have a rhythm about them. Russell Westbrook is playing at an MVP level, Serge Ibaka is working more from the paint than from the perimeter, and the new guys are integrating seamlessly. All this with two starters being out (Steven Adams (hand) and Kevin Durant (foot)). The Thunder have marched from a 3-12 start to being up 2 games on the 9th seeded New Orleans Pelicans. With the way this season has gone, you’re almost fearful of getting too giddy to appreciate how the team has played of late. It seems like there’s always some basketball boogeyman lurking around the corner, and I’m not talking about DeMarcus Cousins.

This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. The two teams split their season series last year, with each team getting a victory on their home floor. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for these Pacers. They were the antithesis to the “Big 3” Miami Heat and were built like the New York Knicks of the 90’s. Unfortunately, when they play the Thunder, all that good feeling goes away.

The Opponent

west hibbert hill vogel pacers

The Indiana Pacers come into the game with a 23-33 record, one game back of 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. Their struggles this season can be directly tied to what happened in early July in Las Vegas. Paul George suffered a horrific leg injury in the public scrimmage for Team USA. Luckily for all parties involved, the sight of the injury was probably more gruesome than the actual after-effects. Bone fractures are easier to recover from in athletics compared to ligament tears. The Pacers, themselves, are very similar to the team that played last season. They struggle on offense (96.2 points per game, 23rd in the league), but are top 10 in defensive efficiency and opponent points per game. A lot like the Thunder, the Pacers are starting to get healthy and are on a bit of a hot streak, having won 6 of the last 7 games (which includes streak-busting victories against Cleveland and Golden State). In the backcourt, the Pacers trot out veterans George Hill and CJ Miles. Hill has played much better of late, after starting the season injured with a sprained knee. Solomon Hill has been much more effective as a starter, than coming off the bench. Up front, the veteran duo of David West and Roy Hibbert continues to pose difficulties defensively for opposing teams. The bench, one of the better ones in the league, is a veteran-laden group that features Luis Scola, Rodney Stuckey, CJ Watson, and Ian Mahinmi.

Probable Starting Line-Ups

Indiana Pacers

  • PG – George Hill
  • SG – CJ Miles
  • SF – Solomon Hill
  • PF – David West
  • C – Roy Hibbert

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Andre Roberson
  • SF – Kyle Singler
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Enes Kanter

3 Keys to the Game

1. Pace – The Pacers, a lot like the Memphis Grizzlies, like to grind out possessions and beat you in the half-court. They play inside-out with Hibbert and West with Miles waiting for open shots on the wing. Unlike the Grizzlies, the Pacers are prone to turnovers (14.4 per game, 17th in the league). If the Thunder can create those turnovers and turn them into transition opportunities, that will help them immensely in this game. Also, with Westbrook pushing the pace, the Thunder should be able to play their brand of basketball and not the Pacers’ brand.

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2. Interior Defense – This will be a great test to see how the Ibaka/Kanter duo works defensively. While Hibbert will never be seen as an offensive talent, he and West compliment each other well and will be a handful for the Thunder.

3. Bench – Indiana’s bench is very good and has talent all over the board. Scola is a tough interior cover, Mahinmi averages about 2 offensive rebounds per game, Watson is a good floor general, and Stuckey is prone to scoring outbursts (two consecutive 30 point games off the bench). If the Thunder want to stay in the game, their bench has to put the pressure on the Pacers’ reserves and defend them well.