Michael Kinney (Clutch Points) on how the Thunder will likely use their 2-way contracts: “In the past, according to NBA rules, players who were signed to an NBA team were allowed to go back and forth to the D-League as many times as they wanted. The Thunder used the system liberally with players such as Josh Huestis, Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones. NBA teams can still use their rosters in the same way, but with the addition of two-way contracts, you could see that phasing its way out.”
Jonathan Tjarks (The Ringer) says the Russell Westbrook Show is over. In it’s place, is the Thunder variety hour: “In the first few weeks of the season, Westbrook is doing everything he can to make the adjustment process as smooth as possible. The guy who shattered the record for usage rate in a season is gone. Westbrook is shooting less both Carmelo and George are, and his 15.4 attempts per game is the lowest since his second season in the league. The result is a more balanced offense. Instead of Oklahoma City’s second-leading scorer (Victor Oladipo) taking 10 fewer shots a game than Westbrook was, their Big Three all average between 15 and 18. Westbrook still holds the ball for most of the game, but he’s looking to pass as much as he is to score. He is not a volume shooter anymore. The guy whose extreme athleticism redefined the point guard position suddenly has the numbers of a traditional point guard. Westbrook is averaging career highs in assists (11.7) and field goal percentage (47.2).” Continue reading NTTB Rumblings – 03 Nov 2017
Erik Horne (NewsOK) on Paul George finding his rhythm: “Throughout the game we know Russ is going to push the tempo, really create all the mismatches with his aggressiveness and attacking the floor,” George said. “But yeah, if I get going early, especially being a shooter out there, it’ll only open up the game for all of us.” George has found a rhythm early in games for the Thunder so far, one which could be a boon for a Thunder team feeling out who shoots when this season.”
The NBA’s version of Cain and Abel featuring Jerami Grant and Jerian Grant.
Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on Giannis Antetokounmpo giving the Thunder their biggest defensive test yet: “I think the biggest thing with him is trying to take away that deep paint where he’s getting all the way to the rim, because then he’s a monster finishing,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “But he’s also a really good passer. He sprays the ball around really well and obviously, they’ve got good shooting on the perimeter. He’s an incredible player.” Continue reading NTTB Rumblings – 31 Oct 2017 (Halloween edition)
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
I don’t usually advocate for things. But Hurricane Maria decimated the island my parents call home. The island my grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles all currently live on. They are all okay, but the recovery process now begins. Please help me in easing that recovery process. Donate what you can. Every little bit helps. Thank you. Gracias.
On to the Rumblings:
Dom Flaim of WTLC on how the Thunder players live the Thunder way: “By now, we’ve all seen the social media comments made by our departed number 35, a player who inhabited the Thunder home locker room for 9 years and then left in 2016. Recently, #35 decided to comment via his main Twitter account (and not on the ghost account he thought he was using) that his past Thunder teammates just weren’t up to snuff.”
Cole Cashwell, the truth exposer: “Cole Cashwell, 16, tweeted at Durant’s @KDTrey5 handle Sunday evening, saying “man I respect the hell outta you but give me one legitimate reason for leaving okc other than getting a championship.” Cashwell on Thursday said he sent the message with the mindset “what’s the worst that could happen?” He said he was shocked and “didn’t understand why he would respond to me.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 22 September 2017
Player Rankings: 20-16 | 15-12
I have one amendment to an earlier list.
20. Rashawn Thomas
Earlier this summer, it was reported the Thunder had agreed to a partially-guaranteed deal with Thomas. My thinking was that it was just for summer league and possibly for the G-League when it came time for that. But it still stuck in my head whether he would be with the Thunder during training camp or not. So I decided to ask the source, himself. Continue reading NTTB Rank: 11-8
Wake up, wake up, wake up, it’s the first of the month……Here are the Rumblings.
Nick Gallo of OKCThunder.com looks at Jerami Grant’s impact on the team: “Heading into his second season with the Thunder, Grant will get a chance to get his feet under him a little more thanks to a full training camp with Head Coach Billy Donovan. A chance to integrate on the group during a month straight of practice was a privilege Grant wasn’t afforded last season when he was acquired in a trade just a week into the season. His fellow wing Andre Roberson called the trade a turning point early in the year for the Thunder. Part of the reason why is Grant’s flexibility as a player, which helped the Thunder immensely when it came to choosing lineups, rotations and matchups.”
Russell Westbrook is bringing a comedy show to Oklahoma City. Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 01 September 2017
Are you still buzzing off the Westbrook MVP win? I know I am. Here are the Thunder happenings for this Hump Day on DTR.
The Westbrook extensions looms large on the mind of Oklahomans: “Some 1,500 miles away, the reporter’s question still lingered in Oklahoma City: “Saturday you have a chance to sign a long-term extension and be with the city for a long time. Is that something you’ve thought about or are you ready to commit to stay with the Thunder for the long-term?” Monday night marked the second time since the end of the season that the All-Star point guard has evaded questions about whether or not he will sign the so-called super-max extension this summer, which would pay him an additional $201 million and keep him in Oklahoma City through 2022-23.”
Fred Katz looks at the difficulty in bringing in another superstar: “There may be a deeper meaning when general manager Sam Presti boasts about the talent already on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Reach back to almost two months ago, when Presti spent much of his end-of-season exit interview discussing continuity, the value in keeping together a youthful group that was actually the NBA’s youngest playoff team this past season. He was signaling more than just faith in the present talent when he explained the Thunder’s offseason prospects.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 28 June 2017
Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World looks at what a difference five years can make: “June 12, 2012, is a date that ranks among the more significant in this state’s sports history. That night, Game 1 of the NBA Finals was played on Oklahoma soil. StubHub’s ticket prices ranged from $312 to $10,140. With Thunder Mania at its zenith statewide, Oklahoma City defeated LeBron James and the Miami Heat 105-94. In Tulsa and the surrounding area, the ABC telecast was seen by 277,000 viewers. Kevin Durant scored 17 of his 36 points during the fourth period. Russell Westbrook finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double. OKC limited the Heat to 41 second-half points. With young superstars, that Thunder team improved to 9-0 in the postseason at home and had the homecourt advantage in the Finals. That Thunder team seemingly was destined for championships. The fifth anniversary of the Thunder-Heat Game 1 — June 12, 2017 — will not be remembered as having been locally significant.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 15 June 2017