Tag Archives: Los Angeles Lakers

Thunder @ Lakers preview (Game 38 of 82)

thunder v lakers

  • When: Wednesday, 03 January 2018 at 9:30 pm CST
  • Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • TV: ESPN/FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -5.5 | O/U – 214

As the Oklahoma City Thunder embark on a new year, the ship seems to be sailing in a much more positive direction than it just a month ago. The defense is still playing at a high level, while the offense seems to have figured most of itself out. Russell Westbrook appears to be over his late November/early December slump that saw him uncharacteristically look like he was questioning his every move on the court. Carmelo Anthony looks to have discovered what his role with this team will be and seems to be reveling in that role. Paul George seems to still be teetering with his role, but has found enough of an identity to average 27 points per game in his last 4 games played. And Steven Adams looks intent on making the Big 3 a quartet with his surprisingly good play in the first two months of the season.  Continue reading Thunder @ Lakers preview (Game 38 of 82)

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Daily Thunder Rumblings – 03 Oct 2017

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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.”

Ball Don’t Lie previews the Thunder.  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 03 Oct 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 15 September 2017

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Fred Katz talks about Russell Westbrook being ranked 6th in SI’s Top 100: “SI just concluded its list of top-100 players, and on the final day, it named Westbrook sixth, wedged between two Houston Rockets guards, Chris Paul, who was seventh, and James Harden, who was fifth. Two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard was ranked fourth, two-time MVP Stephen Curry was third, reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant was second and — of course — four-time MVP LeBron James was named the best in the NBA. Needless to say, Thunder fans thought Westbrook should have been ranked higher coming off an historic season, one in which he averaged a league-leading 31.6 points to go with 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists, making him the second player ever to average a triple-double. Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who accomplished the feat in 1961-62, is the only other man to do it.”

A run down of all the important trades in Thunder history.

If Westbrook doesn’t sign the extension this offseason, this is the going to be the season of “are Westbrook and George both going to LA next year”: “Perhaps the deafening Los Angeles Lakers rumors are to thank for the price of George being driven into the ground, but the Thunder gladly took advantage of it and snatched up one of the NBA’s best players. They might change their tune by next summer, though, when both George and Russell Westbrook can become free agents. Westbrook has yet to sign a five-year, $207 million contract extension the Thunder have put on the table, and with a star-studded 2018 free agency class on the way, things could get very interesting around the league.”

Apparently the dance-off between Westbrook and Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: “Imaginations ran wild. A dance-off between megastars Odell Beckham Jr. and Russell Westbrook.Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Catch NYC’s sixth anniversary party in New York City got to see all Beckham’s moves last week.”

Steven Adams’ humor is in mid-season form.

If this whole basketball thing doesn’t work out for Josh Huestis or Andre Roberson, they do have other options: “Thunder teammates Andre Roberson and Josh Huestis experienced first hand what it was like to work with a talented group that celebrated its 5A State Championship just last fall. The practice session inside the school’s gym was interrupted when Roberson and Huestis sauntered onto the court generating head turns as they were cascaded with whoops and hollers.”

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report looks at every team’s death line-up.

Steven Adams enjoying the increase in popularity of basketball in New Zealand: “Thursday’s event was sponsored by Homeland. In New Zealand, Adams’ basketball camp sponsor is “a dairy sort of company,” he said. “So it’s real weird, the kids after we do the camp, they get, like, a big block of cheese, some eggs and some bread and some milk,” Adams said. “The parents are, like, stoked, because they don’t have to go buy groceries anymore. They’re like, ‘Yes!’ It’s quirky, but it’s awesome.”

Seattle has a deal in place for a “new arena”: “If the NBA ever returns to Seattle, there could be a shiny new arena waiting. The city of Seattle and Los Angeles-based Oak View Group agreed to a $600 million renovation of KeyArena and construction could begin next year.”

 

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 06 September 2017

img_4133-5Woke up this morning and it was a bit chilly! Fall is coming. Basketball is coming! Here are the Rumblings…

R.K. Anthony of WTLC says if Steven Adams is to be successful this season, he needs to work on his post moves: “Watch the Adams, Kanter, and Sabonis practice video again. Kanter and Sabonis utilize a hop catch. Perhaps without a great deal of enthusiasm or on every single rep, but the fundamental is there in their back-to-basket game. But Adams never executes one … ever. If the Thunder wants Adams to develop a back to the basket post game, it is imperative they remember how raw he still is for his age and must follow the basics on every rep, starting with his footwork BEFORE he catches the ball.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 06 September 2017

NTTB Podcast (Episode 11) – The 2K Episode

IMG_4109On Episode 11 of the NTTB podcast, we discuss the following topics:

  • Draymond Green and Paul George at the fight
  • 2K ratings for superstars
  • Lakers fined for tampering
  • This week’s episode of “why we love Enes Kanter”
  • This week’s episode of “stupid sh#% Kevin Durant says”
  • Kyrie Irving/Gordon Hayward press conference
  • NBA Vegas odds
  • Pacific Division preview
  • Middle child syndrome

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!

 

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 01 September 2017

img_4133-5Wake 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

NTTB Podcast (Episode 10) – My Three Dragons

IMG_4109On Episode 10 of the NTTB podcast, we discuss the following topics:

  • Pacers charge the Lakers with tampering in regards to Paul George
  • Westbrook still winning awards
  • This week’s edition of “Why we love Enes Kanter”
  • Details on Westbrook’s fashion book
  • This week’s edition of “Stupid shhh said by Kevin Durant”
  • Kyrie Irving/Isaiah Thomas trade
  • Central Division preview
  • Thunder All-Time team with a bunch of Sonics players????
  • Mayweather vs. McGregor (Who you got?)

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!

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 23 August 2017

img_4133-5So Kyrie Irving is a Celtic and Isaiah Thomas is a Cavalier. We are all officially living in the Upside Down. Here are the Rumblings for this Hump Day.

Another member of the Oklahoma City Thunder finally got his 2K rating. This time it is Alex Abrines.

In a bit of comedy gold, Abrines acknowledged in a tweet that his character finally looks like him. The tweet basically translates to “This year, yes!” (For reference, just look up Alex Abrines 2K17).  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 23 August 2017

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 71 of 82)

westbrook thunder

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

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s M.O. for the last month has been to go up about 2 games in the race for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West, only to go on a losing streak (two in a row, three out of four, etc) that threatens that positioning. The time is running short for the Thunder to continue this up and down cycle of playoff positioning. At the same time, the Thunder also have aspirations of reaching the Dallas Mavericks for the 7th seed. The Mavs have an extremely rough patch coming up in the next two weeks, and could possibly lose some ground in the next 7 games. This season has been a Sisyphean task, but with 12 games left, the Thunder are in position to make the best of their early season misfortunes.

This is the third and final meeting of the season between these two opponents. The Thunder won the first two meetings, but against one of the worst teams in the league, the average margin of victory has been only 4 points. The Thunder were without Kevin Durant during the first meeting and needed an Andre Roberson defensive stand to prevent a Kobe Bryant game winner. In the 2nd meeting, the Thunder were without Durant and Russell Westbrook, but still kept the Lakers at bay behind good performances from DJ Augustin, Enes Kanter, and Jeremy Lamb.

The Opponent

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks

The Los Angeles Lakers currently find themselves with a record of 18-50, which is the 4th worst record in the league. It has been a tumultuous year for the storied franchise, but not that any of that was unexpected. Kobe Bryant’s return from injury was marred by another season-ending injury, this time his shoulder. Steve Nash’s season, and career, apparently, was ended by luggage (no, seriously, luggage) before the season even started. And the Lakers’ star rookie, Julius Randle, played in only 1 game before succumbing to a broken leg. The issue with the Lakers this season has been defense. They rank 28th in terms of opponent’s points per game (104.5) and defensive rating. The offense is led by rookie Jordan Clarkson, who is averaging 9.8 points and 2.7 assists per game. Joining him on the wings are veteran guard Wayne Ellington and veteran forward Wesley Johnson. The power forward spot will see a change in this game, as Ryan Kelly will replace Jordan Hill in the starting line-up. Why? Because, it’s the Lakers, I guess. And the center spot will be manned by former Houston Rocket Tarik Black. The bench for the Lakers is veteran-laden, led by Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis, and Jordan Hill.

Probable Starting Line-Ups

Los Angeles Lakers

  • PG – Jordan Clarkson
  • SG – Wayne Ellington
  • SF – Wesley Johnson
  • PF – Ryan Kelly
  • C – Tarik Black

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Dion Waiters
  • SF – Kyle Singler
  • PF – Enes Kanter
  • C – Steven Adams

Three Things

1. Establish the Interior – Enes Kanter has had a double-double in 6 of the last 7 games he  has played. Steven Adams has had a double-double in the 4 of the last 5 games. Ryan Kelly and Tarik Black are starting for the Lakers. If Adams and Kanter don’t each end up with a double-double at the end of the game, it will be highly disappointing.

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2. Stop trying to block lay-ups from behind – In the last two games, we’ve lost two rotation players (Nick Collison and Andre Roberson) with sprained ankles on “from behind” block attempts. Let’s not make it a hat trick for this crazy statistic.

3. Bench – The bench for the Lakers worries me a bit because of their veteran presence. The Lakers are a bit weird in that their bench players would be starting if they weren’t needing to keep their pick. In case you didn’t know, the pick goes to the Philadelphia 76ers (via Phoenix) if it’s outside the first 5 picks of the draft.  Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill, and Ed Davis are all capable of having good to great games at any time. With the Thunder’s own depth being a bit depleted by injuries, the bench could become an issue in this game.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers preview (Game 27 of 82)

westbrook thunder bryant lakers

  • When: Friday, 19 December 2014 at 9:30 PM CST
  • Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

That’s the thing about streaks; eventually, they come to an end. It felt good for the Oklahoma City Thunder to finally run off a couple wins. Seven straight wins put the train back on the tracks. The Thunder suffered a tough break with Kevin Durant’s sprained ankle before the half, as he was probably having the best first half of his career. Thirty points in 18 minutes of play was quite memorable. The Thunder hung around, but the Golden State Warriors proved to be too much for them in the end. The only solace is that the end of one streak usually signifies the beginning of another. The question is whether it will be a winning streak or a losing streak.

This will be the first of three meetings between the Thunder and Lakers. The Thunder won the season series 3-1 last season, winning two of those games by at least 25 points.

The Opponent

young bryant lin lakers

These are definitely not your father’s Lakers. They currently have an 8-17 record, but have won 3 of their last 4 games. Their recent hot streak has coincided with the return of Nick Young. The addition of another scorer/ball handler has taken some of the pressure off of Kobe Bryant and allowed the Lakers’ offense to open up a bit. The issue with the Lakers though, has been their defense. They are allowing the most points per game in the league at 109.5 points, and have the league’s worst defensive rating (113.7). After failing miserably in free agency, the Lakers had to cobble together a roster and this is the result. At point guard, the Lakers used Jeremy Lin to begin the season, but have gone with Ronnie Price lately. Price is the better defensive player, but can’t provide the threat offensively that Lin can give you on some nights. On the wing, Kobe Bryant can still fill it up. Though injuries have sapped some of his athleticism, Bryant still has the intelligence and moxie to do what he needs to do on the court. Wesley Johnson gives the Lakers a 3 and D guy that can run the floor in transition. A lot like the point guard position, the Lakers started the season with Carlos Boozer at the 4, but have since gone with the more athletic (and younger) Ed Davis. This appears to be a offense to defense move in that Davis is better on the boards and defensively. Up front, Jordan Hill is a near double double threat on most nights. Off the bench, the aforementioned Young will start the game off the bench, but usually finishes the game out with Bryant. The demotion of Boozer and Lin actually bolster the bench and gives the Lakers more options in their closing line-ups.

Probable Starting Line-up

Los Angeles Lakers

  • PG – Ronnie Price
  • SG – Kobe Bryant
  • SF – Wesley Johnson
  • PF – Ed Davis
  • C – Jordan Hill

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Andre Roberson
  • SF – Perry Jones
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Steven Adams

* – Kevin Durant will miss this game with an ankle sprain and is day to day

3 Keys to the Game

1. Run, Russell, Run – This team allows the most points in the NBA. Opposing guards usually get past the first line of defense and into the paint quite easily against the Lakers, which puts the rest of the defense at a disadvantage. Russell Westbrook is one of the best guards at breaking down the defense at the point of attack, and should have his pick of the litter in this game. Also, the older nature of the Lakers makes them susceptible in transition. And Westbrook is a one-man fast break on his own. Also, I think we see good Reggie Jackson in this game.

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2. Roberson – It’s been a joy seeing this young guy blossom into one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Now he gets to defend the “badge of honor” of perimeter players. Even in his old age, defenders still look forward to locking down Kobe to see where they stand. Hell, Roberson may need to slide over onto Young if he starts to get hot from the perimeter.

3. Start a new win streak – The rest of this season will be about winning blocks of games. It will be about looking at the rest of the schedule in 5-8 game increments and needing to win at least 60% of those games. The Thunder need to win the games that they are supposed to win, and this is one of those games.