Tag Archives: Markieff Morris

Thunder At A Glance – 22 February 2019

img_4063Jackson Frank (FanSided NBA) on the development of Jerami Grant and if he’s the X-factor to their playoff success: “The most prominent new wrinkle in his game has been a serviceable outside jumper, connecting on 37.3 percent of his 3.1 3-point attempts per game — both career-highs. Slotting in next to Steven Adams, who’s 0 of 6 from deep in his six-plus seasons, Grant now (semi-)comfortably operates as a floor-spacer at the 4-spot. When defenders sag off to muddy up Russell Westbrook’s, Paul George’s or Dennis Schröder’s forays to the tin, Grant nails corner 3s at a 39 percent clip.”

Brett Dawson (The Athletic) on whether there should be more attention paid to Russell Westbrook’s accomplishments: “But as a reminder, he also is averaging a triple-double. Westbrook is attempting to do something for a third consecutive season that only one other player has done even once. He’s a run of consecutive stat-stuffing games that’s never been matched, and it’s something of a footnote.” Continue reading Thunder At A Glance – 22 February 2019

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Topic: Thunder Podcast: Antonio Daniels Interview

Topic ThunderThe Topic: Thunder podcast sat down with Fox Sports (and Oklahoma City Thunder) analyst Antonio Daniels to discuss the following:

  • Markieff Morris’ fit with the Thunder
  • The importance of stability for Oklahoma City
  • The Anthony Davis saga in New Orleans
  • The best (worst?) match-up for Golden State
  • Voicemail questions from our listeners
  • And so much more…

Thank you for listening to our podcast. You can catch the post-game recaps on the 2018-19 Schedule page on this site. You can listen to us anywhere you get your podcasts. Please leave us a 5-star review on Itunes if you would like. That really helps with our ranking on Itunes. You can follow us and interact with us on Twitter (@OKCTopicThunder). Thank you for listening, and as always, Thunder Up!

https://anchor.fm/okc-topic-thunder/episodes/TT-Welcomes-ANTONIO-DANIELS-onto-the-show-for-a-very-special-episode-e38b5k

Thunder At A Glance – 20 February 2019

img_4063Topic: Thunder podcast brethren Stephen Dolan (Thunderous Intentions) looks at the fit of Markieff Morris on the Thunder: “The reason I’ll be mentioning Patterson a lot is in my opinion, Morris will be taking most, if not all of his minutes. According to Basketball Reference, Morris has played exactly zero minutes at anything other than power forward or center in his entire career, actually playing more at the five this season. Morris will not be playing any 3. Morris is a big. With that said, and Shams reporting a significant role, anything close to 20 minutes a game will come largely out of Patterson’s 14.7.”

Berry Tramel (NewsOK) looks at the story du jour for the Thunder: Morris’ fit on the team: “Markieff Morris has spent no discernible time as a designed perimeter player. That’s at both Phoenix and Washington. That’s different from Marcus, who has played for the Rockets, Suns, Pistons and now Celtics. Basketball-reference.com estimates that 52 percent of Marcus’ career has been played as a wing, with 44 percent at power forward and four percent at center.” Continue reading Thunder At A Glance – 20 February 2019

Topic: Thunder Podcast – The Weekly, Episode 18

Topic ThunderOn the latest episode of The Weekly, the Topic: Thunder crew discuss the following topics while giving live reactions to the final moments of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game:

  • Looking back at the historic week that was via the TiVo (W vs. Houston and Portland, L at New Orleans)
  • Russell Westbrook historic triple-double run
  • The signing of Markieff Morris
  • Hamidou Diallo winning the Slam Dunk competition
  • The Thunder’s undeniable chemistry
  • The Player of the Week
  • Looking ahead to next week (home back to back vs. Utah and Sacramento)

Thank you for listening to our podcast. You can catch the post-game recaps on the 2018-19 Schedule page on this site. You can listen to us anywhere you get your podcasts. Please leave us a 5-star review on Itunes if you would like. That really helps with our ranking on Itunes. You can follow us and interact with us on Twitter (@OKCTopicThunder). Thank you for listening, and as always, Thunder Up!

https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/e3823e

Thunder At A Glance – 15 February 2019

img_4063Royce Young (ESPN) on the addition of Markieff Morris to the Thunder: “With financial constraints playing a part because of a significant luxury tax bill pending, the Thunder didn’t make a deal at the trade deadline, instead hoping to make an addition in the buyout market. Morris will provide versatility to the Thunder’s bench, backing up starting power forward Jerami Grant and providing another floor-spacing big in addition to Patrick Patterson.”

Chris Herring (FiveThirtyEight) says the Thunder are now Paul George’s team: “For years, Westbrook critics have suggested that he’d give his teams a better chance to win by taking a step back. More often than not, he ignored these voices. And once he had the spotlight to himself, he broke an NBA record for the highest single-season usage rate while also averaging a triple-double over a full season — and that 2016-17 OKC team finished sixth in the West and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Westbrook tried playing more unselfishly last season, though that largely seemed to backfire. But it seems to be working now.” Continue reading Thunder At A Glance – 15 February 2019

Thunder At A Glance – Valentine’s Day 2019

img_4063Royce Young (ESPN) on Russell Westbrook not listening to the criticism about his shooting this season: “It doesn’t change the way I live, doesn’t change the way I think,” Westbrook said of criticism. “I have an unbelievable family, great friends, unbelievable life, unbelievable job, make a lot of money in my job. I’m extremely blessed, thankful, humble, haven’t been in trouble, don’t cause no problems. I’m perfectly fine. I’m living the best life. I can’t complain one bit.”

The Thunder, apparently, have joined the fray in the Markieff Morris Sweepstake.

Continue reading Thunder At A Glance – Valentine’s Day 2019

Thunder Stand Pat at the Trade Deadline

presti

Armed with a $10.8 million dollar trade exception, several player assets, two empty roster spots, and a competitive team, it appeared like the perfect storm for Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti to make a move to improve the team. But as the dust settled on the league’s transactions at the 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Thunder were no where to be found on the league’s trade approval docket. Having made a small trade several days earlier when they moved guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to Chicago for a heavily protected 2nd round pick, the Thunder seemed poise to make a move.

Rumors were abound that the Thunder were interested in several wings around the league, such as Orlando’s Terrance Ross or Atlanta’s Taurean Prince. In the end though, the Thunder team that went into Thursday morning was the same team that took the floor against the Memphis Grizzlies, Thursday evening. Here are three reasons why the Thunder likely stood pat during this trade deadline. Continue reading Thunder Stand Pat at the Trade Deadline

Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preview (Game 24 of 82)

westbrook thunder dragic suns

  • When: Sunday, 14 December 2014 at 6:00 PM CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

While positions 1 through 7 are well represented and accounted for in the Western Conference playoff picture, the 8th spot is looking like if Kim Kardashian announced she was newly single at the BET Source Awards. Six games currently separate the 8th seed from the final seed in the conference. With a quarter of the season already played, there is still plenty of time for teams to make their moves to get into that final spot. One of the best things for a team to do in this position is to assert themselves by beating the teams around them in the standings. For the Thunder, those teams would realistically be the Suns, Pelicans, Kings, Nuggets, and Lakers. The Jazz and Timberwolves have little shot of moving up in the standings due to their inexperience and general direction of their team currently (rebuilding, player developing, etc.).

This is the first of four meetings this season between the Thunder and Phoenix Suns. The Suns’ run and gun style gave the Thunder issues last season as the Suns won 2 of 3 games in the season series and averaged 115.3 points per game in those three meetings.

The Opponent

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Atlanta Hawks

The Phoenix Suns come into this game with a 12-12 record, barely clinging on to the 8th seed in the Western Conference. After starting the season 9-5, they’ve gone on to drop 7 of their next 10. While the offense is still there (105.4 points per game, good for 5th in the league), the Suns have slipped defensively. They allowed 103.9 point per game (26th in the league) and grab only 41.8 boards per game, which is 19th in the league. As high-octane as their offense is, a lot of it is predicated on one on one play and perimeter shot making, which can make it inefficient at times. Leading the charge is the two-headed point guard duo of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. Bledsoe is the havoc creator, while Dragic is the more efficient player. Between the two, they are averaging nearly 32 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 10 assists per game. On the wing, PJ Tucker provides the perimeter defense for the Suns. Up front, Markieff Morris leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 per game, but spends much of his time on the perimeter in the mid-range. After having a breakout season, Miles Plumlee has regressed quite a bit, which has hurt the Suns’ interior play. The Suns feature one of the more offensively dangerous benches in the league, as Gerald Green, Isaiah Thomas, and Marcus Morris can all go off for 20 points in a game, easily.

Probable Starting Line-Ups

Phoenix Suns

  • PG – Eric Bledsoe
  • SG – Goran Dragic
  • SF – PJ Tucker
  • PF – Markieff Morris
  • C – Miles Plumlee

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Andre Roberson
  • SF – Kevin Durant
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Steven Adams

3 Keys to the Game

1. Guard Play – So much of the Suns’ identity is dependent on guard play. Their recent struggles coincided with the 8-game absence from Isaiah Thomas due to a bruised ankle. The Suns’ strongest line-ups usually involve the trio of Bledsoe, Dragic, and Thomas. Luckily, the Thunder have options that can defend such a line-up. Don’t be surprise if Ish Smith gets some minutes in this game to counter the Suns’ guard play.

bledsoe suns durant collison thunder

2. The Interior – The Suns’ biggest weakness is their lack of an interior presence. In the last two weeks, the Suns have allowed Tyson Chandler to grab 18 boards, and Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan to grab 14 board each. While the Thunder don’t necessarily have a rebound-inhaler like those 3 guys, their big man can rack up the rebounding numbers if the opposing team is weak on the interior.

3. Playoff Intensity – It’s early, but the Thunder have to come out and assert themselves. They’ve been fortunate to have all the pieces come together during a stretch where they’ve played some of the worst teams in the league. This “mini training camp” has been instrumental in developing chemistry. But now, it’s time to put all that practice to work.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns preview (Game 62 of 82)

westbrook tucker durant bledsoe thunder suns

  • When: Thursday, 06 March 2014 at 8:00 PM CST
  • Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

With their recent 6 game home stand behind them, the Thunder hit the road for the first time since February 13th. With 21 games left, the final quarter of the regular season is about positioning and health. With two starters down because of injury, it’s the Thunder’s depth (and their two superstars) that has been their saving grace. Having the ability to spring a player like Perry Jones III or Andre Roberson off the bench to be a starter is a luxury most teams do not have. Bringing a player that has only logged 44 minutes the entire season, only to have him play 53 quality minutes over the next 3 games like Hasheem Thabeet has, is a testament to the Thunder’s “next man up” philosophy.

This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams. The Thunder, and the Phoenix Suns for that matter, have come a long way from that early November game. In that game, which the Thunder won 103-96, Russell Westbrook made his regular season debut after missing the last 9 games of the playoffs the previous season and the first two games of this season.

The Opponent

frye dragic morris green suns

The Thunder’s last opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, were what the Phoenix Suns were supposed to be this season. Heading into this season, many thought the Suns would be one of the main contenders for the Number 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Suns even appeared to be playing the part of a tanking team before the season started by trading starting C Marcin Gortat, PG Kendall Marshall, and SG Shannon Brown to the Washington Wizards for Emeka Okafor, who was probably going to be out for the season with a neck injury, and the Wizards’ 2014 1st round pick (that was top 12 protected). Then the season started, and something weird happened. First year coach Jeff Hornacek allowed the team to play to its strengths, instead of trying to integrate his system. The Suns won 5 of their first 7  games with a run and gun style that is very reminiscent of the “7 Seconds or Less” Suns of a couple seasons back that featured Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Instead of Steve Nash, the Suns have the two-headed combo guard duo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. And instead of Amare Stoudemire, they have Miles Plumlee and Channing Frye. They’ve kept on winning, and currently find themselves with a record of 35-25, good for 7th in a tough Western Conference. They are a rag-tag bunch of good athletic players that were mostly cast-offs from their previous teams. Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker are perennial journeymen who have seen their NBA dreams take them to different leagues in different countries, the Morris twins have been reunited, and Leandro Barbosa has found the fountain of youth in Phoenix (actually, its probably just Phoenix’s medical staff working their old man shaman magic).

Probable Starting Line-ups

Phoenix Suns

  • PG – Goran Dragic
  • SG – Gerald Green
  • SF – P.J. Tucker
  • PF – Channing Frye
  • C – Alex Len

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Perry Jones III
  • SF – Kevin Durant
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Steven Adams

3 Keys to the Game

1. Battle of Rookie Big Men – This past draft was touted to be one of the better ones to find a quality big man. Alex Len, Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk, Mason Plumlee, and Gorgui Dieng are all playing rotational minutes for NBA teams. Nerlens Noel would be playing if it wasn’t for his recovery from an ACL tear. This is the first regular season match-up between the two rookie centers. They met in the preseason and Len was a DNP-CD in their first meeting of the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns

2. Perimeter Defense – Phoenix is not afraid to jack up the 3’s. They are top 3 in 3-point field goals made and in the top 10 in 3-point FG%. They have a bevy of shooters (Frye, Green, Marcus Morris, Tucker) and a great paint attacker in Dragic. This is where the Thunder can lose this game.

3. Bench – Phoenix has been decimated recently by injury. Miles Plumlee, Leandro Barbosa, and Eric Bledsoe will all miss the game due to injury. While the Thunder have their own injury issues to deal with, they have better depth and should be able to take advantage of this. For the second straight game, the Thunder welcome another player, as recently signed D-Leaguer Reggie Williams will be active for tonight’s game.

Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Preview (Game 50 of 82)

suns thunder

  • When: Friday, 08 February 2013 at 7:00 PM CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

What a difference a week makes. Last week we were wondering what was going on with the team following a blow up by Russell Westbrook in a blowout win against the Memphis Grizzlies, and a surprising road loss to a bottom dwelling Eastern Conference team (Cleveland). But, alas, it was probably much ado about nothing. The team was probably just road-weary after having played 12 of their previous 15 games on the road. A three game home stand is just what the doctor ordered. The Thunder have responded with two consecutive 21 point victories against quality opponents (Dallas and Golden State).

durant_suns_bg1_130114

On the third game of their home stand, the Thunder will face the Phoenix Suns. The two teams come into the game on opposite end of the spectrum, with the Thunder being the 2nd best team in the Western Conference, and the Suns being tied for the 2nd worst record in the conference. The Thunder currently lead the season series 2-0, but struggled to close out the game in their last meeting. The Thunder only held a 4 point lead heading into the 4th quarter of that game, but Kevin Durant took over, scoring 19 of his 41 points in the final quarter to lead the Thunder to a 102-90 victory.

The Opponent

suns 13

The Suns currently find themselves in the beginnings of a rebuilding process. They aren’t horrible enough to get high draft picks, but they aren’t good enough to be considered mediocre. They find themselves at 17-33, tied for 13th in the conference. They are in the bottom third of the league in scoring (95.3 ppg, 20th in the league) and scoring defense (99.6 ppg against, 22nd in the league). Needless to say, these are not your older brother’s Steve Nash-led Suns. The offensive attack is keyed by point guard Goran Dragic, who leads the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and assists (6.4 per game). The front court is led by the veteran duo of Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola, with both averaging double figures in points and combining for over 15 rebounds per game. Rounding out the back court is the defensive duo of PJ Tucker and Jared Dudley. The Suns’ bench can be explosive, but very inconsistent, with scorers like Michael Beasley and Shannon Brown, and big men like Jermaine O’Neal and Markieff Morris.

Probable Starters

Phoenix Suns

  • PG – Goran Dragic
  • SG – PJ Tucker
  • SF – Jared Dudley
  • PF – Luis Scola
  • C – Marcin Gortat

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Thabo Sefolosha
  • SF – Kevin Durant
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Kendrick Perkins

3 Keys to the Game

  1. Contain their scorers – Sound like logical reasoning. But Phoenix’s roster is littered with guys that can become streaky and go off for 25 points in an instant. Players like Dragic, Scola, Beasley, and Gortat all have the possibility of getting hot at the right time and scoring a ton of points. Just ask the Los Angeles Lakers about Beasley going off for 27 against them, and leading the Suns to victory after they were down by 10 heading into the 4th quarter.Reggie Jackson, Markeiff Morris
  2. Bench play – The starters will do their thing, but it’s up to the bench players to maintain what the starters do. In the last game, the bench allowed the Suns to storm back at the end of the 3rd quarter to bring the Suns within 4 points. The Suns’ bench outscored the Thunder’s bench 30-19 in their previous meeting.
  3. Do what you do – The Thunder are superior to the Suns in every statistical category. And they are playing at home. If the Thunder do what they do, this should be an easy victory.