- When: Friday, 27 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
- Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
- TV: NBATV/FSOK
- Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
- Line: OKC -1.5 | O/U – 218
A lot has been made about the Big 3 in Oklahoma City. And deservedly so. Anytime you combine a current MVP with two prolific wing scorers, it’s bound to draw a lot of attention. The results after four games can be summed up in three words: Work In Progress.
But lost in all the attention the Big 3 are garnering has been the play of fifth year center, Steven Adams. Four games in, Adams is averaging 13.8 points, 8.5 rebounds (5 on the offensive end!!!!), 2 steals, and 1.75 blocks per game. He’s starting to “call his own number” when he spots a mismatch on offense, and is anchoring a defense that ranks 5th in the league in defensive rating. If those defensive numbers continue, Adams may be in contention for defensive player of the year, a la Marc Gasol in 2013. Continue reading Thunder vs. Wolves preview (Game 5 of 82)
Today feels like revenge. I don’t know why, but it just does.
Kristian Winfield (SB Nation) on Paul George and Carmelo Anthony finally having the perfect superstar teammate: “Here is Westbrook — reigning league MVP, all-time single-season triple-double leader, and walking terminator — who carried his team of non All-Stars to a competitive first-round exit to the Houston Rockets in the playoffs. Now, enter two more All-Stars, two more egos, and two more offensive superstars who each need to eat to be satisfied. Or so we thought. That’s the beauty of what Anthony said. Russell Westbrook can have the main course — let Melo and PG-13 have the sides.”
David Brandon (16 Wins A Ring) looks at the shooting guards on the roster: “Huestis is the surprise. After barely playing, and even then largely playing at the 4, Huestis has seen significant backcourt and frontcourt minutes over the last few games. He’s definitely not where he needs to be yet on rotations, but Huestis might wind up a usable member of the team, which not many observers expected. Though he’s worse defensively than Roberson and worse offensively than Abrines, he’s more well-rounded than both, with a clean release on his 3-point shot and good balance navigating screens on the perimeter. He fouls too much, but that might work itself out with time. Don’t fool yourself—at this point he’s maaaaaybe replacement level. But that might be just enough for now.”
The Thunder are looking to do what every beauty queen vows to do: fight hunger: “The Oklahoma City Thunder and Whataburger have partnered to help fight hunger in Oklahoma during this holiday season through a food drive at next Friday’s Thunder game and a three-week fundraiser at Whataburger restaurants.” Continue reading NTTB Rumblings – 27 Oct 2017
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
- When: Sunday, 22 October 2017 at 6:00 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 -4.0 | O/U – 210.5
Six points? Six points for current MVP, Russell Westbrook. Much of the credit needs to go to the Utah defense, who executed a great defensive game plan. But it didn’t much seem like Westbrook was trying to attack the defense, either. He almost looked like he was settling. And the words Westbrook and settling don’t necessarily go together in a sentence.
Westbrook is known for his attacking nature and his ‘never say die’ style of play. But last night, he seemed almost content with passing the ball to Carmelo Anthony and Paul George and letting them shoot the Oklahoma City Thunder out of the rut they were in. The Westbrook from last season would have looked at the Westbrook from last night and wondered ‘what the hell are you doing?’. Continue reading Timberwolves vs. Thunder preview (Game 3 of 82)
Am I a homer? Heck yeah. I’m a fan of the team I write about. It’s not a difficult concept. I like to write about things I’m familiar with. I know basketball, but more specifically, I know Thunder basketball. So I write about it.
Predictions are always a difficult thing when it comes to sports. They are usually made with the caveat that a ton of variables remain static. Things such as injuries, front office moves, suspensions, chemistry can’t be taken into account.
When you look at these 20 predictions, know two things: 1) They are likely going to favor the Oklahoma City Thunder in some form or fashion. And 2) Because I know a little about basketball, I’ll never make a prediction so outlandish that it won’t have a chance of coming true. Without further ado, here are the predictions:
20. Josh Huestis will play over 750 minutes this season for the Thunder.
In his first two seasons, Huestis played a grand total of 86 minutes for the Thunder. But the third year forward looks determined to get some minutes this year, and his play in the preseason may warrant some looks. While 750 minutes may seem like a lot, that’s just 9.2 minutes per game over 82 games. I think Huestis will be a full-time NBA player this year and will get enough playing time to reach that minutes mark. Continue reading 20 Thunder-centric predictions for the season
Happy Thunder’s Eve. Prayers out to Gordon Hayward. Wishing a speedy recovery for him.
Royce Young (ESPN) on recent 2-way contract recipient P.J. Dozier showing up to his first Thunder practice wearing a familiar jersey number: “It was an unusual sight walking into the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility Tuesday and seeing No. 35 on the wing, attempting 3-pointers with assistant coach Vin Bhavnani. No, Kevin Durant was not visiting his old stomping grounds. It was the Thunder’s newest signing, undrafted rookie P.J. Dozier, who signed to a two-way contract Tuesday.”
Tony Heim (Thunderous Intentions) on Billy Donovan figuring out the rotation through a hypothetical conversation with Sam Presti: “This season is different though Billy. We can’t be a four-seed, we can’t play Golden State in the second round. We need to make the Conference Finals to convince PG and Melo to stay. That’s why I brought you in here today.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 18 Oct 2017
It’s Opening Week. Let’s Go!!!!!
Royce Young (ESPN) explaining why the Thunder could have a crunch-time conundrum on their hands: “With Paul George and Carmelo Anthony now his teammates, that appears likely to change. “Carmelo’s been a closeout guy the places he’s been, the same thing with Paul. But any time you have a team you have to do it by finding the open man,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Clearly for us last year, somebody creating and generating a shot for himself or someone else, it was Russell. But obviously now with Carmelo and Paul being here, I think it’s about making the right play and right decision.”
The Thunder will be in the midst of a 3-game road trip when Halloween hits, so they decided to celebrate it a little early this year. Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 16 Oct 2017
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
Ian Begley (ESPN) says Carmelo Anthony was nearly a Rocket and also nearly a Cavalier: “Actually, it was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night,” Anthony said. “We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done, and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the [offseason]. We never even talked about OKC, though.”
David Purdum (ESPN) on ESPN’s odds going up with the acquisition of Anthony: “After acquiring Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in an active offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s odd have moved from 60-1 to 16-1 to win the 2017-18 NBA championship at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. With George and Anthony joining reigning MVP Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, the Thunder have narrowed the gap with the other top tier of contenders in the Western Conference. The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs are each listed at 15-1 to win the championship at the SuperBook.”
OKC will be Thunder Up Tulsa in preparation for their preseason game on October 3rd. Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 29 Sept 2017
Previous Player Rankings: 20-16 | 15-12 | 11-8 | 7-5 |
We’re into the heavy hitters now. The top four players on a team usually establish the foundation for the team. Show me a team whose top four guys aren’t necessarily established, and I’ll show you a team that has a shaky foundation. Show me a team that has a strong foursome, and I’ll show you a team that has a strong foundation and is likely a top-10 team.
The craze nowadays is to accumulate a big 3. Get three superstar-level players, and the rest will work itself out. But, on all of those teams, there was a fourth player that was usually the glue between the superstars. For the Boston Big 3, Rajon Rondo served as the glue between Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. For Miami, it was Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, and Shane Battier alternating as the fourth guy during different seasons. And most recently, Klay Thompson has been that guy for the Golden State Warriors. Have a strong no. 4 guy and your team is destined for great things. Continue reading NTTB Rank: 4-3