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→
Kevin Durant initially had reservations after signing with the Warriors (a little on the NSFW side language-wise): “Take this story about the days after Durant decided to sign with the Warriors, a time when he was feeling the full brunt of the Internet’s fury about his perceived betrayal of Oklahoma. He and Kleiman were in China for a weeklong tour of the country sponsored by Nike Basketball, and the flak he was taking from people in Oklahoma City who had once professed deep affection for him was overwhelming. “To have so many people just say, ‘F$%# you,’ that really does it to you,” Durant tells me, still clearly anguished. “Because I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for…. And for those people that I know and love and trust to turn their back on me after I was fully invested in them, it was just…more than I could take. I was upset.”
Westbrook signs an extension…….with Jordan brand: “After first signing a five-year endorsement deal in 2013, Westbrook has been positioned as the face of the brand and the annual Air Jordan model each subsequent season. During that stretch, he also elevated his game yearly as the franchise point guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The shoe deal extension, negotiated by the Wasserman agency and Westbrook’s longtime agent, Thad Foucher, is in advance of the initial deal’s expiration next fall. The increased pay rate will retroactively apply to his 2016-17 MVP season, according to sources.”
This season should be a bit of a resurgence for Steven Adams: “Number one, spacing should NOT be an issue this year. Patterson is considered the ultimate addition not because of his ability to score or convert, but instead, how he will be Westbrook and George’s ultimate pocket tool to create space and offensive opportunities. With that in mind, the constant fear of lack of space and depth for Westbrook to succeed shouldn’t be on Adams’ mind, allowing him to attack the rim, snatch balls away, and be the monster of a player he was born to be.”
A new week, starting a day later. Short work week. Let’s get it started. Here are the Rumblings.
A look at what Paul George will add to the Thunder via advanced statistics: “Anthony Morrow looks like something of a small sample size outlier — he’s known for his shooting not his driving prowess, and those numbers would likely have reversed if he had played more minutes. Westbrook ranks slightly above average in both areas. Alex Abrines was a solid shooter but didn’t offer much as an off-the-dribble creator. Jerami Grant’s numbers look extremely interesting but, again, small sample size is a concern here — Grant averaged 0.84 points per drive on 155 drives last season after averaging 0.72 points per drive on 523 drives over the previous two seasons. We see the same thing with his catch-and-shoot numbers — 39.4 percent on 109 attempts last year, 29.7 percent on 279 attempts his first two seasons.”
The speculation on the tweet ran the gamut from people thinking Russell Westbrook was going to sign his extension to Patterson, a noted horror movie buff, being excited about the new movie Annabelle:Creation coming out.
Well, we now know why today was a BIG day. Per a media release from the team, Patterson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript tweeted that Patterson had been feeling discomfort in the knee since last season. Instead of letting the problem linger throughout the season, the Thunder decided to have the proactive procedure performed on Patterson now, instead of waiting for it to possibly worsen during the season. Continue reading Patrick Patterson undergoes successful knee surgery→
Happy Russell Westbrook Day to all. Although I doubt he signs his extension today. Here are the rumblings for this Friday.
Daniel Hamilton signs a two-way contract with the Thunder: “Hamilton, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, played 49 games for the Blue last season. The 21-year-old averaged 14.9 points, eight rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, shooting 42.6 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from 3-point range. “Daniel has shown significant strides in his development since entering our program,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a release. “We are thrilled that he will receive the first two-way contract in Thunder history as we expect him to spend time with both teams this season as he continues to evolve as a player.”