This whole “two games in a week” thing is for the birds. Can we go back to having 3 or 4 games in a week?
Jeremy Lambert (Thunderous Intentions) on the tired narrative that Westbrook can’t play with other: “The pre-determined narrative that “Westbrook can’t play with others” based on the Thunder not winning a title and Kevin Durant leaving for Golden State is already tired. Oladipo underperformed last year in a role that he wasn’t ready for. He was brought in to be the scorer off the bench for the Westbrook-Durant duo. Durant left, putting Oladipo in a starting role. Oladipo’s shooting numbers were up from his time in Orlando and his scoring average was .1 worse. He didn’t have a bad offensive season. He just didn’t have the kind of offensive season that you would want the number 2 guard on a playoff team to have.”
Jack Maloney (CBS Sports) on the impact Raymond Felton is having on the Thunder: “When our team needs movement and cutting, he [Felton] creates that. When he needs to settle ’em down, he settles ’em down. He’s done a really, really good job from day one coming in, just with his presence,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said at shootaround the morning before Felton finished with nine points and six rebounds in 19 minutes to help OKC get an emphatic 110-91 victory on the road over the Milwaukee Bucks. “Whether it’s dead balls or free throws, coming out of timeouts, on the court, he does a really good job. He’s got such a good feel for the game. He’s a smart player, he’s got a high IQ. He can get things organized out there.”
Where: Vivent Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
Line: OKC -4.5 | O/U – 200
There was a point in the Thunder vs. Knicks game with around four minutes left in the 2nd quarter where the score was tied at 40. You could tell there was a nervousness in the arena, wondering if this Big 3 experiment was going to work. Then, the Thunder finally woke up and went on a 22-6 run that essentially put the game away.
It was eye-opening because there are going to be a lot of nights like this for the Thunder. The Knicks are not a top-tier team at all and will likely have one of the worst defenses in the league this season. But seeing the team turn it on and nitrous boost their way past the Knicks in an 8 minutes span was positive in many ways. Continue reading Thunder vs. Jazz preview (Game 2 of 82)→
Sports Illustrated picked which teams they thought would be the biggest flops in the NBA this season: “But there are still a bunch of open questions. Is Westbrook wired to balance his own exceptional scoring and playmaking with the pure distributing skills that are needed to fully involve George and Anthony? Is Anthony willing to scale back his ball-stopping and turn up his defensive intensity in a new role? Is George, who openly demanded every important shot in the 2017 playoffs for Indiana, willing to regularly take a backseat in crunch time? Can these three talented scorers find ways to make each other, and their limited supporting cast, better? Or, do their skills prove to be redundant enough to hold back Oklahoma City’s overall offensive efficiency?”
Kevin O’Connor (The Ringer) looks at how the Thunder will play with a Big 3 in tow: “After Thunder general manager Sam Presti pulled off a miracle by trading for both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this offseason, Westbrook now has teammates worth sharing with. Like Westbrook, both George and Anthony have experienced their share of playoff disappointments. They know the burden of trying to build a winner without another superstar on their side. “Honestly, in this league, it’s hard to [win] alone. Russ averages a triple-double and couldn’t get out of the first round,” George said at Thunder media day. “You just need guys of that stature and that level to be able to help and create something special.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 05 Oct 2017→
There’s an understandable euphoria for the Oklahoma City Thunder heading into this season. The front office has accumulated a wealth of talent at the top of the rotation. For the first time in its history, the Thunder have put together a Big 3 where all the players involved are in their prime. But like every other team in the league, the Thunder will still have their weaknesses. Here’s a look at 3 possible Achilles heel’s for the Thunder’s Big 3.
There are a ton of positives to having a Big 3. In the case of the Thunder, Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony each have similar characteristics that will help the Thunder improve upon their many weaknesses from last season, especially on the offensive end of the floor. All three have been go-to scorers throughout their careers and all three have been asked to be the leaders of their teams.
But now they are together. And that can have unintended consequences in terms of chemistry and fit. As we’ve seen with the Miami Big 3, there are growing pains in putting together such a talented collective. Even Golden State had its hiccups throughout the season last year. It would be foolish to think this trio would be any different. Continue reading Three Possible Issues for the Thunder’s Big 3→
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.”
After getting rebuffed by Trey Burke on Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder shifted course and signed Isaiah Canaan, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical. The offer is non-guaranteed. This was the issue with Burke, who decided not to sign the Thunder’s offer when they would not budge on the “non-guaranteedness” of the deal.
The 6’0″ combo guard out of Murray State played for the Chicago Bulls last season, where he averaged 4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists on 36/27/91 shooting splits in 39 games. Last season was the guard’s worst season in terms of shooting. He’s a career 35% three-point shooter and the Thunder probably hope they are getting this guy:
Canaan likely heads into camp battling Semaj Christon for the 3rd point guard spot. Raymond Felton is likely the back-up point guard, having signed for the vet minimum earlier this offseason. With Russell Westbrook likely taking it easy this preseason due to a recent PRP procedure on his right knee, look for the other three point guards on the roster to get extended minutes in the preseason.
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→
Welcome to the Rumblings. Let’s get over the hump (day)!
Kenneth Teape of Thunderous Intentions says the anxiety is growing with every passing day in regards to Russell Westbrook’s extension: “Last offseason, a motivating factor for Westbrook to sign that extension with an out clause was to hit the 10-year plateau of playing in the NBA. When a player hits 10 years of service, his max contract earnings increase. A 10-year veteran could sign a contract worth 35 percent of a team’s cap. That timeline meant that Westbrook could opt out of his contract in 2018 and reevaluate his future. It gave the Thunder a chance to put a competitive team around Westbrook, which they did. The Thunder were able to acquire Paul George via trade with the Indiana Pacers, arguably the biggest surprise of the offseason.”
Still feeling bad for Houston. Sending good vibes their way. Here are the Rumblings.
Former Thunder player Anthony Morrow was pulled over in Commerce, Ga, and had a less than pleasurable experience: “Next question out of his mouth is: ‘Are there any drugs or guns or large amounts of cash in this car?’ I’m like: ‘No, I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, I don’t do [any] of that’ He nods at my car, he says: ‘what’s that odor?’ I say: ‘That’s called a vape, it’s a vaporizer. You can buy it any store, it’s legal. It’s not even tobacco.’ OK, cool. He takes my registration and my license. He leaves, comes back. ‘Are you sure there’s nothing in this car that’s going to get you in trouble or get you, you know, in jail?’ Basically.”