How will the Thunder thrive in today's pace and space NBA? Keep reading »
What will the Thunder do at the draft. Surprisingly, Sam Presti didn't say. Keep reading »
Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a really interesting piece today about the post-up game in today’s NBA, and where the next offensive evolution is going to be.
Post-ups appear to be dying, and on the surface, these playoffs read like their obituary.
But no basketball skill ever goes extinct, and if you view these playoffs as a window into the league’s future, you can see a world in which the post-up makes a comeback — especially in the hothouse of the postseason.
The whole thing is really fascinating to apply directly to the Thunder. They added their first ever true back-to-the-basket scoring big at the trade deadline last year in Enes Kanter, and will likely have that as more of a focus in the offense than ever. Keep Reading…
Zach Lowe of Grantland with a fascinating piece: “A few executives have dumped the term “stretch 4” altogether and replaced it with “playmaking 4” — a term I’m officially stealing right now. Shooting is nice, but it’s not enough anymore as defenses get smarter, faster, and more flexible working within the loosened rules. Spot-up guys have to be able to catch the ball, pump-fake a defender rushing out at them, drive into the lane, and make some sort of play. If they can’t manage that, a possession dies with them.”
Berry Tramel on Jeremy Lamb: “Where did it go wrong? Where did it go right for Jeremy Lamb? Here’s a guy who rarely gets to play, is on a team wiped out by injuries early in the season AND IS INJURED HIMSELF, missing the first five games. Then Lamb gets healthy, gets to start and plays halfway well. But his defense remains spotty, and when Andre Roberson returns, Lamb goes back to the bench. But in a five-game stretch from Nov. 26 through Dec. 7, Lamb averages about 22 minutes a game, makes 26 of 35 shots and averages 15.2 points a game. Then the bottom fell out. Over the next three games, Lamb made just six of 23 six shots, and bam! He was out of the rotation. Dion Waiters arrived in January to seal Lamb’s fate. So where it go wrong? That three-game stretch from Dec. 9 through Dec. 12.” Keep Reading…
Jason Gallagher of Grantland on why Russ is still winning: “The realest talk: The postseason hasn’t been the same without the Brodie. It feels like the lack of life-threatening dunks followed by screams that petrify the soul is hurting the league, and I expect the competition committee to address how they plan to respond this summer. ICYMI: Priority list goes … 3. End divisions 2. Fix Hack-a-Shaq 1. Institute a rule mandating that Russell Westbrook plays in every postseason.”
Darnell Mayberry on Dion Waiters: “An argument can be made that Waiters would be better served simply taking a 3-pointer, which obviously has the potential for awarding an additional point for moving just a few feet back, or getting to the basket, where he can take a higher percentage shot, get fouled and go to the free throw line or kick out to an open man spotting up on the perimeter. But Waiters believes the step-back is a crucial counter for any suspecting defender who might be playing the drive, the kick or the 3-pointer.” Keep Reading…
Now that the Thunder is locked into the 14th overall selection in the draft, it’s time to work up some deals and trade up. I mean, trade down for what, am I right?
(I’m so sorry. The back button is in your upper left-hand corner.)
Before fans could get RealGM’s Trade Checker loaded, Sam Presti slammed on the brakes for us like a driver’s education teacher. “I think history shows it’s not an easy proposition to move up into the lottery.”
It’s not impossible, but the conditions have to be perfect (which, frankly, is no different than any other NBA trade). There have been a few deals involving top-10 picks in the past few drafts. If history is indeed any indication, the Thunder may not have the goods to move up, or they may not be willing to part with what it would take to do so. Keep Reading…
Zach Lowe of Grantland on the lottery: “Ruiter hadn’t planned to bring a good-luck charm, he told me afterward, as we were all sequestered together without any form of outside communication until the end of the television broadcast. He’s not even sure how the Wolves picked him to be in the drawing room alongside heavy hitters like Sam Presti and Rich Cho, the GMs of the Thunder and Hornets, respectively. As he was rushing to pack, though, Ruiter decided he needed to bring some token. He glanced at a safe in his office, opened it up, and yanked out the birth certificates of his two children — Griffin, 11, and Meredith, 9. He folded them up and had them in his suit pocket for the lottery.”
Royce Webb of ESPN.com: “One reason tanking isn’t synonymous with game-fixing or match-fixing (which is illegal in sports across the globe) appears to be that it’s so ingrained in NBA culture that we expect teams to try to lose to improve their draft position – to win by losing. Indeed, the anger in New York among Knicks fans on Tuesday night appeared to be directed at Jackson, coach Derek Fisher and the Knicks for winning a pair of games at the end of the season that hurt their lottery odds — rage that had flared up even as the games were happening, to the point where Fisher had to make a statement defending himself and his team for winning.” Keep Reading…
On today’s episode we talk to Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports about the plethora of draft options the Thunder have. We talk about the following prospects and topics:
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