How many wins? This many. Keep reading »
Serge Ibaka on if he saw KD’s decision coming: “No, not really. And it’s tough for him. It’s tough to make that kind of decision and it’s not easy, but at the end of the day he needs to do what makes him happy. What he thinks makes him happy, makes his family happy, that matters. We have to accept that and from the position of Oklahoma City, from the team, it’s tough if your star leaves like that and I understand that. But, there’s some stuff in life that we can’t control. The fans in Oklahoma City and the team can’t control that and if that makes Kevin Durant happy, then good for him.”
With Leather on ideal shoe sponsorships: “Russ is already from another planet, or at least some kind of alternate reality where humans can do things we can’t. What I’m suggesting here is that Westbrook actually straps some sort of a rocket to his shoes, and in our post-branded shoe reality, everyone will just assume it’s some kind of wacky shoe promotion when in reality he’s actually using that rocket (think Nos in The Fast and the Furious) to give him a little extra boost.” Keep Reading…
ESPN’s Real-Plus Minus has the Thunder at 45.6 wins this season, per Kevin Pelton. That’s good for sixth in the West.
Here’s what Pelton says:
Even without Durant, RPM forecasts the Thunder in the mix for home-court advantage in the West thanks to star point guard Russell Westbrook and a deep cast of young role players.
Sounds good to me. I came up with 49 wins in my first run through of the schedule, and you could easily convince me they’re gonna win more, or that they’re gonna win less. Basically what I’m saying here is, this year’s Thunder team is real hard to predict.
The teams in front of OKC: Warriors (66.8 wins), Spurs (54.5), Jazz (47.6), Clippers (46.3), Rockets (45.8). The Thunder are just ahead of the Blazers (44.5), Nuggets (40.4) and Grizzlies (39.4). Keep Reading…
Howard Beck of Bleacher Report says Russ isn’t winning MVP: “Russell Westbrook’s not winning MVP. Why? Because every MVP since 1982 has been a 50-win team and I don’t see the Thunder getting to 50 wins. Now you can disagree with the premise and the precedent but it’s there and I think it’s real and I think it’ll keep Westbrook from breaking through.”
Vogue on Russ’s look: “The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard isn’t new to creating a stir with his off-court looks, having started a #florcore movement in MSGM, in addition to attending Fashion Week in New York and Paris. But instead of the blooming buds, bold shoes, and sleek shirting oft sported by the 6-foot-3 powerhouse, the 27-year-old swapped out his jersey and shorts for a tailored topcoat with three-quarter sleeves, and a tonally coordinated slate tee and jeans. But what really leaps the look from Bieber to baller are the bicolored suede kicks—grounding the star athlete’s ensemble with a subdued yet stylish finish. Swish.” Keep Reading…
Chad Ford’s first mock: “Many scouts walked away from Kansas’ practices last season feeling that Bragg was the best NBA prospect on the squad. He can play both the 3 and the 4 and can score from anywhere. He’ll play a much bigger role on the team this year and could end up being a steal at this position in the draft.”
Durant on the Olympics: “It was therapy for me after making a big change in my life. It made my life easier … I knew [a backlash] was coming. It was definitely different for me, but to come here in an environment where people accepted me and didn’t care about anything except being my buddy, that’s what I needed.” Keep Reading…
Erik Horne on the Olympics: “While Abrines is a good shooter (41.7 percent 3-point percentage for FC Barcelona last season) he was stuck behind a five-guard rotation for Spain with an average age of 30 and a combined 14 years of NBA experience. Even as the second-youngest player in the Spanish team, Abrines wasn’t completely out of coach Sergio Scariolo’s mind. Abrines was called on in the second quarter of Spain’s second game against Brazil before picking up an apparent knee injury that forced him out of the next game. After averaging 20.0 minutes per game for FC Barcelona last season, Abrines played an average of just 2.0 minutes over three games in Rio, logging four DNPs (did not play). In Oklahoma City, Abrines won’t get 20 minutes a game, but with the Thunder’s need for outside shooting, Abrines will play, health permitting.”
LeBron on KD: “I think everyone had the “wow” thing. My [reaction] was no different from the average person who doesn’t know basketball to the person who watches it or covers it every day. So, I think it’s all great for our league. Our league is very competitive. It’s continued to grow, and [NBA Commissioner] Adam Silver has done a great job of picking up where David Stern started, so it’s pretty cool.” Keep Reading…
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Erik Horne: “Yet, the 27-year-old is just two seasons removed from shooting 39.8 percent from 3-point range in 80 games between Detroit and Oklahoma City. The Thunder doesn’t have a small forward on the roster with Singler’s combination of size (6-foot-9), length and shooting ability. There’s hope the 6-7 Huestis can contribute, but he has just five Thunder games to his credit and spent most of last season in the D-League, where he made just 31.3 percent of his 3-pointers.”
Mark Kizla of the Denver Post: “With LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook back at home, getting some well-deserved rest, Team USA does not have an alpha dog. Our old friend Carmelo Anthony is past his prime. Kyrie Irving has some mad skills, but stepping out of King James’ shadow, it is apparent that Cleveland’s young point guard lacks the chops to step up and direct a team loaded with all-star egos. Durant bolted Oklahoma City as a free agent, taking the path of least resistance to an NBA championship by joining Golden State. There was nothing wrong with that decision. Working hard and landing your dream job is a cornerstone of the American dream.” Keep Reading…