1-0. Keep reading »
It’s that wonderful time again where I predict, nay, soothsay a random number, one that has no meaning or bearing on anything, a number just picked for no reason at all, of things that Keep reading »
As we sit here, t-minus one week before the start of the regular season, prepare yourself to see tons and tons of articles about predictions for the upcoming season on every basketball site imaginable Keep reading »
Erik Horne: “Russell Westbrook barked directly back in the face of a raucous Wells Fargo Center crowd. He’d just knifed his way into the lane, absorbed contact and finished while drawing a foul. As Westbrook flexed, with the Thunder trailing by eight against the Sixers, a fan in the front row on the baseline stood up and delivered two middle fingers in the Thunder guard’s direction. Westbrook pointed at him with a confused look before walking toward the official. Right behind Westbrook was Steven Adams, equally as confused, delivering his own words to the soon-to-be ejected fan.”
Fred Katz: “Enes Kanter’s role is the ultimate paradox. The Oklahoma City Thunder big man will need to play more than the 21 minutes he averaged last season to help an offense that no longer has Kevin Durant. But he also works better as a center instead of a power forward, which is a problem given Steven Adams’ anticipated playing time increase. How can Kanter get minutes if Adams is hogging 30-plus a night at center? The two bigs played together for almost 12 minutes, including for most of the final three-plus, of Wednesday night’s season opening 103-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Thunder outscored Philly 32-16 using lineups with the Stache Brothers next to each other. It’s hardly mathematically significant. But it is a combination the Thunder will have to use under the right circumstances if they want to find success.” Keep Reading…
PHILADELPHIA — Led by Russell Westbrook, the Thunder outscored the 76ers 34-22 in the fourth quarter on opening night to kick off the post-Durant era with a much-needed win.
TV: ESPN/FS Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
Time: 7:00 PM CST
Team Comparisons (per NBA.com/Stats for the preseason)
This season, for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will be painfully connected to Kevin Durant. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also reality. When a team and a player are so intricately intertwined, the fallout from their parting usually takes about a season to subside. Durant, along with Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison were the pillars upon which the Thunder organization was built. For eight years, you could usually count on two things come opening night in the NBA: the Oklahoma Sooners would have at least one loss on their record by now, and the original trio would be in uniform for the Thunder. That all changed July 4th. Durant signed with Golden State and sent the fanbase into a harrowing depression for about the next week. Keep Reading…
On today’s podcast Jon Hamm and James Holas (@SnottieDrippen) discuss the following topics:
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Berry Tramel: “In fact, the Thunder has taken on an air of nobility as it preps for the opener in
Philadelphia against the 76ers. Stiff upper lips. Still fighting the good fight. The Thunder always was going to be the underdog in the post-Durant era. That’s the fallback position for the team that loses a superstar. But the more Durant talks — the latest in an overwrought Rolling Stone story last week — the more sympathetic the Thunder becomes. OKC looks like the wronged lover in a relationship gone sour.”
Brett Dawson on Russ averaging a triple-double: “And Westbrook has the ball more than almost anyone. He ranked seventh in the NBA last season in touches at 88.8 per game, and he possessed the ball for 8.1 minutes per game, second only to Portland guard Damian Lillard. He’s a high-level scorer and playmaker, the only player in the NBA last season to average double-digit assists and more than 20 points. Westbrook racks up assists, NBA.com stats analyst John Schuhmann said, in part because he seeks them out, passing primarily when it leads directly to a score rather than to get the ball moving. The Thunder passed the ball fewer times than anyone in the NBA last season, but Westbrook piled up assists.” Keep Reading…
It’s that wonderful time again where I predict, nay, soothsay a random number, one that has no meaning or bearing on anything, a number just picked for no reason at all, of things that will happen this Thunder season.
My standing percentage on this hovers somewhere between 99.1 and 99.9 percent.
1. The opening night starting five: Westbrook, Oladipo, Roberson, Sabonis and Adams. OK, so I had this prediction typed up and saved in a draft almost a month ago. I thought the starting five would be something up in the air heading into opening night. Then Billy Donovan basically started that group anyway throughout the whole preseason. But I stand by it! I’m sticking my neck out there and going with it. Keep Reading…
Bill Simmons of The Ringer on LeBron: “The man has played 199 of 199 possible playoff games. He has logged nearly 47,000 minutes including the playoffs, more than anyone through their first 13 years except Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. He has never suffered a major injury. He’s slapped up 27–7–7 so many times that there’s been an internet push to name that stat line after him. (How many LeBrons will Westbrook get this year? Like, 50?) We’re decades away from worrying about artificial intelligence basketball players, but when one finally sneaks into the league, it will probably be modeled after LeBron and everything he’s done.”
Marc Stein has OKC seventh: “Over the past two seasons, Russell Westbrook has averaged 30.5 points, 9.2 assists and 7.6 rebounds in 48 games played without Kevin Durant at his side. The only player in NBA history to put up that sort of stat line over the course of an entire season is Oscar Robertson, but who would dare suggest Angry Russ can’t follow suit now that he’ll have the opportunity? Friendly reminder: GQ (Westbrook) vs. Rolling Stone (KD), Take 1, is only 10 days away in Oakland.” Keep Reading…
On today’s podcast Royce Young joins to discuss the following topics:
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