Throughout the week some of you drop some brilliant or at least somewhat thoughtful comments and so this is a try at highlighting some of them. Disclaimer: It’s not that I necessarily agree with all of them, but they were interesting and for the most part, well put. Everything sic’d.
More good additions to the defining of success for the season. (Greg Evans): Personally, I’d like to see Jeff Green play better against “big name” PFs. I know Uncle Jeff isn’t a natural PF, but the Dirks and Boshs of the world just had their way with him last season. Kevin Durant needs to limit his turn overs. If Harden is the scorer OKC wants him to be, this will be a lot easier. I’d like to see that number fall closer to two per game. Lastly, if Westbrook could play a little less reckless (I know that defines him, but it would be nice) and just find some control. Many of his turnovers (or poor shot attempts) were because he attacked the paint when he should have been looking for the open man.
I like the optimism and the realisticness (word?), because I share it as well. (Brett): I think the 30-35 wins is going to be more realistic this year than 40+. We’re starting to mature, but we did get younger this year. Even though Harden is supposed to be the most NBA-ready rookie this year and did look good in Summer League, we still have to expect some kind of learning curve from him (even if only a month or two). The key for us will be what Royce discussed in the schedule post a few weeks ago… not stumbling out of the gate. Even though that will be a tough stretch, it will be important in setting the tone for the season. The roster sans Wilkins, Wilcox, and Watson will be stronger. Prestiand Brooks gave them their chance and they obviously didn’t take advantage. Other than our rookies, we’ve got players who we can know can, and will, contribute.
If we can get 40+ wins and compete for a #8 all year long, I think this team is poised to do great things a lot sooner than people realize. Outsiders can hate all they want. Three years and we’ll be making deep runs in the playoffs.
Want to go halfsies? (Keith): Can I just say, that no matter the state of journalism and ethics, it’s never going to stop amusing me the way people will run with something so inconsequential as “What is your second favorite team?” I especially love the comments left on the blog about rivalries and entrenched animosity that only a “true fan” could understand. It’s like someone came up with a radar gun that could measure the intensity of feelings someone has, and thus was able to compare lifelong fans to those in an expansion area.
As for the Grizzlies, I think the cutbacks in scouting had less to do with poor scouts and more to do with the final decider. If Heisley is just going to pick the player to draft or trade for, why bother having scouts at all? The fact that they hired someone else at all is more perplexing to me, as it is just a show to the rest of the league that they aren’t giving up, even though everyone already knows they have.
Sometimes I wish I had 100 million dollars so that I could buy the Grizz. I’d set them up in Las Vegas, make millions in licensing rights to the big casinos, get them on tv instead of WSOP (seriously, ESPN?), pay some hot GM a ridiculous paycheck, then just sit back and go to Thunder games. Vegas would be attractive to free agents, I’d already have a workable young core (that needs some serious change), and my hotshot GM would actually make all the decisions. Why hasn’t someone done this already?
If he does leave, I’ll freak out like Lex and Tim when Genaro took off. (KingGondo): Honestly, the only thing I can think of that would make KD want to bolt is if the Thunder are massively underperforming when his contract runs out. If we’re a consistent playoff team and start contending, he’s as good as ours. Big-time money spends the same in OKC as it does in DC (in fact, it goes further). Amazing how national media types seem intent on perpetuating the “Kevin Durant’s Future Former Team” theory, in spite of numerous quotes by KD himself to the contrary.
Problem solved. (Dylan): Isn’t the TU game at 6 p.m.? Just change the Thunder game to the afternoon, sell the tickets super cheap (if you remember, last year’s OKC vs. Houston preseason game wasn’t even close to a sellout), and run some school promotion to get schools and kids out there.