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. Consider everything [sic’d].
I enjoy optimism. Because I’m shamelessly the Viscount of Optimism. (KingGondo): Thought it was interesting that he has KD fifth in the league in PER (@ 23.50), but every other Thunder player is below 15 (i.e. below the league average).
I would put good money on Westbrook making a solid leap into 18-19 territory (he was above 15 last year, and Hollinger really thinks he’ll get worse this year?). If anything, with a greater understanding for the game, improved shooting around him, and a more spaced floor, I could see Russ really becoming a much more efficient and valuable player.
Hollinger has it right when he says, “Westbrook is the Thunder’s unquestioned starter at point guard, and at this point all they can do is throw on a saddle and see where he takes them.” More than any other player, Russ’s development will determine how much the Thunder improve this year. Based on his strong work ethic, Coach Brooks’ positive feedback in training camp, and his excellent showing at USA camp, I’m very optimistic.
This is, uh, smart. (Dylan): Basketball is so much harder to quantify statistically than baseball. In baseball, you’re talking about what’s essentially an individual sport. Each team gets 27 outs, so on and so forth.
But with basketball it’s totally different. A point guard getting 10 assists with the Knicks isn’t the same as one getting 10 assists with a slower team. A guy might shoot 40 percent from the 3-point line on a team with a dominant post man who draws attention in the paint, but on a squad without that presence, his percentage drops.
What I’m getting at is that I support Hollinger’s work, because I love that he’s attempting to quantify basketball in a way that goes beyond what can be sometimes misleading stats, but at the same time, you have to look at PER and stats of that nature with a critical eye.
Continued et cetera, et cetera. (J.G.): Honestly, I take any projection that uses only one to two years for its sample size with a grain of salt because, and I think anyone would say this, you really just don’t know what’s going to happen from such a limited sample size on such a mercurial sample group (NBA rookies and sophomores).
Obviously I’ll be devastated if RW has such a dip in performance, but honestly, I’ll be a little upset if KD’s point production RISES that much because it means that he’s having to do that to compensate for a lack of production from his teammates.
Any fan would love to see KD explode for a crazy scoring average, but the smart fan knows better, because such a high scoring average means Harden, Green, Westbrook, etc. are not carrying their load and it also means Durant would have to be playing an insane amount of minutes to accomplish that, which then means that the Thunder’s bench is also not contributing. And the last thing this team needs is a step back in depth and offensive efficiency.
So thanks, but no thanks, to Hollinger’s prediction on points. But I’ll take more rebounds, assists, steals and blocks any day of the week.
- They still have no pitching. Gooden’s a question mark. You don’t recover from those rotator cuffs so fast
- I’m not worried about their pitching. They got pitching. They got no hitting.
- No hitting? They got hitting! Bonilla, Murray. They got no defense.
- Defense? Please. They need speed.
- Speed? They got Coleman. They need a bullpen.
- Franco’s no good? They got no team leaders.
- They got Franco! What they need is a front office.
- But you gotta like their chances.
- I LOVE their chances. (B-RY): I know it’s early and only preseason, but it seems to me that the Thunder has not addressed a single need. Interior D is still rough. Three point shooting was, well, horrendous, and turnovers are still an issue (despite better play by Westbrook).
That said, until the “starters” came out and Ryan Bowen did whatever it he does (or doesn’t do), the Thunder had managed to stay ahead despite playing poorly, committing a million fouls and missing easy 3’s…that has to count for something. A slightly better effort and this game could have easily been a blowout.
This comment had just the right amount of snarky I think. (Patrick): Let me get this straight? The Thunder Marketing department is doing a poor job? Seriously??? Actually, I’m starting to wonder if these poor marketing decisions are being made at the top. CEOs & Executives love to micromanage marketing and advertising campaigns. This smells like CEO influence: “Put my political buddies in commercials. They’ll love that!”