A small programming note: Daily Thunder is proud to bring on the Thunderground Radio podcast as the official podcast of DT. The podcast will be posted every Sunday and it will fill your ears with so much Thunder knowledge it’ll make you stupid. A podcast is something I’ve tried to work into the routine but just haven’t been able to. So instead, I chose to do what I do best: be lazy and let someone else do it. Joel and Brad will be your captains and they do a fantastic job. So make sure you look for it this Sunday and I believe they’ve got a pretty cool interview lined up for this week’s show.
Drawing comparisons of this year’s Team USA to the 2008 squad: “Deron Williams, for example, spent time at two-guard (think Russell Westbrook). James spent a lot of time at center in China (think Lamar Odom) and Anthony’s versatility made him a matchup nightmare as a power forward (cue Kevin Durant).”
Mike Prada of SB Nation ranks all 30 GMs: “But I can’t put him No. 1 for two reasons. First of all, he has Kevin Durant. Presti completely lucked into Durant, and having a guy like him makes you look a whole lot better. This isn’t to take away from Presti’s genius long-term plan in building around him, but his strategy wouldn’t result in this much success if Durant wasn’t around. Secondly, I strongly believe Presti needs to think about changing gears. His prized young players are all going to have to sign contract extensions, which will eliminate the cap space Presti has always prized. This summer may have been the last time Presti will have enough cap space to sign a piece to put his team over the top, and he declined to use it. With the Thunder now a successful team with a successful core, that could prove to be a mistake. I’m nitpicking though. The reality is that Presti is one of the best in the business.”
Berry Tramel on the Royal Ivey signing: “I don’t see a spot for him on this Thunder roster, which now totals 19 players not counting drafted German Tibor Pleiss. Guys like Latavious Williams, Ryan Reid and Mustafa Shakur are longshots to make the roster, but so is Ivey. If the Thunder keeps Kyle Weaver, D.J. White and Morris Peterson, that’s 15 players. No room in the inn. But Ivey’s signing shows us that if the Thunder takes a shot at someone, defense is going to be in the mix.”
Jon Schuhmann of NBA.com on yesterday’s Team USA scrimmage: “First, Durant is The Man on this team. And afterward, in answering a question about the training process, coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about players getting used to three or four-minute stints in the lineup, but then talked about Durant getting used to 10-minute stints. Clearly, the league’s leading scorer is going to carry a big load on Team USA.”
Ian Thompson of SI looks at the Western contenders: “Everyone from Kevin Durant to Russell Westbrook to Jeff Green to coach Scott Brooks will be hoping to show continued improvement following their breakout showing of last season. They have at least 12 players worthy of the rotation and most of them have yet to peak around Durant, who is still trying to articulate his potential. The one thing this group hasn’t faced is bad luck, and someday it will come because no team is exempt. In the meantime, the Thunder look like they should be contending for home-court advantage in the opening round.”