Media day is today and I’ll be in attendance and will have some updates this afternoon on the sights and sounds. I’ll post some video, pictures and the most interesting quotes. Be sure to follow Daily Thunder on Twitter as I’ll be posting live stuff while I’m there.
Darnell Mayberry has five questions for training camp: “Is the team ready to handle success and play with pressure? Players, coaches and front office staffers sound confident when asked that very question. They point to the team’s resiliency through its 3-29 start two seasons ago as reason for optimism. But the truth is the Thunder didn’t begin receiving opponents’ best shots until midway through the season last year, after it had already built a head of steam, a 23-18 record and considerable confidence. Now, every team knows about the Thunder. While there is a tremendous amount of talent on the roster, the Thunder’s projected nine-man rotation’s average age will still be just 23.7 years old by the team’s first preseason game. OKC has shown great maturity in several situations. But one thing we have yet to see is how this group responds throughout an entire season of being the hunted.”
John Rohde says the Thunder should focus on the Northwest title: “Thunder Media Day is Monday afternoon and look for the players and coaches to echo Presti’s view. That’s the way it works with the Thunder. Presti says it, and everyone repeats it. Pete and re-peat. Presti and re-Presti. This franchise doesn’t need a playbook. It requires only one page, and everyone is expected to be on that same page. Presti is right, of course. The Thunder must first take care of itself. If that happens, the division title likely will follow. Then the focus can shift to the big picture, with their arms wrapped around the Larry O’Brien Trophy.”
The Thunder have invited Paul Milsap’s brother, Elijah, to camp. Elijah worked out with the Thunder before the draft.
Five reasons KD will win the MVP next year: “If Durant made “The Leap” with Team USA, Russell Westbrook made “The Mini Leap.” He may have come off the bench, but Westbrook was the point guard on the Team USA roster who stood out the most. Not only did he get into the lane at will and finish a flurry of ferocious dunks, he also played crunch time minutes when Derrick Rose struggled. Westbrook’s development, paired with inevitable breakout seasons from James Harden and Serge Ibaka and the defensive potential of rookie center Cole Aldrich, makes the 50-win Thunder even more dangerous than they were last season. Throw Jeff Green, Thabo Sefolosha and Nick Collison into the mix and you’ve got a team that I think can finish as high as third in West (behind L.A. and Dallas), which of course bodes well for Durant’s MVP chances.”