The schedule is due to come out later today, but the word is the Thunder will open the season in Los Angeles against the Lakers Nov. 1. Of course assuming there’s a season and all. I was always told by someone that it’s “extremely likely” the Thunder will be involved on Christmas Day again this year.
It’s the five-year anniversary of the Sonics sale. Kevin Pelton looks back: “Five years, it turns out, is a long time. The two painful years the Sonics spent in purgatory as we hoped in vain for a miracle felt like a decade. Now it seems like they’ve been gone for far longer than three years. If not a different lifetime, July 18, 2006 feels like an entirely different chapter in my life. Yet the day’s events still remain vivid.”
Kevin Arnovitz on Zach Randolph as a help defender: “Sure enough, there on the game’s very first possession, Randolph is put in the predicament of having to leave Love underneath to challenge a diving Darko Milicic. Even as Milicic catches the ball on the move through the lane, Randolph manages to keep his right forearm on Love beneath the rim, while trying to challenge Milicic. And as much as you might admire Randolph’s attempt at multitasking, this isn’t an effective formula for keeping a 7-foot big man from finishing, as Milicic scoops the ball up and in.”
Shoals with sage advice: “Dear NBA people: You really shouldn’t start freaking out and watching old NBA-TV non-stop until we’ve actually, you know, missed some season.”
Darnell Mayberry on who is hurt most by the lockout: “The late first round picks. Those are the guys who don’t have millions of millions of dollars. Most people think of all NBA players as filthy rich but that’s not the case. Guys like Ibaka, Mullens and Maynor who haven’t been in the league long and aren’t making much more than $1.5 million annually might not have truckloads of money to rely on. It’s guys like that who need checks.”