With the great American tradition of Thanksgiving just a few days behind us, and the excitement of actually having an NBA season to look forward to, I quickly put together a quick list of Thunder related things I am thankful for.
1) Obviously NBA basketball.
2) That Kevin Durant, and to a lesser degree James Harden didn’t get hurt. KD probably played more rec league/charity games this summer and fall than any other NBAer, and Harden was also there a lot too. I know that most other players were in the gym working out and working on their games, but these two Thunderers were constantly in competitive situations all over the country. Heck, I’m glad that no Thunder players got hurt.
3) That Perk is back. He was a three legged horse in the Playoffs last year, but even as it was, our defense improved with Perk and Ibaka in the paint (and Green and Krstic gone).
4) That we will not be players in free agency. There is going to be a crazy whirlwind free agency signing period very soon. As soon as some I’s and dotted and T’s crossed, agents will be contacted and negotiations will begin. Teams have holes and they’ve been waiting to fill them. I haven’t seen it yet, but there may be an amnesty. It sort of sucks for the Thunder and is a boon to the irresponsibly managed teams, but such is life. The Thunder really have no bad contracts.
5) That we aren’t bringing in any new/integral parts to the team. It would be incredibly tough, and it will be for those other teams, who are bringing in a new coach, or a new system, or even breaking in some new key players. This season is going to be on the fly.
6) That we have a young team. This compressed season may feature back to back to back games. That’s going to be tough on old teams or teams without depth. Can Kobe play 36 minutes a night three nights in a row? I don’t think so.
7) I’ve been reading that contracts are going to be shorter. But we’ve got KD for 5 years under the old arrangement. This also may help with fitting Russ West into an overall salary structure for the team.
8) Much like No. 7. Russ Westbrook is eligible for a contract extension and I heard much talk about how the owners wanted to make it a bit tougher for any player to go Melo/LeBron on their team.