I have now seen two different national commentators mention “Ray Allen” and “Thunder” in the same sentence. Think there is any chance of that happening? — Ben G.
What’s less than zero? Sub zero? In theory, it sounds wonderful. Bringing in the greatest shooter of all time to play the wing and run off screens, helping the offense with ball movement and spacing. Having Allen give the Thunder added scoring punch while also relieving pressure off of Westbrook and Durant.
Like I said, it sounds pretty good. But what does OKC give Boston to make it happen? We all love to overvalue players, but the Celtics aren’t giving up Ray Allen without quality compensation back. He’s on an expiring deal, so in this case, that actually raises his value even more. Besides, that’s a pretty bold move to make when you already have the best record in the game and seem pretty settled 1-through-10 already. But here’s my completely, entirely 100 percently for fun trade bringing Allen to OKC:
Nazr Mohammed and Thabo Sefolosha plus a pick to Boston for Allen. If OKC acquires Allen, it means less need for Thabo this season, Cole Aldrich can and should fill the void of Mohammed and the Celtics get a premier wing defender and interior help, plus Mohammed’s deal expires. Allen’s $10 million comes off the books this summer and the Thunder have an extra shooter/scorer on the floor with KD and Westbrook. Plus a smallball lineup of Westbrook, Allen, Harden, Durant and Perk sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
But again, it’s not happening. I think.
Do you think Westbrook could one day surpass KD? Or in your opinion will KD remain the superior player? — Matthew R.
Could he? Sure. Heck, you could maybe make the case now that he is. I’ve always felt Westbrook had a near untouchable ceiling. He’s a mini LeBron. Big, strong, fast and if the jumper is falling, you can’t defend him. Plus, I think we could all point out a lot of different areas Westbrook could and should improve.
But I don’t think that’s going to happen. KD is an otherworldly talent, but what makes him so special is his commitment to getting better. He’s just 23, but you can see the areas he’s come so far in already. And he’s just going to keep rising.
But like KD said when asked a reporter at Golden State, what’s it matter? They’re both entirely awesome, both getting better and both make the Thunder a really good team. I know we like to define alpha roles, but with the way Westbrook and Durant are playing off each other now, I’m not sure it’s an issue.
Simple question. How often do you watch First Take? If you watch it often, how much do you hate Skip Bayless and his constant Westbrook bashing? — Brandon C.
Truthfully, I can’t say that I’ve watched it at all this season. I’ve seen Skip’s tweets and I catch a video that’s posted every now and then. Thing is, people are entitled to those type of opinions, no matter how wrong they may be. What Skip’s setting himself up for is when Westbrook struggles in the postseason late in a game and OKC loses is he can yell, “SEE! I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN!” Unless the Thunder win a title this season, he’s going to be “proven” right, even if he’s already wrong. He’s just playing the odds.
The nonsense about Westbrook shooting more than KD is such an arbitrary thing. Just going by plain shot attempts off a box score doesn’t come close to telling the whole story. KD’s got a higher free throw rate and in despite Westbrook having a higher overall usage rate, Durant’s is higher in crunch-time. Now if it were a nightly thing of 26 shots to 16, then yeah, that would be a thing. But one or two more doesn’t mean anything, especially when the Thunder are winning and possess one of the league’s most deadly offenses.
You wouldn’t hear anyone say anything about Dwyane Wade taking more shots than LeBron James, so why does Westbrook get punished for it? He’s an equally important part to the Thunder’s scoring machine as KD is. The Thunder need Westbrook’s scoring. It’s by design. To say that he must shoot less than KD really just shows off an elementary understanding of how basketball works.
Regarding people like Skip Bayless and others complaining that Westbrook takes too many shots. Does Scott Brooks want him taking that many shots or is it Westbrook not listening to the coaching staff and just looking for his own shot? If Westbrook shoots too much, why doesn’t Scott Brooks put Harden at the 1 and Westbrook at the 2 on offense and let him dart in for offensive rebounds? I think just think Westbrook needs to not fall in love with his jumper and still attack the rim, and he will be fine. — Randy
The Thunder have absolutely no problem with how much Westbrook shoots. As long as they’re good looks that aren’t forced. Scott Brooks would even tell you that KD forces some shots sometimes. But that’s basketball. Sometimes you put up a bad shot. For whatever reason, Westbrook just doesn’t seem to receive the same forgiveness in that area.
So I was thinking about what Barkley has been saying about OKC needing a post game. When you look at largely post-centered offenses you think of a team that gets fouled a lot and shoots a high percentage from the field. Per HoopData, OKC ranks 2nd in True Shooting percentage, 2nd in FG% and 1st in Free Throw Rate. — Dustin T.
That’s not a question, just a really smart comment.
If the Thunder amnesty Perk, can they keep Harden and Ibaka? And do you think Sam Presti will do that if it’s the only way he can keep Ibaka? — Henry C.
It’s an interesting though. If Perk were amnesty’d it would definitely give OKC a better chance of keeping both Harden and Ibaka. It’s a numbers game and the more money you have, the better the chance is.
Would Presti do it? Don’t know. I’m sure he’s already thinking about these scenarios and that might be involved. But I think that implies the one thing no one wants to say: Clay Bennett might just be willing to pay the luxury tax. We all act like it’s an impossibility and while it’s certainly improbable, I would rule it out. If Bennett, a guy that spent some $50 million just bringing the team here for crapsakes, wants to keep his supercool young core together, he might just pony up the dollars to do so.
I’m a Perk apologist, but I wouldn’t be opposed. I think Ibaka’s long-term value outweighs Perk and if the decision seriously came down to choosing between Perk or Ibaka, I would choose Ibaka.
Is it just me, or does it seem like half of Westbrook’s turnovers are due to Ibaka and Perkins having bricks for hands / not being ready for passes when they should be? Take last night’s game: I think the first two plays were two turnovers due to passes that hit Perkins in the hands and he didn’t catch them. Ibaka isn’t much better at catching / being ready for passes. How often do you see them effectively grabbing a low pass in the paint or positioning for a dunk instead of rebound while Westbrook drives? Seems very rare despite multiple attempts per game. Plus, from Westbrook’s frustration after many of those turnovers, it appears he thinks it’s not all his fault either. I think this is an underrated part of what Thabo brought to the table too – it gave Westbrook two capable finishers at the rim to dump to on a drive instead of just Durant. Thoughts? — Paul L.
Yeah, pretty much. Yeah.
How did Kevin Durant get the nickname Katy? — Thomas A.
That’s going to be the next Thunder text question on FS Oklahoma. You watch.
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