How many wins? This many. Keep reading »
Billy Donovan on KD’s meeting: “I thought the meeting that we had went very well. I think we talked about basketball. We talked about our team. We talked about direction, talked about obviously his leadership, his role – all those kind of things. And I think, leaving the meeting, it was very, very, I thought, positive. I thought it was very, very clear. I think there was direction on both sides.”
Kobe on KD’s decision: “Nah, as a competitor, I would have thought less about myself if I had looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair.’ “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there, we’re still gonna take you down.’” Keep Reading…
Happy weekend. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. September comin’.
I think the premise here is that Russell Westbrook can jump high. Is that what everyone else’s takeaway is?
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Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider ranking 2017 free agents: “Still just 24, Oladipo emerged as a two-way RPM standout last season, ranking among the league’s top 10 shooting guards. He has the chance to enhance his value with a strong performance on a bigger stage this season in Oklahoma City.”
CBSSports.com fantasy: “Russell Westbrook is the most irrepressible force in the NBA, and now he is even angrier than normal. With Kevin Durant taking off for Golden State, the Thunder are unquestionably Westbrook’s team and Fantasy owners have to be excited. The last time Westbrook played without Durant for an extended period of time, he led the league in scoring in 2014-15, while adding 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. Last season, he was able to take his foot off the pedal a bit, trading some points for assist opportunities, and ended up averaging a career-best 10.4 per game. A nightly triple-double threat, Westbrook doesn’t have to worry about getting another high-usage star going, which means we should see the best numbers of his career in 2015-16. Efficiency might be an issue for Westbrook, who always has high turnover numbers and might struggle with his shooting given a larger scoring load, but his volume should make up for any issues. Westbrook is worth considering with the No. 1 overall pick this season, and shouldn’t fall past the fifth spot when it’s all said and done.” Keep Reading…
Serge Ibaka on if he saw KD’s decision coming: “No, not really. And it’s tough for him. It’s tough to make that kind of decision and it’s not easy, but at the end of the day he needs to do what makes him happy. What he thinks makes him happy, makes his family happy, that matters. We have to accept that and from the position of Oklahoma City, from the team, it’s tough if your star leaves like that and I understand that. But, there’s some stuff in life that we can’t control. The fans in Oklahoma City and the team can’t control that and if that makes Kevin Durant happy, then good for him.”
With Leather on ideal shoe sponsorships: “Russ is already from another planet, or at least some kind of alternate reality where humans can do things we can’t. What I’m suggesting here is that Westbrook actually straps some sort of a rocket to his shoes, and in our post-branded shoe reality, everyone will just assume it’s some kind of wacky shoe promotion when in reality he’s actually using that rocket (think Nos in The Fast and the Furious) to give him a little extra boost.” Keep Reading…
ESPN’s Real-Plus Minus has the Thunder at 45.6 wins this season, per Kevin Pelton. That’s good for sixth in the West.
Here’s what Pelton says:
Even without Durant, RPM forecasts the Thunder in the mix for home-court advantage in the West thanks to star point guard Russell Westbrook and a deep cast of young role players.
Sounds good to me. I came up with 49 wins in my first run through of the schedule, and you could easily convince me they’re gonna win more, or that they’re gonna win less. Basically what I’m saying here is, this year’s Thunder team is real hard to predict.
The teams in front of OKC: Warriors (66.8 wins), Spurs (54.5), Jazz (47.6), Clippers (46.3), Rockets (45.8). The Thunder are just ahead of the Blazers (44.5), Nuggets (40.4) and Grizzlies (39.4). Keep Reading…
Howard Beck of Bleacher Report says Russ isn’t winning MVP: “Russell Westbrook’s not winning MVP. Why? Because every MVP since 1982 has been a 50-win team and I don’t see the Thunder getting to 50 wins. Now you can disagree with the premise and the precedent but it’s there and I think it’s real and I think it’ll keep Westbrook from breaking through.”
Vogue on Russ’s look: “The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard isn’t new to creating a stir with his off-court looks, having started a #florcore movement in MSGM, in addition to attending Fashion Week in New York and Paris. But instead of the blooming buds, bold shoes, and sleek shirting oft sported by the 6-foot-3 powerhouse, the 27-year-old swapped out his jersey and shorts for a tailored topcoat with three-quarter sleeves, and a tonally coordinated slate tee and jeans. But what really leaps the look from Bieber to baller are the bicolored suede kicks—grounding the star athlete’s ensemble with a subdued yet stylish finish. Swish.” Keep Reading…
Chad Ford’s first mock: “Many scouts walked away from Kansas’ practices last season feeling that Bragg was the best NBA prospect on the squad. He can play both the 3 and the 4 and can score from anywhere. He’ll play a much bigger role on the team this year and could end up being a steal at this position in the draft.”
Durant on the Olympics: “It was therapy for me after making a big change in my life. It made my life easier … I knew [a backlash] was coming. It was definitely different for me, but to come here in an environment where people accepted me and didn’t care about anything except being my buddy, that’s what I needed.” Keep Reading…