The Thunder did some things in Friday's game against the Raptors. Keep reading »
Darnell Mayberry: “For the better part of his 23 minutes, Westbrook again battled frustration in yet another failed Thunder attempt at figuring out how best to survive the absence of Kevin Durant. And when frustration set in, Westbrook’s emotions got the better of him. Westbrook disagreed with that assessment after the game. But teammates and coaches saw it the same way. It was virtually impossible not to.”
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider on if KD played too much: “But as teams smarten up about overworking their stars and possibly begin to follow the Spurs’ lead in resting their top players, it’s time we started to pay closer attention to the workloads of the players the league depends on most. Part of Durant’s greatness comes from his desire to be on the court all day and night. And head coach Scott Brooks had already mentioned that he’d try to scale back Durant’s minutes even before the injury. The goal for the Thunder will be to make sure Durant is healthy for the long haul. There’s no magic bullet, but it’s probably good for Durant’s long-term prospects that he doesn’t have as much pounding this season. Science is teaching us that sometimes less is more. No one is invincible. Not even Durant.” Keep Reading…
Yay Saturday. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Soon.
I don’t really know what this commercial is trying to advertise, but I am a fan of it.
The Thunder fell in their fifth preseason game, 109-90 to the Raptors in Wichita. The most notable part of the game was Serge Ibaka’s return from an ankle sprain. He played 21 minutes and scored eight points on just 4-12 shooting with six rebounds.
The best part about this preseason game is that it’s over, therefore meaning there are only two more of these abominations left to go.
A few thoughts: Keep Reading…
Jeff Caplan of NBA.com with questions: “Is there a wild card on the Thunder roster? His name is Anthony Morrow. As Brooks mentioned at the start of training camp, the team actually has a player with a higher 3-point percentage than Durant. The Thunder could have used him last season, but better late than never. Morrow has never been able to stick with any one team during his career, but the Thunder offers a unique situation where he really can solely focus on shooting 3s (and mix in a little defense). With Durant out, defenses will focus on Westbrook and power forward Serge Ibaka, who has become one of the best mid-range, pick-and-pop shooters in the league, and if Morrow can knock down 3s at his career rate of 42.8 percent, he could certainly see more minutes than his career average of 23.7, at least until Durant returns. Through three preseason games, Morrow is averaging 16.7 points and is 8-for-14 from beyond the arc. He’s also managed to get to the free-throw line, making all 14 of his attempts. Morrow’s accuracy could be the single most effective weapon in replacing Durant’s scoring.”
Jason Gallagher and the Ballerball crew break down how Perk will step up with Durant out: “Notice how Perkins took 8 shots in the 30 minutes he played without Durant this year, which is a much higher percentage than the amount of shots taken with Durant on the floor (185 shots in 1176 minutes). Also, is it a coincidence that Perkins’ free throw percentage went up when Durant was on the bench? Probably… not.” Keep Reading…
The Pelicans crushed the Oklahoma City Blue Thunder in New Orleans on Thursday, 120-86. Anthony Davis had 28 in 26 minutes, while the Thunder were led by Jeremy Lamb who had 20 in 42 minutes on 8-22 shooting.
Steven Adams had an off night with just 12 points on a terrible 6-11 shooting — [/sarcasm font] — while Sebastian Telfair chipped in 16 and Andre Roberson had 10. Russell Westbrook sat for some rest as the Thunder play again on Friday in Wichita where he’s expected to be in uniform.
I have no thoughts.
Next up: In Wichita against the Raptors on Friday
On Sunday I was back in Oklahoma visiting family, three pews from the back, white walls, balcony wrapping around, carpet the color of cartoon seaweed, and a man named Billy in a Polo polo was up on stage and wearing a Garth mic, talking about how it’s good to shut our screens off from time to time.
It’s important to check in with the people you love, he said. Ask them how their day was, how school went, what they’re looking forward to. This is a paraphrase. Keep Reading…
Russell Westbrook is ranked No. 6 by SLAM: “But the thing that becomes fascinating with Westbrook is that he has the chance to make a run at the No. 1 spot for 2015-16. In two months, when the Thunder bring back the “elegant assassin” and OKC has first place in the League in consideration, would Westbrook begin to garner MVP votes? What could Westbrook’s statistical increases look like? How would Westbrook evolve as a leader of men in his practices, his huddles and his relationships on the team? Could Serge Ibaka average 20-plus points a game? Will Westbrook get to the line 15-plus times a game? We don’t even know if Westbrook’s actually capable of doing any of this, mostly because he hasn’t had to do it since he was in high school.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com previewing the Thunder: “Assuming Durant undergoes surgery and misses six to eight weeks as expected, projections show the Thunder’s win total dropping by 2-3 games. Since Oklahoma City finished just two games ahead of the Clippers for the second seed in the West, and L.A. had the superior point differential (+7.0 vs. +6.3), that could be enough to drop the Thunder to third. That would likely mean winning two series on the road to get back to the NBA Finals. If Durant is sidelined longer, Oklahoma City could slip into the conference’s second tier, putting the Northwest Division title and home-court advantage in the opening round in jeopardy. It’s possible that the Thunder will get healthy, emerge from the gauntlet that is the West playoffs and end this season as champions. Any other scenario, however, will start the clock counting toward Durant’s free agency and possible departure.” Keep Reading…
Anthony Slater: “Perry Jones started the other night in Dallas. But you wouldn’t have known he was on the floor. Two points and little impact in his 14 minutes. But Tuesday was different. Jones bullied Quincy Pondexter on the first play of the game, burying him underneath the hoop and dropping in an and-1 on an impressive post-up. Then he confidently nailed a corner three minutes later. It was the start to a nice night for the third-year forward: 5-of-6 shooting, 12 points in 19 minutes. His maturation could be key in Kevin Durant’s absence. Tuesday was the best night of his preseason.”
Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report: “Too much, they say, is made of the glimpses of Westbrook barking at Durant after a miscue or miscommunication and not enough of the times when Westbrook is yelling “Stick it in their face, KD!” or exhorting the crowd to support Durant when he’s missed a couple of shots. All that said, no one disputes that Westbrook wants to be regarded on the same superstar plane as Durant and that he seethes over the fact that he is not. If he wishes Durant as much success as he can achieve, he also wishes the same for himself.” Keep Reading…