The Thunder used to be the Warriors. Or something. Keep reading »
There are things to be learned. Keep reading »
I. Russell Westbrook is playing the best basketball of his career. The triple doubles he’s getting now are triple doubles nobody has seen before because of just how full they are. They aren’t the thin kind Jason Kidd was racking up in the early 2000’s. Those were 11, 11, 10 type lines. Westbrook is just doing more. He’s not eking these out. He’s getting there in three quarters sometimes. Last night he was two rebounds away from having one at half.
People talk about Draymond Green’s having had ten of them so far (the talk is deserved, he’s been incredible) but Westbrook’s take on a different feel. They have spikes attached to them. Kidd’s old ones meddled forever in the round numbers and the low teens. Westbrook’s are 30+ point mid teens everywhere else jagged shards of glass falling from the skies lines. Keep Reading…
Hey DT folks,
It’s rare to have two days off before a marquee matchup. I’m sure everyone is excited to finally see the Thunder take on the Warriors. With that, I thought a little impromptu chat would be fun. I’ll be around for the next hour to discuss Thunder and NBA stuff. Should be fun!
Tim Bontemps of the WaPo on the Wizards: “At this point, it’s hard to see how the Wizards could hope to compete with any of those options. Yes, they have Wall, more than a worthy running mate and a perfect partner as a pass-first point guard. But this season was supposed to fill in the rest of the picture for the Wizards. It was supposed to prove Washington was about to turn the corner and show why it was a worthy option for Durant – one that could provide him with the platform to chase championships, Durant’s main goal. All Washington has done instead is reaffirm how far away the Wizards are from the league’s elite – and how unrealistic it appears that their dream of bringing Durant back home will come to fruition.”
Anthony Slater: “It’s 2016 and a fun, star-filled Western Conference power rules the NBA landscape, leaving all other challengers to battle for the second-most wins and headlines. But rewind your mind four years into the past. Wasn’t this supposed to be the Thunder? How did we get here? How did the Warriors leapfrog OKC in this decade’s NBA pecking order? How did we get to the point where Golden State is not only threatening to render this era of the Thunder title-less but also serving as the scariest threat to end it early by stealing away Durant from the city he’s so beloved? It all stems back to the 2012 offseason.” Keep Reading…
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ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe published a deep dive look at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday as part of his weekly column. If you haven’t read it yet, set aside some give it a look. Out of the material presented in the column, some of them may be seen as bitter pills that have to be swollowed, but there’s a lot of optimism in there.
Anthony Slater: “Back in late October, the game went similarly. Orlando stuck around by scorching OKC’s defense, but couldn’t pull out the win because of Durant’s and Westbrook’s heroics. That night, Westbrook hit a 40-foot bank shot to send it to overtime, and the Thunder wound up winning 139-136. Westbrook finished with 43 points, Durant with 41. In total, Westbrook compiled 72 points, 30 rebounds and 22 assists against the Magic in two games this season. Durant compiled 80 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists. Orlando, mercilessly, doesn’t have to face either the rest of the season.”
Jeremias Engelmann of ESPN Insider on overrated players: “When Utah traded Kanter to OKC last February, the Jazz immediately became the NBA’s best defensive team. Meanwhile, the Thunder saw their defensive efficiency decline markedly with Kanter on the floor. They allowed 112 points per 100 possessions when Kanter played, but only 103 points with him sitting. This season, we have basically the same results: The Thunder allow 109 with Kanter and only 101 without him. Despite being 6-foot-11, Kanter is no rim protector, posting one of the 10 worst block rates among players his size in the past six seasons. All of this is reflected in his defensive RPM, which is second worst in the league among centers at -2.88. On the whole, Kanter’s RPM is -2.45, fourth worst among the league’s 77 centers, which makes him more of a problem than a max player.” Keep Reading…
These kind of games are the worst.
Here it is, all about Russell Westbrook and his relentless, incredible performance, coming up an assist and a rebound short of 20-20-15 (he had 24 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists), and then Kevin Durant messes it all up with a game-winning 3 with 0.5 seconds left, 117-114.
How do you write about this stuff?
Let’s just start with the quick summary: So, fast-forward to 29 seconds left — and trust me, the first 47 minutes and 31 seconds were pretty good — where Westbrook bumrushed his way to the rim to tie the game at 114-114. The Magic got an iso with Victor Oladipo — who had 37 — covered by Serge Ibaka. Oladipo drove, Ibaka swatted it off the glass, and while he was flashing his thumbsdown, Billy Donovan was signaling play on.
Dion Waiters tossed it to Durant, who walked it up the court, rocked Tobias Harris a couple of times and uncorked a 28-foot fireball to win it. Keep Reading…
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Team Comparisons (per NBA.com/Stats)
Surprise, surprise. In the days leading up to the primetime match-up between the Thunder and Golden State Warriors on Saturday, articles are being published suggesting Golden State may be the front-runner in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. And these articles aren’t being written by your run of the mill, wannabe blog writing fanboys (such as myself). Instead, they are being written by prominent NBA writers with contacts and sources within the league. And it’s all by design.
It’s called click-bait. If two months ago, an NFL writer wrote an article about the racial double standard reactions to Cam Newton’s on the field antics versus a prominent white quarterback’s on the field antics, it wouldn’t make as much news as if the article was published in the week leading up to a Super Bowl involving Newton. If that same “Durant to Golden State” article was published a month ago, it wouldn’t get as many viewers as if it was published in the week leading up to the game. Keep Reading…