Friday Bolts: 10.6.17

Brett Dawson on Russell Westbrook potentially playing in tonight’s preseason tilt: “Russell Westbrook isn’t a lock to play against the Pelicans in the Thunder’s preseason game on Friday. But it isn’t clinched that he’ll sit, and that’s progress. Westbrook went through a full practice on Thursday, Thunder coach Billy Donovan said, and he hasn’t been ruled out to play when Oklahoma City hosts the New Orleans Pelicans Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.”

Fred Katz on Steven Adams being cleared for tonight: “Center Steven Adams, who got banged in an area he referred to as the “glute-ish” one during Tuesday’s game, went through full practice Thursday and is good to go against the Pelicans. He did not return to the Rockets game after Houston guard James Harden pulled him to the ground on a hard foul.”

Nick Silva (ESPN) on how OKC could start the season with an open roster spot: “If Christon makes the team for the second season in a row, the Thunder will have a tax bill of $27.8 million. By beginning the season with 14 NBA players, the Thunder can reduce that opening amount to $24.5 million. For that reason, general manager Sam Presti could choose to keep the 15th roster spot open for a good portion of the season.”

Matt Moore (CBS) on the Thunder living in the moment: “So we come to the preface of this pivotal, tantalizing, fascinating Thunder season, like we’re watching a high wire act. There’s a net, at least, after Westbrook signed his extension. But with George and Carmelo Anthony both possible free agents at the end of this season, there’s still much we don’t know about OKC’s future. Here’s what the Thunder absolutely need this year for it to be a success.”

Erik Horne on how more passing may not be the key for the Thunder: “The Thunder has become synonymous with isolation basketball, as it has made the fewest passes in the NBA in each of the last two seasons, and has been in the bottom five in the league since nba.com/stats started keeping track during the 2013-14 season. A high volume of passes doesn’t automatically equate to success, however. The Rockets made 1,275 fewer passes last season than the season before and improved by 14 wins.”

Enes Kanter chats with Al Iannazzone (News Day) about OKC and playing against Russ: “The Knicks open the regular season Oct. 19 at Oklahoma City. Kanter already has thought about how he will be received by the Thunder fans and whether his old teammate and friend, Russell Westbrook, will talk to him. Westbrook’s attitude is that anyone on the other team is the enemy. “I’ve actually wondered if he’s going to say hi to me or not,” Kanter said. “We’ll wait and see.” Kanter thinks he will be treated differently than Kevin Durant was in his return to Oklahoma City. “I didn’t leave,” he said.”

Fred Katz on Carmelo Anthony and sacrificing without losing his identity: “Anthony has always been a first option, free to score however he pleases. George has held those responsibilities ever since taking the leap to perennial All-Star with the Indiana Pacers. And Westbrook might be the lead guy this year, but he is, after all, coming off a season in which he shattered the usage rate record. No reasonable person expects this to click right away, especially not during the preseason. Results are never immediate when a constellation of three stars groups together.”

Rachel Nichols, Brian Windhorst & Byron Scott discuss the Carmelo OKC needs: