Monday Bolts: 7.31.17

The Thunder is signing former UCLA guard Bryce Alford: “The Thunder could have at least two UCLA guards in training camp. Former Bruins guard Bryce Alford announced on his Instagram Sunday that he’ll be signing with the Thunder. With the Thunder’s roster currently at 16 and needing to get to 15 by opening night in October, Alford is likely a training camp invite on a non-guaranteed contract.”

Russell Westbrook did NOT make an appearance at Drew League last night: “James Harden and Chris Paul teamed up in the Drew League Sunday, giving Houston Rockets fans a taste of what to expect next season. The NBA All-Stars led LAUNFD to an 83-81 win over the Hometown Favorites in the last game of the regular season, sending the squad to the Drew League playoffs in the process. Russell Westbrook was expected to play for the Hometown Favorites but decided not to play.”

Apparently Westbrook sat out because of “minor ailments”:

Fred Katz spoke with Andre Roberson about free throws: “He can maintain more consistent shooting form if he is less tired at the end of games. And maybe more importantly, the rest of his game can remain unaffected when he’s missing free throws once the mind gets right.  “This don’t have nothing to do with nobody else but myself,” he said. “I’m the only one out there shooting those free throws. I got to go out there, put myself in fatigue situations or do a couple sets of pushups before a go [practice] a free throw…And then try to knock it down.”

Steven Adams has a strange free throw practice technique: “He plays one of the most physical styles of any NBA player. And he owns an unmatched, eccentric personality. So, when he’s working from the charity stripe, he has Thunder assistant coach Darko Rajakovia come out of nowhere and, every once in a while, upper-cut him in the stomach just when he least expects it.”

Katz spoke to Nick Collison about Westbrook taking a step back next season: “As good a year as he had last year, I think there were also times where he was frustrated with us not playing as well. I think he’ll embrace a guy like Paul George because he thinks it’s going to make us a better team,” Collison said. “He’ll embrace that, because he wants to win. That’s very important to him.”

Erik Horne on Alex Abrines at EuroBasket: “Abrines didn’t attend the Russell Westbrook-coordinated workouts in Santa Monica, Calif. It was always Abrines’ plan to start his summer attending friends’ weddings (and announcing his own) and traveling home to Spain before preparing for FIBA EuroBasket 2017. Since Friday, Abrines has been in Spanish National Team training camp for EuroBasket, the 24-team European tournament which starts Aug. 31.”

Jimmy Do introduces Terrance Ferguson: “In a few months time, Terrance Ferguson will be donning a Thunder jersey as he and his teammates strut off the court at Chesapeake Energy Arena. When he got his first taste of what it’s like to play in Loud City, he was just a high school sophomore. The Tulsa-born Ferguson was 10 years old when the Thunder tipped off its inaugural game against the Milwaukee Bucks (Oct. 28, 2008) on that same floor.”

Brett Dawson on how OKC’s G-League approach will benefit Ferguson: “Few teams have used the G League – formerly known as the D League – quite like the Thunder, which has assigned players to the league 120 times over its nine seasons in Oklahoma City. That’s more than any other NBA franchise in that span.”

Russ was at Disneyland yesterday — he’s a fan of bumper cars: