- The Thunder and Pelicans’ remaining schedules
- OKC Defense
- Durant’s comments on staying in OKC
- Rehashing the Kanter trade
- …and much more!
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “For the Thunder, and for the dozen or more teams that will be carefully monitoring Durant’s comeback and wooing him from far, it’s true: One guy could change it all. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that Durant stays and everyone lives happily ever after. But I don’t have a crystal ball, and even if I did, it wouldn’t matter as much as what’s between the ears and inside the chest of the man himself.”
Darnell Mayberry on OKC’s defense: Of the 11 healthy players, eight have finished a season with a defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possession while they’re on the court) of at least 107. The three exceptions are Westbrook, Adams and McGary. Of the eight offenders, four have finished a season with a defensive rating of 107 or higher at least twice. They are Augustin, Morrow, Novak and Enes Kanter. Against the Mavs, the Thunder had stretches where three of those four were on the court together. Morrow, according to nba.com/stats, actually is having a career year defensively. He’s currently posting a 101.4 defensive rating that marks the first time in his seven-year career that he’s recorded a net positive between his offensive and defensive ratings. Before this season, Morrow had not posted a defensive rating lower than 105.1. He’s now proof that previously below average defenders can improve. Keep Reading…
Deadspin has a great question that’s going around: “If you could go back and change the outcome of one play in any sporting event, which would it be?”
I can think of about a billion when it comes to my favorites teams — damn you, Bartman — but naturally, the first thought is to apply this to the Thunder. Here’s my top five (feel free to tell me how incredibly dumb and wrong I am): Keep Reading…
To quote the late, great Joan Rivers… “can we talk?”
Over the last few weeks I’ve heard variations of “we’re not winning a title this year so why bother with the playoffs” or “I’d rather have a lottery pick than get swept in the first round by Golden State.”
Admittedly, this line of thinking frustrates me like people who use the word “supposebly”.
Let’s step through this, shall we? Keep Reading…
Berry Tramel: “But the truth is, without Ibaka and perhaps Roberson, this Thunder team is incapable of playing solid defense. Much less the elite defense required to win Western playoff games. At times in the second quarter, the Thunder had D.J. Augustin, Morrow and Enes Kanter on the court together. You can sometimes hide an abysmal defender; you can’t hide three. Later in the period, Scotty Brooks played 3-point specialist Steve Novak for four minutes, with a clear mission: guarding Dirk Nowitzki. In the third quarter, Brooks even tried Perry Jones, who has been in the doghouse for months. Nothing worked against Dallas. Nothing figures to work against Golden State, should the Thunder hang on and make the playoffs.”
Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “How often do three teammates score 30-plus points … and play on the losing team? Per Elias Sports Bureau, it hadn’t happened since 1997. You’d have to go all the way back to 1995 to find the last time it happened without overtime periods. Well, welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder to a select club.” Keep Reading…
The box score says the Mavericks missed 35 shots. It says Enes Kanter had 16 rebounds, 11 of them defensive. Russell Westbrook had 11, eight being defensive.
That’s what the box score says. I just don’t remember them happening, because I don’t remember the Thunder ever getting 35 stops.
“Both teams made some shots,” Russell Westbrook said. “One team decided to play more defense than the other.”
The Thunder scored 131 points. They got another triple-double from Russell Westbrook (29-11-11, his 10th). They got a career-high 30 (and 16 rebounds) from Enes Kanter. They got a season-high 32 from Anthony Morrow (on 11-16 shooting). They got 19 from Dion Waiters (on 7-15 shooting). They hit 14 3s. They only turned the ball over 11 times. They played the kind of game that should’ve been a 131-110 win.
And yet they lost. Because they couldn’t put together more than two stops (unofficially) in a row. Keep Reading…
TV: FS Oklahoma
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Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 1300 AM The Buzz Tulsa)
Time: 7:00 CT
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 107.2 (11th), Mavs – 109.0 (5th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 104.6 (12th), Mavs – 105.6 (17th)
On March 16 the Thunder bounced back from a miserable start to play on of its most complete stretches of basketball since losing Serge Ibaka. The defense was swarming, and the offense had too many options to be stopped. It looked like an inevitable win over a Dallas team that had been sputtering, but Chandler Parsons and the gang had other plans.
It looked like the possibility of climbing to the 7 seed ended that night, but again, Chandler Parsons and the gang had other plans. Dallas has lost 4 of its last 5 games keeping the Thunder within striking distance to jump them in the standings with a win at home tonight. Keep Reading…
On Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Enes Kanter put his hand up to his ear when hearing his name announced in the pregame introductions to encourage the Utah faithful as they booed the former Jazz player in his return to Salt Lake City.
Kanter said before the game that even though he might miss the mountains in Utah, he likes playing in the Sooner State better and his play since joining the Thunder has backed that up.
In Oklahoma City, he’s been a center that both rebounds and scores at a high rate. That’s a normal thing for most teams in the NBA, but it’s something Thunder fans haven’t seen since the team came to OKC.
Kanter is averaging a double double on 56 percent shooting as the big man for the Thunder, and all of his stats are up since being sent away from Utah. Keep Reading…