Friday Bolts – 10.24.08

  • Blue Blitz’s recap of last night’s game: “As soon as I saw that for some inexplicable reason Suns were starting Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash, and Amare Stoudemire, I knew we were screwed. Even a Shaq who could care less about the game and, judging from his quotes, hates the idea of NBA basketball in Oklahoma, he’s still 10x better than anything we could have put on the court tonight, as far as big men go. Despite my forecast of impending doom, the Thunder showed heart in the first quarter, led by KD and trailing only by one.”
  • Thunderguru’s: “I did a little number crunching as always and I compiled our Offensive Rating, Defensive Rating. our Pace and the number of possessions for last night’s contest. You may be surprised. We had 101 possessions and our Offensive rating was 92.3. 101 possessions is a lot. We had the ball in our hands and had our opportunities to score. The Offensive Rating was very low because we didn’t score as effectively as we needed to. The league average Offensive Rating 107.5!”
  • The Commish will be in the Thunderdome for opening night: “NBA vice president of communications Maureen Coyle said Thursday that Stern would be attending the Thunder’s season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’ll be the first official game for the franchise, which relocated from Seattle and changed its name during the off-season. Stern attended the Hornets’ final game in Oklahoma City in 2007.”
  • ESPN’s David Thorpe has Kevin Durant and Jeff Green in his ’10 sophomores that should soar’: “I’m not expecting Durant’s scoring numbers to jump nearly as much as his overall efficiency and productivity. Yes, he could average close to 25 points per game — which would be impressive — but doing so while rebounding better, defending with more purpose and getting more buckets inside the paint will establish Durant as a true future star. Building on this past April’s play would be a good start … The Thunder might see improvement only if Green makes a big jump in production. He settled for far too many outside shots last season with too few makes (similar to Durant). But he finished the season strong and occasionally dominated Orlando’s summer league in July. The talent is there. He’d be better served by focusing on defense and rebounding, though, where he has the ability and agility to be excellent.”
  • What are they eating? Darnell Mayberry tells us: “The Thunder contracts a local catering service to provide meals for its players every day before and after practice. The goal is to ensure players receive optimal nutrition to help keep their bodies healthy and in the best possible shape. Team officials also hope players learn the importance of having healthier diets.”
  • SI’s Power Rankings: “After two years of legal wrangling in Seattle, owner Clay Bennett finally got his wish and relocated the franchise to Oklahoma City. As a result, the NBA has a new team with a new nickname and a new uniform color scheme. Unfortunately for Oklahoma fans, the team still looks a lot like last season’s Sonics. At least Kevin Durant is back to build on his Rookie of the Year campaign.”
  • Pro Basketball News’ Sam Amico: I wrote it before and I’ll do so again — my heart aches for pro basketball fans in Seattle. That city shouldn’t sleep until a new version of the Sonics is brought to town. And someday, it will happen. That said, the fans in Oklahoma City have already been a constant reminder that when all else is wrong in the world, there’s always the NBA. My goal this season is to get there for just one game and experience the love these people have for their new team. Just reading the blogs and message boards can tingle your spine. In OKC, the Thunder can do no wrong.