Erik Horne (The Athletic) discusses his observations from Cleveland. “Bazley has arguably been the biggest revelation of the Thunder’s last 15 games. He’s playing hard and he’s starting to get more aggressive with his ballhandling and finishing. I personally can’t get enough of his on-ball defense right now. Kevin Love is no post-up star, or a magician going to the rim, but Bazley made him look really pedestrian on a couple of plays with his length and athleticism. Bazley has developed his sense of when to jump so well, he’s now letting defenders go past him just so he can chase down their shot from behind.”
One negative during Friday’s takedown of the Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel turned his ankle. His status for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Sixers is unknown.
Collin Sexton had himself an interesting twenty-first birthday. Not only did the Oklahoma City Thunder handily beat his team, but he was also collateral damage in Kevin Love’s tantrum with his coach John Beilein.
Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman) had an interesting feature on Billy Donovan’s pursuit of Nerlens Noel… as a high school recruit. “Noel was the consensus No. 1 recruit coming out of high school, so a lot of coaches were in the stands. But he remembers Donovan. ‘Just a classy dude,’ Noel told The Oklahoman. ‘He’s just real laid back. He’s just a people person that knows how to get along with people and set the vibes right. He’s a leader in his own right, and I saw that early on. That’s why Florida was in my Top 3.'”
Chris Crouse (Slam Online) dropped a trade deadline primer for the Thunder, and, not surprisingly, Crouse believes nearly every player could be available. “Oklahoma City has several high-priced veterans on the roster and trimming salary will be a point of emphasis, as this franchise simply doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax (they are currently less than $1M over it). Trading away Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari or Dennis Schroder while bringing back slightly less in salary could be a wise move if it nets them an asset. Dealing away Justin Patton, whose $1.6M salary becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster through January 10, might be an easier task.”
Chris Paul is just the best.
Seriously. Paul is just the best.
Oh, and Darius Bazley sure enjoyed himself at the game.
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