Monday Thunderbolts

  • Fox Sports Net to air 65 Thunder games this year. On a revamped network, Oklahoma fans will be able to watch their favorite team for most of the season. The remaining Thunder games are expected to air on an Oklahoma City over-the-air station, but a deal has not been announced. Replacing Fox Sports Net Southwest will be Fox Sports Net Oklahoma. More than half of the telecasts will be available in HD. FS Oklahoma will launch with the first Thunder telecast in October and will be available statewide as a replacement for FSN Southwest. The date of the launch has not been set.
  • Steve Aschburner of SI.com answers some burning questions about the Western Conference:Will the Thunder’s toughest challenge come on or off the court? Ripping this franchise away from Seattle after four proud and mostly fun decades caused all sorts of emotional trauma — in Seattle. But you know how modern athletes and coaches are, millionaire mercenaries happy to love the ones they’re with, as long as the fat checks cash. This should be expansion without stretch marks, marrying a team that is more advanced than any inaugural edition to a market that has shed its NBA training wheels. But they shouldn’t let any happy honeymoon get in the way of an urgency to improve. Young as this club is, NBA players have finite careers, and building blocks in Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and first-round pick Russell Westbrook need to be full-fledged contributors while guys such as Nick Collison, Damien Wilkins, Chris Wilcox and Desmond Mason still are in their prime, bringing quality and depth to the roster.”
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: “But the recent history of rookie point guards suggests Thunder fans should also have tempered expectations for this year’s No. 4 overall pick. In the last 10 NBA seasons, only five rookie point guards have averaged at least 12 points and six assists: Chris Paul in 2005-06, Kirk Hinrich in 2003-04, Steve Francis in 1999-00 and Mike Bibby and Jason Williams in 1998-99. Not Baron Davis. Not Gilbert Arenas. Not Deron Williams. Not Tony Parker.”
  • How many wins will the Thunder have this season? The consensus at Oklahoma City Thunder Forum looks to be about 20-25 wins. User ThunderBoomer says, “Based upon the home court advantage that was evidenced by the Hornets that should work toward the Thunder’s advantage. I know that it may very well be the most difficult division in the most difficult conference, however I really think that this team won 20 last year, they should be able to build on that with at least 5 more wins. I think 25 wins is probable and I will be pleased. 30 wins will be awesome. 20 wins would be okay, but it would show that we still have some building.”
  • Curious about every single stat of every single player with incredible, in-depth breakdowns of each player including how many threads are in their socks and how that may affect their mid-range jumper? Check out Thunderguru’s awesome Thunder position-by-position breakdown. If you still don’t know this team after that, then there’s no helping you. Joe says, “My problem with [Jeff] Green offensively is twofold: 1) He’s attempting to become a jumpshooting Small Forward and he hasn’t proven to be good at it. 2) I didn’t see any noticeable improvement in his game last year. I’ve read at least five different stories about this team in the last week where they talk about Green’s strong finish to the season. It kind of makes me mad when people take a cursory look at the stats, haven’t seen him play more than a handful of times yet see fit to comment on his game as if knowledgeable. Yes, Jeff Green’s overall statline increased in April as opposed to January, but not because of improved play. His numbers went up because he got more minutes and he attempted more shots.”
  • Uniforms, of course to be revealed any minute. Anyone else really looking forward to Uni Watch’s breakdown of the new duds? And also, we’ll have as much coverage as we can provide from media day news.

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