Category - Thunder News

Brewer expected to play Game 1

Yahoo’s Shams Charania is reporting Corey Brewer received treatment to his injured knee and shouldn’t miss any time and looks to play in Game 1 on Sunday against the Utah Jazz.

Brewer took a tumble after Mario Chalmers rolled up onto his knee on Wednesday night. It was incidental contact. It was an unfortunate and left Brewer clutching his right knee. Brewer would leave with a knee sprain per the Thunder. We all feared for the worst. However, the worst has come out: He’s expected to play in Game 1.

Since joining the Thunder as a free agent on March 1, he’s helped transform the Thunder into a contender once again. Since his first game on March 3, Oklahoma City is 11-7, the ninth best record in the NBA.

Oklahoma City’s offense has been reinvigorated with Brewer. Oklahoma City’s offensive rating is 109.5, which is seventh since adding Brewer. They’re averaging over 112 points per game. That’s in comparison to 107.4 (17th) during Andre Roberson’s injury to his signing.

In 18 games for the Thunder this season, Brewer is averaging 10.1 points per game, the most since the 2014-15 season, where he averaged 11.5 points per game. His 34.3 percent from three is the second best of career (2009-10, Brewer shot 34.6 percent).

It’s really his energy that does everything. He goes 100 mph and that’s infectious. Oklahoma City’s pace has skyrocketed since his signing. Oklahoma City is generating four more possessions a game. That’s four less for the opponent, which is a +8 net for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City hosts the Jazz in Game 1 of the Western Conference first round on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The game will be live on TNT and on Fox Sports Oklahoma. We’ll have Brady Trantham and Co. in arena for your complete Game Day coverage.

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Thunder say Brian Davis’ comment inappropriate

While many tuned in on League Pass to see if Russell Westbrook would gain his 16 rebounds needed to average a triple-double for the season. It was Brian Davis’ remarks about Westbrook’s tenacity that caught the ire of many people viewing the game. No, it wasn’t his chicken salad out of chicken something. It was this:

Oklahoma City addressed an uproar over Thunder play-by-play man Brian Davis’ comments on Wednesday night, calling them offensive and inappropriate.”

It’s only taken the Thunder brass 2½ years to address Brian’s use of this phrase (a phrase we will not repeat). That’s 2½ years too long.

The NBA, a place of inclusion and diversity, should not have let this get as far down the road as has. We all have grown to know Davis well. We see him within the city and he’s polite and just so. We all know that he didn’t mean the comment the way it appears. However, that doesn’t change the fact the comment is offensive to many and quite inappropriate.

Dan Mahoney, the Thunder’s vice president of broadcasting, said it would be up to Davis to address this issue on air. Davis is an upstanding person and I would fully expect an apology when the Thunder play Utah in Game 1 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs that tip off on Sunday night at 5:30 p.m.

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Paul George feels the love in OKC

We’ve been down this road before. Kevin Durant said one thing and did another. Russell Westbrook said one thing and did that thing. So, who knows what to believe? Paul George on Friday after practice gave some insights to his potential future.

“As I told Rachel (Nichols), I can see myself being here. I’ve been happy here, I’ve been happy with the organization, happy with my teammates,” George said. “Our record is not what we want it to be, but I think I’ve enjoyed just learning and being around these guys. So, my answer is still the same.”

George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 30. While the Thunder haven’t been the most successful in terms of what they want this season, they have been really good when healthy. They were on one of the hottest streaks over the last few seasons before the Andre Roberson injury.

“It was just an opportunity to see what it’s like being here and just to naturally fall in love with it,” George said of being traded to the Thunder. “And it’s been that. It’s been a lot of love here.”

Love is a strong word, even in the basketball community. Players like to remain even, so there isn’t too much read into their comments. Still, a strong comment from George.

 

“You’ve got to look at what we can be, imagine what we would be if Andre was here playing with now,” George said. “You’ve got to look at the team coming back, with free agency coming up with other guys who we could possibly go grab and who could we, myself, Melo, Russ, who can we recruit with us here.”

George has been largely inconsistent but really just a wholesome worker. He doesn’t make excuses and takes the blame when needed, such as after the bad egg he laid against the Warriors on April 3. He’s only the third person in Oklahoma City history to be named to the All-Star game.

“This is our first year together,” George said. “This is Year 1 for this group. We’ve got a chance to win it all, but realistically it takes time for things to build and chemistry to mesh. Just for everybody to be on the same page.”

With the loss of Roberson, the Thunder’s trajectory changed. They’ve largely struggled on the defensive side. George isn’t able to take as many gambles as the defense has to protect what little assets it has. While the trophy may not be 100 percent in the rear view mirror, their goal and hopefully George, a larger picture remains.

“This wasn’t a championship or bust coming into this for me,” George said. “There is just an opportunity to see what it’s like to be here and just to naturally fall in love with it and it’s been that. It’s been a lot of love here.”

Year 1 of how many? That’s the real factor here. Is it only one or will this be a multi-year relationship in which both could potentially help one another get to a championship?

That’s up to George.

 

 

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Westbrook, George jerseys remain top 25

Paul George and Russell Westbrook are two of the top players in the NBA. Well, in the terms of jersey sales anyway.

According to Dick Sporting Goods, Russell Westbrook sits as the fourth best selling jersey in the NBA this season. In front of Westbrook in the seasonal rankings is Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry is No. 1.

Westbrook has been back and forth between the No. 4-6 rankings on the weekly rankings. Last week, Westbrook was sixth, as Joel Embiid slipped in front of Westbrook for a week. Westbrook moved back up to No. 5 this week. Over the last 30 days, Westbrook is ranked fifth and has been for a couple of months.

Westbrook has been ranked fourth for the last two seasons when the season’s end in jersey sales.

For Paul George, he may not be as high but he’s still on the Top 25 list.  George is ranked 24th in jersey sales for the season.

Over the last two weeks, George has been ranked 32nd in jersey sales. His jerseys is ranked between Golden State’s Draymond Green and Memphis’ Mike Conley. Over the last 30 days, George has seen his sales increase from No. 30 to No. 29. He’s right in the middle of D’Angelo Russell and Jimmy Butler.

Last season, the Thunder were ranked seventh in terms of merchandise sales. This season, the Thunder are sitting at No. 10 according to NBA.com.

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Nick Collison shows why you always have to be ready

It was only a couple of buckets and a free throw but that seven minutes we saw Nick Collison spit fire up and down the court on Saturday night gave Thunder fans that resurgence feeling that had been missing for a couple of seasons.

Sure, Russell Westbrook went bananas and won an MVP last season but there’s not a lot that rivals that of a Nick Collison, perfect hair and all, setting a fundamentally sound screen while curling to the basket. It’s like Steven Adams did it but without all the hair and accent.

“A total pro. He comes ready to play every day,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “Nick keeping himself prepared and going in there he did a great job.”

You wouldn’t believe it but the Thunder were two points worse with Collison on the floor last night. His energy and his attitude made it feel like the Thunder were on the verge of pounding the Spurs out of the playoffs in an elimination game.

“I’m really happy for Nick Collison because he’s a total pro,” Donovan said. “He comes ready to play every day. Not knowing Steven’s situation, Nick keeping himself prepared and going in there he did a great job.”

Seven points in six minutes on 3-of-4 shooting, two rebounds and all of our hearts.

While Collison isn’t a player who can play formidable minutes against an Anthony Davis or even some of the lesser players like a Jonas Valanciunas, his ability to relieve the injury of Adams in key moments on the floor were huge. When Collison checked in, the Thunder led by 10 but the lead ballooned to over 20 with Collison on the floor.

“He [Collison] got his number called,” Westbrook said. “He answered like he do every time.”

At the end of it, MVP chants flowed down from Loud City like an Oklahoma summer rainstorm. The fans chants “MVP! MVP!” as Collison split the two free throws, making the one on the chants.

“Sometimes, I feel like the walk-on in college games where everybody’s yelling at him to shoot the ball, one of the kids that gets in at the end of the game in blowouts,” Collison joked.

As the bench played with a renewed vigor of seasons past, Collison led the fourth quarter charge. Other players scored and had their own impact, i.e. Jerami Grant’s 15 points and eight rebounds and Patrick Patteron’s 10 points were their own influence, it’s just seeing a fan favorite who’s old and not able to jump as high to come in and make such an impact.

“Pat and Nick, those guys did a great job of forcing to our help,” Westbrook said. “We did a good job of having their backs and making it tough for them.”

Collison may not play the rest of the season. He may get into a blowout game and just play a couple of minutes but we know the former Kansas Jayhawk will be ready.

“I’m always trying to stay ready,” Collison said. “I can tell when there might be an opportunity.”

 

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Thunder sign Corey Brewer

The Oklahoma City Thunder finally made their move.

On Saturday morning, the Thunder signed veteran swingman Corey Brewer for the remainder of the season in hopes of fixing some defensive woes that’ve come since the loss of Andre Roberson to injury.

He cut it close being bought out by the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 28. Players must be bought out by March 1 to be eligible for playoffs.

Brewer is entering his 11th season and has played for five other teams in the Association, Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, Houston and the Lakers. In his 765 games, he’s averaged 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He’s a career 28 percent shooter from 3-point range.

 

Brewer, drafted seventh in the 2007 NBA Draft, played for Billy Donovan at Florida. In three years at Florida, Brewer helped guide the Gators to two National Championships (2006 and 2007), appearing in 108 games (106 starts) and averaging 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.63 steals in 27.2 minutes. The Tennessee native was also named NCAA Most Outstanding Player in 2007 and was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2006 and 2007.

Other teams that were interested in Brewer: Cleveland, Portland, Washington and Milwaukee.

Brewer, 31, has averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game in 54 contests this season. He had fallen out of the Lakers’ rotation recently and pursued a buyout to join a postseason contender.

While he’s not a super offensive player, Brewer is a perimeter defender who can defend multiple positions and helps secure the defensive issues a bit. While he’s nowhere near the level of Andre Roberson, he’ll be an okay decent replacement.

 

Brewer will earn $526,249 for the remainder of the season on a minimum contract and due to his year’s served. However, the Thunder will have invested a large portion just into Brewer’s addition. With the Thunder being a non-repeater luxury tax team, the Thunder will end up paying $1,315,622.60 just to add Brewer for the final 18 games, plus playoffs.

While Brewer isn’t Andre Roberson, he’s a formidable player and will provide some level of security on defense. He’s not going to wow you offensively and will play limited minutes.

Oklahoma City talked to Tony Allen and Derrick Rose but ultimately settled on Brewer.

Brewer’s highlight is when he scored 51 points in 2014 against Houston, but don’t expect him to give you anything like that this season.

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Thunder raise season ticket prices

Sure, the Thunder added a couple of “super stars.” This also brought high luxury taxes and expectations. With all of that, the Oklahoma City sent out the 2018-19 season ticket prices and every seat rose in price.

From the Loud City to the super expensive seats, the Thunder made the decision to raise prices based on House Bill 2361. It passed through the State Legislature this summer.

House Bill 2361 states that all tickets under $50 will have a $1 service fee attached. Those above $50 will see a $2 fee attached.

It’s expected to generate at least $2 billion in revenue for the state, which saw a revenue shortfall of $878 million.

Loud City saw prices range. The lowest increase is in the loft. It raises from $15 to $16. That’s a modest $44 addition per ticket. The highest upper level seats saw an increase from $70 to $78. Those mazinee season ticket holders will see an extra $308 on their bill.

In the club seating, those saw modest increases. Such as Terraces both were increased by $3 per seat. That is $132 addition to the season ticket fees. The modest priced club baseline seating, which valued at $90/ticket last season, jumped considerably. It says “call for details.” This usually indicates a drastic price increase.

In the good, lower level seats, the prices all saw an $8-13 increase, depending on the section. The Champion’s Club seating, which are those four sections about mid-court, saw a $23 increase from $275/ticket to $298/ticket.

 

Many expected ticket prices to go up, so this isn’t a surprise. The fans would have to fit some of the bill and they’re aware of that.

Here’s the email the Thunder sent out this morning: 

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Adams is a rebounding monster

I’ll admit it. I didn’t think Steven Adams was going to be the immediate impact on the organization that he was. I said:

We wouldn’t see him for maybe two years in Oklahoma City. Well, not in any real minutes.

Adams started day one and has not relinquished that, sans injury, since. HIs rebounding rate has improved every season and this season has started to reach historic rates.

Not only is he shattering SuperSonic records. He’s rising in the NBA’s rebounding records, too.

When you include the SuperSonic records, Marvin Webster is the single-season leader with 361 offensive rebounds. Webster grabbed 361 in the 1977-78 season. Through the All-Star Break, Adams has 283 offensive boards.

“There’s not many guys that physically can match him in strength as well as athletically jump with him,” teammate Paul George said. “He’s in a category of his own, obviously.”

At this current rebounding pace of 5.3 per game, Adams should shatter Webster’s record and be near 400 offensive rebounds. Adams would be only the ninth player in NBA history to pull down at least 400 offensive rebounds.

“I don’t think one man can stop [Adams] in the paint,” Carmelo Anthony said.

The OKC Kiwi rebounding has been huge. His 9.1 rebounds per game would be the second most in a single-season, only behind Russell Westbrook’s single-season record of 10.7 rebounds per game last season.

“It feels like we can take any shot we want,” George said. “Steve’s going to go get it. We feel that. I feel that, Russ feels that, Melo feels that. It puts us in a better rhythm knowing that there’s a guy that’s going to, whether it’s a good or a bad shot we take, it’ll possibly end up as a basket anyway with Steve down there. It allows us to be more aggressive.”

Because of Adams, the Thunder are No. 1 in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage at 28.3 percent. They’re also No. 1 with 12.6 offensive boards per game.

It’s not a coincidence Adams is averaging 5.6 offensive rebounds in wins and 4.8 in losses. Oklahoma City since Dec. 1 is averaging 13.2 offensive boards. The Thunder averaged 11.1 offensive boards the previous two months.

Adams, is a large part in that, not just on the offensive glass.

Oklahoma City grabs 78.7 percent of rebounds (7th in the NBA) when Adams in on the floor, compared to 76.1% when he’s off (27th in the NBA).

“My whole thing is we need to get onto the next possession,” Adams said. “Because I don’t want to play defense. It’s so f—ing difficult, mate. So, as long as we get the ball and we can stop playing defense, that’s great.”

The Thunder ride and die with Russell Westbrook. It may be more time to realize the Thunder ride or die with the New Zealand boy wonder, too.

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Thunder franchise valued over $1.25 Billion

Basketball is now king in the prairie. Sure, football has its moments but nothing brings the two rivaling alumni together like a classic Russell Westbrook slam dunk. Because of that blending of two schools, not to mention the many, many unaffiliated fans, the Thunder value rose 22 percent over last season.

Last season, Forbes dubbed Oklahoma City the 17th most valuable franchise, but they were only worth $1.05 million at the time. This season, in their 20th annual NBA Valuations, Forbes said the Thunder organization is worth $1.25 billion. That’s a nice 22 percent increase over last season. Five seasons ago, the Thunder were worth approximately $590 million and that still was considered a lot of money. A new TV revenue deal, a paid off arena and the Thunder’s ability to turn a profit is a big reason why the drastic increase.

While the 22 percent increase is nice. It’s also worth pointing out that’s only 21st biggest increase in the NBA. The Philadelphia 76ers saw a 48 percent increase. While on the other end of it all, the Chicago Bulls only saw a four percent increase.

Every team in the NBA is worth over a billion dollars. In comparison to last season, 18 teams were worth a billion. New Orleans rounds up the bottom with a value of $1 Billion.

One major change for the Thunder is the drop in ranking. They’ve been ranked the 17th most valued franchise according to Forbes for the last two seasons and this season, Oklahoma City dropped to 18th. The Washington Wizards leaped the Thunder, and a handful of other franchises. Washington went from 18th to 14th, a massive jump in comparative years.

Another change from last season is the Thunder’s ability to turn a profit. Last year the Thunder with an $8.4 million deficit. This season, that’s skyrocketed to $64 million. That’s seventh highest in the NBA. Cleveland is the only franchise to lose money this season in operating income.

The New York Knicks ($3.6b), Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3b) and the Golden State Warriors ($3.1b) are all teams worth over $3 billion. Chicago ($2.6b) and Boston ($2.5b) round out the top five.

Brooklyn ($2.3b), Houston ($2.2b), L.A. Clippers ($2.15b), Dallas ($1.9b) and the Miami Heat ($1.7b) complete the top 10 of most valuable franchises according to Forbes.

The Thunder were never expected to be a team that was going to rake in the money. They’re a small market with only so many TV sets and one of the smaller arenas in the NBA. If they can stay around the 17th range, it’s a success for the team. Those slim margins are why the Thunder probably cannot afford a rebuilding session all over again and why they’ll have to pay the tax on occasion.

Oklahoma City’s rank on Forbes list of Most valuable:

  • 2018: 18 ($1.25 billion)
  • 2017: 17 ($1.0025 billion)
  • 2016: 17 ($950 million)
  • 2015: 13 ($930 million)
  • 2014: 11 ($590 million)
  • 2013: 12 ($475 million)
  • 2012: 15 ($348 million)
  • 2011: 18 ($329 million)
  • 2010: 18 ($329 million)
  • 2009: 20 ($310 million)
  • 2008: 24 ($324 million)

The value is nice but we know majority owner Clay Bennett is looking at that salary cap mark, $134 million. That’s approximately $15 million over the luxury tax line and boy are the Thunder going to pay. Right now their salary cap and luxury tax is approximate $149 million. This is a small market team with their largest sponsor laying people off and selling off assets. Oklahoma City has a thin margin for error.

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Nuggets fan approaches Westbrook in postgame

Paul George and Russell were doing their comeback thing but it was Gary Harris who had the last laugh but that’s not really where it all ended.

As Russell Westbrook tried to exit the court a fan stepped towards Westbrook, yelling in his face. Westbrook gave the man a nice shove. An obviously intoxicated fan was finally escorted out of the area by security. NBA officials ran over after the fact.

First off, this fan better be lucky Westbrook didn’t body slam him through a couple of tables, Dudley Bros. style.

Secondly, why is this fan on the court? That’s blatantly unacceptable and needs to be addressed by the Nuggets and the NBA. Apparently, this isn’t the first time this happened in Denver this season.

But the action didn’t end there. With the Nuggets and their fans celebrating, one of those fans made his way a few steps out onto the court. A few steps away from Russell Westbrook. A few steps too far.

“They can’t come on the floor,” Westbrook said. “It’s totally unacceptable.”

There are some people out there saying Westbrook will be criticized but that hasn’t been the case so far. While some may think a fine or a potential suspension is upcoming for Westbrook’s touching of the fan, Westbrook had to defend himself in a situation like that. The fan has no right, despite how much he paid for his ticket, to yell in Westbrook’s face without consequences. This fan should be banned from any NBA games going forward.

It’s reported the Denver Police Department hauled the guy away to spend a few hours in jail, most likely for public intoxication and disturbing the peace.

If the NBA suspends Westbrook from such an asinine fan, Adam Silver may have a very upset Brodie, Clay Bennet and the NBPA to deal with.

Another controversial Thunder loss here in Denver and now we await the NBA’s ruling on the L2M report.

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