Tag - Lakers

Thunder Grades: Terrance Ferguson

In the 2018 edition of the Thunder Grades, we’re going to break down what we think went well and went poorly for players and coaches. We’re going to avoid players who barely play. So, Nick Collison, Kyle Singler, Daniel Hamilton and PJ Dozier won’t be graded.

We’ll do it in there ways: The Good, the bad and the conclusion. We’ll release two a day, hopefully flying through all of these.

Previous grades: Billy Donovan

Next up: Terrance Ferguson

Terrance Ferguson

The Good

The rookie taken 21st in the 2017 NBA Draft was expected to learn behind Victor Oladipo and Co. However, things change. Dipo’ was shipped off to Indiana and the void left at the two-spot forced Ferguson into some action that frankly he wasn’t ready for. However, he used his length and athleticism to try and carve out a role for himself. He didn’t play with the G League much, stuck with the senior team for all but three games.

“I think I had the best rookie season,” Ferguson said. “Just a lot of people around to help me with my game.”

There are some serious bright spots. He’s three-point barrage in a win over the Lakers in early January showcased what he could really do.

Coming from a prep academy that was purely about basketball and then going overseas, his adjustment at each increased level has been tough but Ferguson has taken it in stride.

“I think a lot of guys you look at, and you notice they have that ‘it’ factor,” Paul George said. “Terrance has that ‘it’ factor. As a young rookie in this league, he’s not afraid, he’s not scared of the moment. That stands out, and that goes a long ways.”

For all his of faults, Ferguson wasn’t afraid to get dirty. He’d do whatever was asked of him and did it without complaint. Instead of being a spot up shooter, Oklahoma City would benefit by using him slashing to the rim, ala Andre Roberson.

The Bad

Where to start? His experienced showed on both sides of the ball. He constantly was beat off the dribble and often left his teammates to cover his tracks, which left them in compromising positions. His shot didn’t look broken but absolutely was. Outside of the Lakers victory, Ferguson was really a non-factor. It’s really surprising, especially for being a first round selection.

“The biggest challenge? It was probably at the beginning of the season, just coming in, not playing a lot, and then having to go right into starting,” Ferguson said

Which is a bit surprising given his lack of play in the Australian league. You think he’d be used to it by now.

His splits were bad. He had some really rough defensive games and that led to him being yanked out the second he made a mistake, the Billy Donovan rookie special.

The inexperience at the professional level was obviously exacerbated this season as he was forced into starting games when he wasn’t ready. Ferguson could’ve used a year in the G League, honing his craft. Instead, he was forced to guard James Harden and getting cooked.

The Conclusion

Ferguson definitely had more negatives than positives this season. The kid is not even 20 years old yet. So, there’s plenty of room for growth and improvements. We’ve seen it in players like Reggie Jackson. Sometimes it takes a year or two to adjust to the speed and the NBA game.

“I just want to come back a totally different player, working on my skillset,” Ferguson said. ”This offseason I definitely want to be able to make my own shot.”

That’s what Oklahoma City will need from Ferguson if he’s going to fit into the rotation of a contending team. Presti’s draft picks lately haven’t been the best. Ferguson can buck the trend by improving and getting better, avoiding the Cameron Payne way of the NBA.

In his limited minutes, Ferguson had thunderous dunks and hit some big threes. He’s 6-7 and has some real length and that goes along way in this game. He’s shown the ability to hit threes and get to the rim. He needs to put on some muscle, weighing only 184 lbs, if he’s going to play the two and three positions.

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Time to walk the walk

“I guarantee that.”

Russell Westbrook spoke with a lot of gusto after the Game 3 loss to Utah on Saturday night. Maybe it’s the elevation or just the sheer undiable ability to win but Westbrook’s guarantee is a big deal. Oklahoma City has spoke of being calm and “being able to flip a switch.” With a monumental game on the horizons on Monday night, it’s time for Oklahoma City to put up or shut up.

If Oklahoma City can, they probably should’ve already done that. Complaining to officials, instead of getting back on defense is getting tiresome. Poor efforts in playoff games make us cringe to the point those who are on the calm side of things are starting to freak out.

With the heart of Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City can come back and win this series. We’ve seen what his wild determination can do. He’s taken apart multiple teams by himself. He’s done it in the final minutes of the game. He’s done it in overtime and throughout four quarters. On Saturday night, he was a large reason why the Thunder struggled.

“You live by the Brodie, you die by the Brodie” an echoing statement that rang so true on Saturday. He’s also why Oklahoma City can even say they’re in a position to win the series. Another historic season coupled with some real talent finally helped the Thunder ascend to the ranks of contenders. No one knew how important Andre Roberson was until he went down and brought the Thunder down to potential pretenders.

Oklahoma City has won in hostile environments. They’ve won in the Oracle. They’ve won in Dallas when the Mavericks were really good. They went to the Staples Center and beat the Lakers. They’ve beaten San Antonio numerous times on the Riverwalk.

But… That was a different team. Only six players remain from that 2016 Western Conference run. Westbrook, Adams, Roberson, Singler, Huestis and Collison. So, it’s really three players. Collison still didn’t play very much that season, only averaging 11.8 minutes per game.

So, this Thunder team. The rebuilt post-KD team has yet to win a road playoff game (0-4). You can throw last season out and we’re left with Saturday night’s loss in an electric building.

It’s time for Oklahoma City to put up or shut up. The time for talk is over. Put the ball in Westbrook’s hands and as Matt Moore says, “Let Westbrook be Westbrook.”

In Brodie we trust.

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West playoff watch

The wild wild west is in full action.

On Wednesday night, the San Antonio Spurs lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 122-112 in overtime. The New Orleans Pelicans decimated the Memphis Grizzlies by a billion points. So, here’s the updated Western race:

W

L PCT GB
1 Houston 63 15 0.808
2 Golden State 57 21 0.731 6
3 Portland 48 30 0.615 15
4 Utah 45 33 0.577 18
5 San Antonio 45 34 0.57 19
6 Oklahoma City 45 34 0.57 19
7 Minnesota 44 34 0.564 19
8 New Orleans 44 34 0.564 19
9 Denver 43 35 0.551 20
10 LA Clippers 42 36 0.538 21

Thursday’s games

Clippers at Utah 8 p.m. CST

Minnesota at Denver 9:30 p.m.

Friday’s games

Minnesota at LA Lakers 9:30 p.m.

Here’s Oklahoma City’s seeding potentials

No. 1 seed

Oklahoma City with only three games remaining cannot secure this spot as they’re 19 games back of the Houston Rockets.

No. 2 seed

Oklahoma City with only three games remaining cannot secure this spot as they’re 13 games back of the Golden State Warriors.

No. 3 seed

With only three games remaining, Oklahoma City cannot secure this spot as they’re four games back of the Portland Trail Blazers.

No. 4 seed

The Utah Jazz have been flying up the standings. They’re 15-5 since the All-Star break and that’s why they’re one game up on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoff race. However, Utah has one game in hand on Oklahoma City. Though, the Thunder own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Final four games: vs. Clippers (Thurs., April 5); at Lakers (Sun., April 8); vs. Golden State (Tues., April 10); at Portland (Wed., April 11)

No. 5 seed

The San Antonio Spurs lost to the Lakers and that helps the Thunder. While San Antonio owns the tiebreaker with the Thunder based off conference record, the Spurs and the Thunder have equal records at 45-34.

Final three games: vs. Portland (Sat., April 7); vs. Sacramento (Mon., April 9); at NOLA (Wed., April 11)

No. 6 seed

Oklahoma City is here, tied with the Spurs at 45-34 with three games remaining. Oklahoma City doesn’t play again until Saturday.

Final three games: at Houston (Sat., April 7); at Miami (Mon., April 9); vs. Memphis (Wed., April 11).

No. 7 seed

The Minnesota Timberwolves (44-34) are sitting here, a half-game back of the Thunder. Minnesota owns the tiebreaker and they own the inside track to a higher seed over the Thunder due to having a game in hand. If Oklahoma City and Minnesota both win out, the T-Wolves get the tiebreaker.

Final four games: at Denver (Thurs., April 5); vs. Lakers (Fri., April 6); vs. Memphis (Mon., April 9) vs. Denver (Wed., April 11)

No. 8 seed

The New Orleans Pelicans won on Thursday night. They’re a half-game back of the Thunder and a full game back of the Jazz. New Orleans owns the tiebreaker against Oklahoma City. Utah owns the tiebreaker against the Pelicans.

Final four games: at Phoenix (Fri., April 6); at Warriors (Sat., April 7); at Clippers (Mon., April 9); vs. Spurs (Wed., April 11)

Outside looking in

Denver (43-35)

Denver is 1½ games back of the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s magic number over the Nuggets is two. Denver is hot. They’ve won three straight and own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Thunder.

Final four games: vs. Minnesota (Thurs., April 5); at LA Clippers (Sat., April 7); vs. Portland (Mon., April 9); at Minnesota (Wed., April 11)

LA Clippers (42-36)

With four games to go, Oklahoma City owns a slim 2½-game advantage over the Clippers. LA needs to win out and get some help from the Thunder if they ever want to reach Oklahoma City’s point. This one is probably out of reach for the Clippers. Oklahoma City’s only threat is Denver.

Final four games: vs. Minnesota (Thurs., April 5); at LA Clippers (Sat., April 7); vs. Portland (Mon., April 9); at Minnesota (Wed., April 11)

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Five Thoughts 3-13-18 (Thunder 119, Hawks 107)

Five Thoughts 3-13-18 (Thunder 119, Hawks 107)

1. Let’s start with the good. Tied at 103-103 with about 4:00 to go, the Thunder closed the game out like bosses tonight. RW was in total control down the final stretch. And Jerami Grant? My goodness he is playing good basketball right now. He is an absolute force in the paint. And he isn’t totally reliant on someone setting him up for the finish. He does that very well, but he has also developed into a guy that take people off the dribble or back them down. Then, he steps out and is capable of hitting a big three. He was sensational tonight and he was incredible over the final few minutes. But really, he’s been damn good all year long. He’s earning himself a fat payday this off-season. It’s looking more and more as if the Thunder will want to be the team writing that check. Russ and Grant completely took this game over at the end. It was tied and it was tense. And then just like that, it was over and the final 2-3 minutes were a breeze.

2. Two other guys deserve recognition for their second half efforts tonight. Corey Brewer didn’t have a huge statistical output, but I thought he was a catalyst behind the turnaround in the third quarter. He was a menace defensively and he was also getting out in the open floor, creating offense. One play in particular stands out where he drove the length of the floor and dropped a perfect pass to Grant for an easy dunk. Brewer also hit a three during that run which helped flip the script of the game. It’s somewhat coincidental that OKC is now 4-0 with Brewer starting, but it isn’t ENTIRELY coincidental. The other guy I really noticed tonight was Patterson. Things felt shaky to start the fourth quarter with Russ sitting and Adams and PG both out for the game. Patterson came through tonight; he provided the offense we needed in the fourth to keep the Hawks at bay— he helped buy time until Russ returned. He’s been playing better the last few weeks; the bench as a whole is starting to contribute quite a bit more.

3. The “ugly” tonight would be the second quarter. Disaster— similar to the third quarter against the Kings last night. Here is the thing about “tanking” teams. While the organizations might be making decisions on purpose that lessen the ability for their teams to win, the players actually on the floor are trying hard. As a matter of fact, a lot of these teams are probably playing HARDER than normal because they have so many guys trying to make it in the NBA. So even if you are up against a team with half a roster of G-Leaguers, if you give them a little life; if you let them hang around, things can get sticky. Prince and Schroeder for the Hawks are both really nice players and a few of their no-name youngsters got hot from beyond the arc. The Thunder are still going through stretches of games where they completely crap themselves. Once the crapping is complete, they are often left with an opponent that feels pretty good about themselves. It’s game on from there. Thunder need to find a way to get back on track faster after the my derail in a given game.

4. Pretty amazing tightrope act lately. Thunder have won 9 out of 12 games. All nine wins came against teams currently outside of the playoffs. Eight of them were against league bottom-feeders. Many of those games were tight or decided on the final handful of possessions. The Thunder went 9-0 in those games. The three losses were against the top three teams in the West. This is quite the contrast to early season tends— an exact opposite as a matter of fact. Early in the season the Thunder were beating the best teams and struggling against the lesser lights. Now all of a sudden the Thunder are taking care of business against the middling to bad teams and struggling against the contenders. This is par for the course in a season of contrasts and general weirdness.

5. Tough night in terms of getting any help/relief in the playoff picture. Pelicans, Wolves, Spurs, and Clippers all won. At posting time, Denver held a five point lead over Lakers in L.A. A loss tonight could have proved very troubling. Thunder took care of their business since the Houston loss. They played four teams they should have beaten and they walked out with a 4-0 record. Now things get tough. They have two full days off (good timing as I’ll be locked into the NCAA tourney Thursday and most of Friday) so hopefully Adams and PG can get healthy and be ready to go for this final push. Clippers in town Friday night— they also play at Houston on Thursday; the potential exists for us to make up 1.5 games on them in a 24 hour span.

 

Ed Kleese is a long-time Thunder season ticket holder and a smart Thunder fan. You can read all his work on his own personal blog.
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West playoff race 3.11.18

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs last night to jump to fifth in the Western Conference Playoff race. For the Thunder, they have to keep up their winning ways as they’re sitting on the backside of a lot of head-to-head match ups.

Here’s how the tie-breakers work right now for the Thunder

Portland: The Trail Blazers leads the regular season series 3-0 (one game remaining on March 25).

San Antonio: Oklahoma City leads the regular season series 2-1 (one game remaining on March 29)

Minnesota: The Timberwolves have won the regular season series 3-1.

New Orleans: The Pelicans have won the regular season series 2-0 (one game remaining on April 1).

Denver: The Nuggets lead the regular season series 2-1 (one game remaining on March 30).

L.A.: Oklahoma City leads the regular season series 2-0 (one game remaining on March 16).

Utah: Oklahoma City has won the regular season series 3-1.

Here’s the current standings after Minnesota’s win over Golden State on Sunday afternoon:

 WestWLGBPct.
#1Houston5114.785--
#2Golden State5016.7611
#3Portland4026.60611.5
#4New Orleans3827.58513
#5Minnesota3929.57413.5
#6Oklahoma City3929.57413.5
#7San Antonio3729.56114.5
#8L.A. Clippers3629.55415
#9Denver3630.54515.5
#10Utah3630.545

Here’s Oklahoma City’s upcoming weekly schedule

Monday (3/12): vs. Sacramento (21-45)
Tuesday (3/13): vs. Atlanta (20-47)
Friday (3/16: vs. LA Clippers (36-29)

Here’s what’s coming up this week for all the teams that impact the Thunder.

Portland (W9)

Monday (3/12): vs. Miami (36-31)
Thursday (3/15): vs. Cleveland (38-27)
Saturday (3/17) vs. Detroit (30-36)

New Orleans (L1)

Sunday (3/11): vs. Utah (36-30)
Tuesday (3/13): vs. Charlotte (29-38)
Thursday (3/15): at San Antonio (37-29)
Saturday (3/17): vs. Houston (51-14)

Minnesota (W1)

Tuesday (3/13): at Washington (38-29)
Saturday (3/17): at San Antonio (37-29)

San Antonio (L2)

Monday (3/12): at Houston (51-14)
Tuesday (3/13): vs. Orlando (20-47)
Thursday (3/15): vs. New Orleans (38-17)
Saturday (3/17): vs. Minnesota (38-29)

L.A. Clippers (W2)

Tuesday (3/13): at Chicago (22-43)
Thursday (3/15): at Houston (51-14)
Friday (3/16): at Oklahoma City (39-29)

Denver (W1)

Sunday (3/11): vs. Sacramento (21-45)
Tuesday (3/13): at Lakers (29-36)
Thursday (3/15) vs. Detroit (30-36)
Saturday (3/17): at Memphis (18-48)

Utah (W5)

Sunday (3/11): at New Orleans (38-27)
Tuesday (3/13) vs. Detroit (30-36)
Thursday (3/15): Phoenix (19-49
Saturday (3/17): vs. Sacramento (21-45)

Magic Numbers:

Western Conference Playoff Standings
Record Conference Playoff Spots No
Playoffs
Team W L 1* 2* 3* 4* 5 6 7 8 9
Rockets 51 14 15 6 4 3 3 2 1 0 ^
Warriors 51 16 DNCD 6 5 3 2 2 1 1 0
Trail Blazers 40 26 DNCD DNCD 14 14 13 12 12 11 0
Thunder 39 29 DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD 14 13 12 0
Pelicans 38 27 DNCD DNCD 17 16 15 14 13 13 0
Timberwolves 39 29 DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD 14 13 11 12 0
Spurs 37 29 DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD 16 16 15 14 0
Clippers 36 29 DNCD DNCD DNCD 17 17 17 16 15 0
Jazz 36 30 DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD 16 15 0
Nuggets 36 30 DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD 16 16 15 0
Lakers 29 36 X X DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD DNCD 0
Kings 21 45 X X X X X X X X 0
Mavericks 21 45 X X X X X X X X 0
Suns 19 49 X X X X X X X X 0
Grizzlies 18 48 X X X X X X X X 0
  • Notes
  • ^ means the team will finish better than this playoff spot
  • X means the team cannot win this playoff spot
  • numeric indicates the number of consecutive upcoming games that must be won to guarantee winning this spot
  • “DNCD” indicates the team Does Not Control its Destiny for this playoff spot and thus, even after winning all remaining games, needs help from other teams to win
  • * denotes first round home field advantage in the playoffs
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Thunder Game Day No. 68: vs. San Antonio Spurs

Oklahoma City Thunder (38-29, 22-11 home)

vs.

San Antonio Spurs (37-28, 14-20 away)

Saturday, March 10 :: 7:30 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage:ABC (5 DirecTV, 8 Cox, 705 HD, 5 AT&T U-Verse, 5 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4½-point favorite. The over/under is 211.
Online Stream: ABC | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Spurs: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Each game is a near must win. Oklahoma City trails fourth seeded New Orleans by a game. With games coming up against Sacramento and Atlanta, stealing tonight’s game is super important.
  • The Thunder and the Spurs have split their regular season meetings, both winning impressively on their home courts.
  • Both teams are trending in weird directions. San Antonio is 3-7 in their last 10 games, Oklahoma City is only 6-4.
  • The Thunder are a slim favorite and will be without Terrance Ferguson (concussion).

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Tonight’s game is on ABC apart of their Saturday night series. Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson & Lisa Salters will be on the call.

SCOUTING THE SUNS

  • The San Antonio Spurs are 37-28 on the season, fifth in the Western Conference.
  • Since Feb. 1, San Antonio is 3-8.
  • In their last game, San Antonio fell to the Golden State Warriors 110-107 on Thursday night.
  • In their all-time series against the Spurs, Oklahoma City is 91-74.
  • Since the Thunder relocated from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 15-19 against San Antonio.
  • When the games are played at the Peake, the Thunder are 10-8 vs. the Spurs.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-2 in their last 10 games vs. San Antonio dating back to Dec. 2012.
  • In their previous meeting, the Thunder beat the Spurs 90-87 on Dec. 3, 2017.
  • San Antonio won the season series against Oklahoma City last season 2-1.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Pau Gasol (shoulder) is questionable.
    Kawhi Leonard (quadricep) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over San Antonio came on Dec. 17, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-93 (14-point margin of victory). Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (39 points) vs. the Spurs occurred during a 130-91 loss on March 25, 2015.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.
  • Terrance Ferguson (concussion) is out.

NEXT UP

  • Next week, Oklahoma City will play the Kings, Hawks and Clippers before playing in Toronto for an early noon tip on Sunday, March 18.

WHAT’S IN A SPURS NAME

  • A group of San Antonio investors purchased the Dallas Chaparrals from the American Basketball Association in 1973 and decided to hold a public contest to rename the team.
  • Five thousand entries with over 500 names were submitted.
  • After reconsidering their first decision to call the team the Aztecs (several teams already used that name), the judges (investors and local press representatives) settled on Spurs.
  • It may have just been a coincidence that one of the team’s main investors, Red McCombs, was born in Spur, Texas.



Three Keys to the Game

Defense

While the Thunder have allowed a ton of points since the loss of Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City needs to step up and find a way to limit San Antonio offensively. The Spurs are only 7-18 when they’re held under 100 points. Oklahoma City for all what is worth is 19-5 when holding their opponent under the century mark. Oklahoma City hasn’t held back-to-back opponents under 100 since Jan. 15-17 when they beat the Kings and Lakers.

Rebounding

Rebounding is so imperative to the Thunder. Oklahoma City is 27-10 this season when they out rebound their opponents. Oklahoma City though, a poor 10-19 when they don’t. It’s like the three-point shooting. Oklahoma City was out rebounded by the Spurs, and that contributed to the loss. They have to do a better job tonight.

Turnovers

Oklahoma City needs to figure out their turnover situation. They’re averaging 16.3 turnovers per game since the All-Star Break (27th). The Spurs are getting out into transition more than ever since the break, scoring 19.3 points per game on the break (8th). San Antonio is 24-10 when they win the turnover battle. Oklahoma City has to tonight to have a chance.

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What will Paul George do

We’ve heard it since he arrived in Oklahoma City, what can Oklahoma City do to persuade Paul George to stay in Oklahoma City? Is it playing time? Is it championships? Who knows. Only George knows. What I can tell you is that there’s nothing more Oklahoma City can do outside of winning a ring that would have more influence on George.

That’s right. George probably already has his mind decided. We won’t find out what that is until July but the Thunder have done everything right. They’ve treated him fairly. They’ve shown there is a real winner here, despite how poorly Carmelo Anthony plays at times.

The talking heads exacerbate the discussion. It’s what they get paid to do. It also takes the casual fan to the hot takes that George is gone no matter what easier than one who watches, follows what players say and understands the nuances that go into the decision.

We saw the best Oklahoma City could be. That absolutely smashing of Detroit was the best in awhile. The seventh of eight wins in a row. Oklahoma City found themselves at the right point. Then, Andre Roberson’s leg exploded. Oklahoma City’s season changed. Losing a key player like Roberson changes a lot of things.

For George, he’s a smart man. He realizes what’s at stake. Jetting for a potential partnership within the Lakers with LeBron James. What we do know is Oklahoma City has done their part. Westbrook has deferred. George is shooting career numbers in a system designed to exploit his gifts. While he’s no Kevin Durant, he’s still an extremely talented player who has changed this franchise for the better.

We’re wrapped in when George says he loves his time in Oklahoma City.

“Well, I mean I’m happy here,” George said. “I’m happy here. I’m happy with this group.”

The rest of the quote snaps you back into reality:

“I don’t want people looking at this and (saying) like, ‘Hey, because he said it’s his happiness at the end of the day (that he’s definitely re-signing),’ George said.

Then again, we could be sitting here in July, raving about the Thunder re-signing George because James went to Philadelphia or stayed in Cleveland. Oklahoma City could benefit that way.

One thing is for sure, the Thunder’s ability to be their best is when they’re all healthy. George probably realizes this and will take into account. George’s opportunity to win has to be greater here in Oklahoma City than with the Lakers, while up-and-coming, still a lot of growing to do.

You won’t be seeing us freak out on his decision. Oklahoma City has done their part. If George wants to be here, he doesn’t. We’ve been down this road before. We take what they say with a grain of salt and wait for the actual news.

We just hope it’s good news.

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Carmelo Anthony out tonight at Trail Blazers

In a bit of surprising news, Oklahoma City’s Carmelo Anthony will sit in tonight’s pivotal game against divisional foe, the Portland Trail Blazers.

Anthony finished with 14 points and was a game high plus-10 in the win over Phoenix on Friday night. Anthony shot 6-of-18 from the floor, including 0-of-3 from deep.

Tonight will be the fourth game this season Anthony will have missed. Oklahoma City is 2-1 without Anthony in the lineup. If you want to include the Warriors game, in which he left after four minutes, Oklahoma City is 3-1 without Anthony.

With Anthony resting on the second night of a back-to-back, maybe this is something we see going forward. With only 18 games remaining on the season, the Thunder could be trying to preserve bodies for the playoffs.

Anthony missed a game in November with a sore lower back. Then, he missed games against Memphis and the Lakers in early February due to the ankle sprain against the Warriors. Oklahoma City’s win margin without Anthony in their two victories is 15.5 points per game. They were blown out by the Lakers in their won loss.

It appeared Anthony may have hurt his right hand in the win over Phoenix last night. Anthony would finish the game.

Oklahoma City started Raymond Felton in the Memphis-Los Angeles games but started Jerami Grant against Dallas back in November.

Anthnoy, 33, in 61 games this season is averaging 16.9 points on 40.8 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from three-point range, just a shade over his career average. He’s also pulling down 6.0 rebounds per game.

Oklahoma City and Portland tip-off at 9 p.m. tonight on Fox Sports Oklahoma. We’ll have your complete game coverage on our social medias.

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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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Corey Brewer agrees to sign with Thunder

With the Los Angeles Lakers buying out veteran guard Corey Brewer, it took only a day for him to commit elsewhere. Brewer will sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder when he clears waivers on Friday.

Brewer, drafted seventh in the 2007 NBA Draft, played for Billy Donovan at Florida and won two championships in 2006 and 2007.

It was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

According to Yahoo Sports, Brewer spoke to Sam Presti and Donovan, finalizing his decision early Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

It’s unknown if Brewer will be in uniform at Phoenix tomorrow night.

 

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