Tag - Westbrook

Thunder Digits: Adams, OKC defense saves the day

After an embarrassing home loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Oklahoma City Thunder responded with a gritty 100-95 road win over the Indiana Pacers. It was pretty ugly offensively, especially for the Big Three. It was the Thunder’s defense that kept them alive and a big game from Steven Adams that led the way to the win. Here are some key numbers from tonight’s win.

23

Adams had a monumental in tonight’s win, putting up 23 points on 69 percent shooting from the floor. He also added 13 rebounds, nine of those being on the offensive end. He gave the Thunder many second chances offensively, and was by far the most physical player on the court.

34

It was an awful night for Thunder’s big three, who were abysmal from the floor, and only combined for 34 of the team’s 100 points. They also combined to shoot just 22 percent from the floor, none of the three stars hitting more than four total field goals all night.

29

It was a big night for the Thunder bench, who combined for 29 bench points. They were very consistent, even when all of the big three were out of the game. They were either cutting down deficits or maintaining the lead for Oklahoma City. Patrick Patterson was a bright spot who looked like a guy the Thunder need, playing great defense and hitting big three-pointers.

9

Even with his shot not falling most of the night, Westbrook made his presence known with his ninth triple double of the season. He finished the night with 10 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists. Westbrook and Adams two-man game was very strong tonight, while also Russell got Oklahoma City in transition with all his rebounds on the defensive end.

14

Alex Abrines continues to flourish while being in the starting lineup for the injured Andre Roberson. He finished the night with 14 points on 63 percent shooting from the floor. He had a key offensive putback late in the fourth that gave Oklahoma City the lead, while also hitting four of his six three-point attempts throughout the game. Abrines had a slow start to the season, but has really found his stride in the last couple weeks.

18

A big difference in this game was the free throw numbers. Oklahoma City shot 18 more free throws than Indiana did. The Pacers shot just six free throws, compared to the Thunder’s 24 attempts. Even though Oklahoma City only made 15 of those attempts, the poor percentage did not matter since they shot so many more than Indiana.

19

Victor Oladipo has been on fire much of the season, and it was crucial Oklahoma City slowed him down in order for the Thunder to get a win tonight. Victor did finish with a solid 19 points, but Oklahoma City held him to just 37 percent shooting from the floor. That is even more impressive considering that Thunder’s best perimeter defender in Roberson was out tonight.

13

When Oklahoma City can hit a decent amount of three-pointers at a good percentage, it usually leads to good things. The Thunder hit 13 total threes tonight, four of those coming from the bench unit. They shot 45 percent from three, even though it was a rough night offensively for the big three. Abrines led the way with his four makes from deep, while Carmelo and George each hit two from deep as well.

2.5

After tonight’s win, it probably shows Oklahoma City fans should not be in panic mode, as they are just 2.5 games back from the four seed. Thunder currently sit at the eight seed, just a game below .500. If the Thunder can string a few together in the next couple weeks, they will be right at the top half of the conference once again.

 

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Mavericks Meltdown! 11.12.17

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Mavericks for their second straight win. So, that means we get a Mavericks Meltdown. The Mavs fans understand they’re not great, so this is a little bland. However, they still have some stupid Westbrick comments. So, enjoy!

  • Nail biter for #teamtank.
  • Let’s do this!
  • the time to start getting some wins is now
  • Ugly offensive game from both.
  • leaving dennis in there has this team grow around him
  • felton wasn’t this round on the mavs
  • Dirk is playing with the reserves
  • J. Huestis never heard of him before, Mavs 3 GL defense making it possible
  • nice flop powell
  • Powell is only looking good out there cause Thunder are running a triple SF line up in front court
  • what a terrible game. mid-90s euroball halftime score.
  • russ switched shoes at halftime..
  • Has Carlisle ever been ejected?
  • turnovers galore tonight. what an eyesore
  • westbrick is waking up?
  • The Mavs are committing some bush league turnovers. Sometimes it looks like they’ve never played together.
  • Wes has to make wide open 3s..
  • It annoys me watching them let Westbrick beat them
  • wow, Mejri defending Westbrook, whose gameplan is this
  • Man, I love the way Mejri immediately fires a rebounded ball out to a guard that is going down the court. Mejri actually has some really good B-ball instincts.
  • He just fouls a lot.
  • what a poor defense
  • i wonder if it’s possible carlilse is on the hot seat?
  • No rim protection whatsoever…
  • just look at the beautiful job how Felton runs the offense, he has done better tho than any Mav PG in just only 13 minutes
  • Wes doing some hardcore tank commanding tonight.
  • Dennis gets ZERO calls!! WTF?!?! I get that he is a rookie, but c’mon refs!!!
  • okay maybe mavs have one more shot
  • okc is better without melo..
  • ehe the okc announcer made a funny: “i’m gonna be your schoolbus driver and take you to school”
  • Holyshit how awful are PG13 and Westbrook.
  • If anything, that was a push off by Westbrick.
  • Lol, Wes with the great pass to Westbrook under the rim!
  • You can’t make this crap up; now Clavell passes to Westbrook.
  • Gameover, Noel is in the Game.
  • Poor coaching. Bad loss.
  • Masterful tank job
We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Digits: OKC bounces back behind big night from George

The Oklahoma City Thunder were able to snap their four-game losing streak with a strong win at home over the Los Angeles Clippers, with a final score of 120-111. It was a big night for Thunder’s big three, especially Paul George. Oklahoma City also got nice contributions from a number of different role players in different areas of the game. Here are some interesting numbers from Friday night’s win:

42

Paul George was on fire tonight from the very beginning. He put up 21 by halftime, and finished the game with 42 points. He made 13 of his 22 field goal attempts, including hitting four three-pointers.

40

Up to this point, Oklahoma City has struggled to get to the free throw line. That was not the case tonight, as the Thunder shot 40 free throws, hitting 29 of them. Both Westbrook and George led the way, as they relentlessly attacked the basket and were able to make it count.

14

It was also a very solid night from Alex Abrines, who quietly played his best game yet thus far in the season. He finished with 14 points, while hitting three of his four attempts from deep. This is the Abrines the Thunder are looking for to contribute nightly off the bench.

12

As aggressive and assertive George and Westbrook were, Anthony was the one who picked his spots. He only attempted 12 shots, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though he did not shoot much, Carmelo contributed in a lot of different ways. He was very good defensively, and found a lot of open guys for three-pointers when he was backing down the opponent in the low post.

Plus-26

With Steven Adams out, Dakari Johnson got his first career start, and it paid off big time. Johnson ended the night with a plus-26 in the plus/minus category. He showed flashes with some great ball movement when he had the ball, solid defense on DeAndre Jordan, and even hit a nice mid-range jumper in crunch time. Johnson played 23 minutes, and probably would’ve played more without the foul trouble he had. I don’t know if Donovan will be able to find minutes when Adams is back, but Dakari definitely gave the coaching staff something to look at.

42.3 percent

The Thunder have taken a lot of threes this season, but haven’t consistently hit those. Tonight, they had a very solid night, shooting 42.3 percent from deep. They hit 11 threes total, over half of those coming from Paul George and Abrines.

19

Oklahoma City’s defense isn’t necessarily dominant, but they sure know how to get the opponent to turn over the ball at a high rate. That was no different tonight, as the Clippers turned it over 19 times. The Thunder consistently deflected passes, and came up with a lot of easy steals.

5

Five technical fouls total were called tonight, three on Oklahoma City and two on Los Angeles. Both teams were pretty talkative with the officials, and obviously the referees grew impatient throughout the night.

52 percent

All in all, the Thunder were in need of a big win to turn things around, and the Oklahoma City’s big three came through when it mattered. They combined to shoot 52 percent from the field, putting up 78 points all together. Hopefully they can build off this win, and maybe win a few in a row to get everything back on track.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder lose another questionable one

A team goes up 10-0, you get this feeling this game is going to be a blow out in the Thunder’s favor. Two hours later you’re sitting on your couch, wondering where things went wrong and why you decided to be a basketball fan. The Thunder’s 94-86 loss to Sacramento leaves more questions already.

The Kings picked up their first win since Oct. 20, a span of 19 days.

While the Thunder led by as many as 17 in the first half, it was the Kings that powered back and led 42-41 at halftime. It appeared this was going to be a tough battle but the Thunder struggled to get quality shots, settling for contested jumpers. They didn’t rebound and allowed a 36-year old Zach Randolph to pretend it was the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

“It starts with me” Westbrook said. “Part of my job is to do that and make sure my guys are ready to play. I take ownership in that. It’s part of my job to get us back on a roll.”

Westbrook struggled going 7-for-21 from the floor. He turned the ball over seven times and missed six threes. Often those misses were ill advised shots.

With the starting five struggling, Sacramento’s reserves scored the team’s first 29 points — an NBA record, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The previous record was 23 set by Milwaukee against Orlando on April 5, 2011.

The Thunder shot only 33 percent from the floor. Not far from the franchise record of 28.4 percent against the Lakers in 2016. Oklahoma City seemed to be lackadaisical on loose balls and chasing defenders. Backdoor cuts were open for the Kings and settling for threes were plentiful.

While the Kings went up by 12 in the fourth quarter, you knew Oklahoma City was going to make a run. They did, cutting it to 77-76 with 4:29 remaining. However, Carmelo Anthony picked up a technical foul and Buddy Hield nailed a three, increasing their lead to five in a matter of seconds.

Oklahoma City will travel to Denver to get their act together against the Nuggets on Thursday night. Tip-off is scheduled a 9:30 p.m. tip-off on TNT.

Keys to the Game

Rebound: C

Oklahoma City scored 18 points on nine offensive rebounds. However, the Kings out rebounded the Thunder. Oklahoma City falls to 0-6 when being out rebounded. The Kings are now 2-0 when out rebounding their opponent.

Share the ball: F

Only 15 assists for the Thunder. Westbrook has six of them. Way too many ISO shots and no movement within the offense. This was one of the worst games when it comes to sharing the ball. Oklahoma City does SO well when they share the ball. Oklahoma City is 0-5 when their opponents has more assists.

Get to the line: A

This is about the only thing the Thunder did well tonight. They attempted 23 attempts, making 18 of them. Westbrook even did things right. He made 4-of-5. This is something we need to see on the regular. No more 15-19 attempts. More 23-28 attempts.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Digits: This wasn’t fun

It was a disappointing night as the Oklahoma City Thunder blew an 18-point lead and lose a close one at home to the Boston Celtics. It was a dominant first half from the Thunder, followed by a very poor second half on both ends. Here are some interesting digits from Friday’s loss:

18

As mentioned above, Oklahoma City led by 18 at one point, which is what they led at halftime. It was an excellent performance in the first half, but just fell flat in the second half.

33 

For people looking for silver linings, this one is for you. In a game the Thunder dominated for the first half and led majority of the way, it was an awful night shooting wise for the big three. George, Westbrook and Anthony combined to shoot 33 percent from the floor. If just one of the big three has a good night offensively, this game probably has a totally different outcome.

6

This number isn’t really significant in the grand scheme of things, but it matters. Patrick Patterson is a guy who has struggled early, mostly due to not having any preseason because of a knee procedure he was recovering from. Tonight, Patterson hit two of his three three-point attempts and finished with six points. He is a guy that is looking more and more himself each game, and can become a huge help to this team.

64

The Thunder defense was stellar in the first half, and pretty much the opposite in the following half. Boston put up 64 points in the second half, after being held to just 37 in the first half.

25

On top of the defense falling out, the offense did much of the same. The Thunder were outscored by 25 points in the second half, 64 to 39. It really was a tale of two different halves of basketball, and give Boston credit for responding perfectly after a terrible first half.

1-for-12

Out of Thunder’s big three, Carmelo was the one that struggled most, especially in the second half. Anthony finished with one made field goal out of 12 attempts in the second half, his worst half of shooting in his career.

22

To say Kyrie Irving is unfair would be an understatement. He was the Thunder killer in the second half, putting up 22 of his 25 points in the second half. He had a huge fourth quarter as well along with Al Horford who had his fair share of daggers in this one.

11

Another bright spot in this tough loss is Jerami Grant. He has continued to improve his game and it showed on Friday night. He finished with 11 points on 71 percent shooting from the floor. He showed a flurry of different things he can do like, hitting the outside shot, taking advantage of the smaller defender and also dunking on any opposing player possible. Grant has quietly become Thunder’s best player off the bench so far this season and his jump offensively from last year to this year is a delightful surprise.

13

Al Horford is a top-tier center in this league and it showed on Friday. He was phenomenal offensively, especially in the fourth quarter. He was on fire from deep, hitting all three of his three-point attempts, and shot overall 100 percent from the floor in the final quarter. He finished with 13 points in the quarter, 20 in the whole game.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Digits: OKC dominates behind Westbrook triple-double

It was a reunion in the Chesapeake arena as the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Indian Pacers. Domas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo got a nice ovation from the home crowd, while Paul George faced off against his former team. The Thunder cruised to a 114-97 win behind a spectacular game from Russell Westbrook who recorded another triple double in this early season. Here are some interesting digits from tonight’s game:

2

Westbrook was a monster tonight, and continues to play like one of the best players on the planet. He recorded his second triple-double of the season in just four games played for Oklahoma City. He finished the night with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.

25

It was a nice night for Josh Huestis, who saw himself play 25 minutes off the bench. It was probably because of Terrance Ferguson not being healthy the past couple days, but also how Huestis performed in the preseason he earned these minutes. It will be interesting moving forward if Huestis can play his way consistently into the rotation.

17

Steven Adams had a heck of a game, feasting on the Indiana frontcourt. He finished with 17 points, along with 11 rebounds. Adams also shot 62 percent from the floor. Steven continues to look very good early in this season, and has gotten better and better each game so far.

35

The officiating at times was very weird tonight, going from a lot of ticky-tack calls, to players being mauled and no-call. Nonetheless, Indiana capitalized and got to the free throw line 35 times, hitting 30 of those attempts. Knowing that, it is even more impressive Oklahoma City held the Pacers to 96 points, almost a third of those points coming from the charity stripe.

19

It was a frustrating night for Paul George, who could not stay out of foul trouble. That factor kept George to just 19 minutes played tonight, with only 10 points. He did shoot 50 percent from the floor, just not much time to get his offense going considering the little amount of time he was able to be in the game.

35

The number 35 was obviously a popular number tonight, as Victor Oladipo put up 35 points, a game-high. Victor looked very comfortable tonight and seems to embrace being “the” guy in Indiana. Oladipo has had an insanely great start to the season.

8

The Oklahoma City defense was very impressive tonight, finishing with eight steals and eight blocks. Adams had two blocks and two steals, while Westbrook had three of the eight steals. Carmelo Anthony was also active on defense, finishing with three blocks.

28

Carmelo Anthony continues to look very comfortable on his new squad, putting up 28 points tonight on 53 percent shooting from the field. He led the team in scoring, while also chipping in ten rebounds.

3

All in all, it was an all-around effort from this Thunder team. Three different Thunder players, Anthony, Westbrook, and Adams finished with a double-double. Tonight was a good night in showing this team’s improvements in playing together, and how the chemistry is building each game.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

5 thoughts from the Peake

The Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 115-113 on Sunday, Oct. 22. Andrew Wiggins hit a 30-foot buzzer beater seconds after Carmelo Anthony hit a three-pointer to give Oklahoma City the lead. However, the Thunder fall to 1-2 on the season and Minnesota improves to 2-1.

Raymond Felton the firefighter?

Did you know Raymond Felton is a firefighter? Yesterday when OKC was struggling to put their offense together it was Felton who came off the bench and was able to get the offense going putting eight points off the bench. Today when the Thunder were struggling to get the offense going while the Wolves were putting a run together it was Felton who came in and put the fire out an got the offense started scoring 10 first-half points off the bench.

Westbrook to Adams might be the best relationship in the NBA

 Westbrook pass to Adams might be the best play In basketball. How many Thunder games do you see a play where Adams comes over to set a screen for Westbrook who goes to the hoop then Adams rolls to the basket. Westbrook either throws a no-look bounce pass for an Adams dunk, or Westbrook throws a lob to a rolling Adams who throws down a dunk. Its what gets the Thunder offense cooking which in turn gets the home crowd on their feet which gives the five on the floor momentum and can quickly help get a 13-2 run going when the Thunder need it. Westbrook to Adams is the best on court relationship in basketball and is essential to the Thunder offense.

Please Russell never change

The fourth quarter is Westbrook time. You go back and watch all of last season. When the fourth quarter would come around, everyone stepped back and let the greatness of Russell Westbrook happen. Tonight felt different, yet it was still the same Westbrook who played eight minutes, scoring 15 points, one rebound and three assists going 6-of-9 shooting. Including 3-of-5 from three at 60 percent. It was the last 30 seconds that was different.

Westbrook hit a clutch three-pointer to tie the game then Anthony Towns showed his phenomenal talent scoring a tough two-pointer to put the Wolves back up then something different happened. Westbrook got the inbound ball now last season he would shot a three-pointer, but this season the game asked Westbrook to pass, so Westbrook assisted Carmelo Anthony who hit the clutch three to put Oklahoma City up with eight seconds left. Andrew Wiggins would go on to hit a clutch game-winning buzzer beater, but it was Westbrook that showed he will always do what the game asks of him if Westbrook needs to hit the game winner he will do it if the game asks of him to pass the ball he will and that will never change.

With consistent minutes Josh Huestis can be good

Josh Huestis has been asked to do a lot by the organization, and Huestis has earned every minute he gets. Because of an unfortunate injury in warm-ups to Terence Ferguson Huestis received a boost in minutes, and he looked good getting two blocks, four rebounds, and an assist. Huestis didn’t set the world on fire what he did do is show he brings something to this team on defense with his outstanding blocks and ability to hit a three Huestis could be a great asset down the line but he needs a bit more consistent minutes on the court even when Ferguson comes back into the rotation.

Peaks and Valleys  

There have only been three games so far this season, and we have already gone through some peaks and valleys an there will be more to come. The Thunders first game against the Knicks was a great start to the season we got to see how good this team could be on both sides of the ball. Then the Thunder fell into a valley against the Utah Jazz where the Jazz did a great job stopping the Thunder’s penetration game the Thunder also was not able to create stops.

Tonight against the TImberwolves was a bit of both worlds the Thunders shooting woes continued in the first half the positives came in the second half when their defense started to click which leads to the offense starting to flow. We will go through some more growing pains; you can see the potential this team has don’t be surprised if this team goes on a lengthy stretch of wins once they find there groove.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Some thoughts from Thunder Media Day 2017

The Oklahoma City Thunder held their annual media day on Monday, Sept. 25 and it was business as usual for the players as this is the 10th season of doing this and with so many veterans on the team this season, it’s nothing new to them. I started this as a five thoughts type of deal and just rambled. 1,600 words later, here you go:

Kanter will be missed

Kanter was a lively guy while in Oklahoma City. He talked about his love constantly of the city and the citizens of this great state. With him being traded only 48 hours earlier, it was a given his name would be brought up in what he means to people.

Russell Westbrook probably said it best for everyone:

Kanter is an amazing guy and it was great to have him here. He always brought the flavor to the locker room.

-Westbrook

Of course Steven Adams had to be asked as a fellow ‘Stache Bro:

Locker room relationships are different than any other. I will certainly miss him on the court.

-Steven Adams

Melo seemed happy, relieved

Why Carmelo Anthony said there was no bad feelings towards those in New York. His chapter is done. The man is moved on. He wore his hoodie with bravado and explained how it started. He made jokes when someone implied maybe he could come off the bench. Oklahoma City is getting a talker. This 10-time NBA All-Star has real thought into what he says. Even when he’s probably trolling. The man gave long-winded answers, but they weren’t talking in circles. He doesn’t want many things taken out of context. That was obvious, despite some things via social media being done so.

I didn’t come here to be a rebounder. I came here to do what I do best and I am excited to be here.

-Melo

However, Melo smiled. He cracked jokes. The man is ready to start a new act in his play of life. He seems to really still love to play the game of basketball.

When many think of what is going to cause any rifts between this trio, Melo shot down any idea of him trying to take Russell Westbrook’s star.

I’m not coming here to take any spotlight

-Melo

No one asked Russ about being a father

You know, this is partially my fault. I didn’t. I should have. I did not think about it until afterwards. Oklahoma City’s newest MVP became a father this summer, little baby Noah came into this world dressed to the nines. Westbrook mentioned becoming a father when asked about whether or not he’s going to sign a contract before the Oct. 16 deadline.

It’s been a long summer. Had a baby, been working on a little father hood.

-Russell Westbrook.

We all asked about playing with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. However, we didn’t ask how being a father was. I’m sure he feels a little let down, a little used. For us as journalists, we have to appeal to the people side of these players.

We’ve seen his snap chat. We understand how important Noah is to him. I let him and everyone down by not asking about it.

OK3 are definitely close bros

We knew they were friends but watching them joke with one another and having a blast during the photo portion of the media day. They were joking, giving each other a hard time and just seemed to be enjoying being on the same team. It’s been awhile since all three had real help and I think they’re finally happy they’re getting it.

Players answers to protests questions

Billy Donovan started it out by saying he respects the flag and doesn’t want to offend anyone. Sam Presti shot off saying he supports the player’s right to protest peacefully. While it’s such a generic answer, which is what the Thunder want, it doesn’t really give us any insight.

Westbrook started out the player’s portion of the answering of the questions.

The things he’s saying is outrageous. It’s uncalled for. It’s unnecessary. I don’t agree with anything he said.

-Westbrook

While Raymond Felton said he wasn’t political and others say they’ll decide as a team on what to do, Westbrook, the leader of this team, spoke up and from what I gathered, spoke really for the team on this topic.

Paul George, often stoic in demeanor, left his own opinion on the dais:

I thought what the NFL is doing right now is beautiful. They’re showing a lot of power, not only from the players but the front office making statements that they’re going to back their players up in whatever they do.

-George

Nick Collison gave a very thought provoking comment on it all:

“I think he has an opportunity to try to bring people together. Seems like every time he has a chance, he tries to tear people apart,” Collison said. “I don’t know if it’s for political gain or what, but I think part of being an American, and loving America and loving the country is loving your fellow American and other people that make up this country.

“Players are in an interesting position in this country in that they have a voice. They can try to use that for good to unite the country. I know that’s a tricky situation, a lot of people disagree with it. I just wish instead of saying it’s us against them or fighting the culture war that everyone seems to fight all the time, I just wish there would be more listening and trying to make it better and solve problems instead of just point out whose fault it is for problems.”

I’m nervous, I’ll come back

We gotta address the elephant in the room. The reporter who was so nervous he couldn’t talk to Russell Westbrook was one of our guys. The Thunder media room busted up laughing and so did Russ. The guy was one of ours. Unfortunately, in his first ever press conference, the guy choked and I hope he learns from the situation. He’s going to hopefully get better. No, it wasn’t Brady. It was Brady who said “we’ve all been there” and asked a follow up question.

In his defense, he hit Collison with a full question. So, there was a redeeming story on media day after all.

I kept forgetting who Isaiah Canaan and Rashawn Thomas was

I feel embarrassed, I’m supposed to know who all these players are. However, Canaan only signed on Saturday and I’ve barely seen a picture of Thomas. However, there was more than once when I saw them walk around and was like, “Who’s man is this?”

Someone buy Terrance Ferguson a sandwich

This man must not have eaten while in Australia. The Tulsa native looked like he was held together by twigs and twine. The Thunder say he’s 185 lbs. I’d like to see him step on the scale. He looks closer to 170. When the Thunder finally get him into the weight room.

Sam Presti praises ownership for this team

A surprising turn of events happened even before the start of the day, Presti took the dais and fielded questions about the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. He was openly praising Clay Bennett and Co. on their patience (and money) with this roster. As of right now, the roster is at $132 million for the season, approximately $7 million over the tax line. With their tax and their salary cap, their money situation is about $160 million.

Championship talk is back

Paul George said on Monday afternoon this felt like a championship team. It has the same feel. You have over 20 all-star appearances, multiple gold medals and three 20-point scorers all on one team, that’s the feeling you get. This team is going to be very special when May rolls around.

Westbrook is a man who often keeps it simple:

We have one goal: to win a championship

-Westbrook

Hoodie Melo is in Bricktown for the foreseeable future

One of the best moments of media day was watching Carmelo Anthony walk in front of me wearing that hoodie under his jersey. He didn’t have to do it, but he did it. He cracked jokes about not coming off the bench and really talked about who he was as a person, player.

While wearing the hoodie, Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman, asked Melo about the feeling everyone had about him never wanting to play for a small market team because, you know it’s small. Melo interrupted him an said this:

They said that because they don’t know me.

Eye opening. It’s true, I searched the internet and unknown anywhere in the google-sphere, I cannot find Melo saying that.

If you’re curious where the hoodie Melo came from, this is what Anthony had to say:

“It started with a beanie, like I was just in the gym and I didn’t have a haircut, and I was like, ‘I’m just gonna go and throw a hat on. I wanted to sweat, and I just started working back out in the summer,” he explained. “From there, it went to a hoodie and it got out, and the phenomenon started.

“For me, it was just about showing a different focus that I have, a different motivation, and just locking in to what I have to do. And locking myself into the gym, and locking myself into focusing in on my body. Because I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was so much going on that was surrounding me that I just wanted to find a way that I can just focus in, and that’s when Hoodie Melo was created.”

I’ll have to point out Paul George isn’t a fan of the hoodie. He yelled into his presser and said “take that dumb ass hoodie off!”

Nick Collison still is Mr. Thunder

The water flowed through the bottles of Disani and other brands through media day as players chugged under the heat lamps that are often shining lights for video cameras.

It’s probably my last year

– Collison

Nick Collison said He wasn’t expecting any farewell tours or anything. He just wants to go out and play basketball for another year.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Roberson inks deal, stays with OKC

Andre Roberson is back.

The 2nd Team All-Defensive NBA wing signed a three-year, $30 million deal to stay with Oklahoma City. Before the season, he was offered a four-year, $48 million offer sheet. He will miss out on about $2 million a season with this contract.

The Thunder have their starting five. Russell Westbrook, Roberson, the recently acquired Paul George and Patrick Patterson with Steven Adams will hear their names announced inside Chesapeake Energy Arena come October in a new season of Thunder basketball

Signing the four-year veteran has been one of the top priorities for the Thunder this offseason. Roberson, who will begin his fifth season come October, has established himself as one of the best defenders in the league, locking down opposing guards and forwards across the league.

With George in the thunder lineup, Roberson will likely slide back to the starting shooting guard spot but he’s capable of playing the three in a small lineup.

If Roberson can improve his offense over the duration of his contract, this deal is certainly a steal for the Thunder. With his signature, the Thunder can focus on returning to being on of the top defensive teams in the league.

Roberson and George have been on All-Defensive teams in their careers, Adams has the capability to be the best defensive center in the league and Patterson and Westbrook can play lockdown defense in their respective positions.

The Thunder probably aren’t done this offseason as far as moves for players. General manager Sam Presti may still have a few tricks up his sleeve. The Thunder still want to clear cap space to avoid going too deep into the luxury tax and they still need a backup point guard.

Signing Roberson will help this team compete against the offensive-heavy Western Conference. If Roberson improves his shooting stroke, he can become one of the most valuable shooting guards in the league.

 

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder trade for Paul George

The Oklahoma City Thunder made a blockbuster trade on Friday night. The Thunder traded Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis to the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Oklahoma City’s odds to win the 2017-18 NBA title went from 60-1 to 40-1, according to the Westgate Las Vegas.

Paul George told the Pacers only a week or so ago he was not going to re-sign and wanted to be traded. Indiana obliged, sending the rental to Oklahoma City.

This is Sam Presti’s magical moves once again at work. While free agent-wise, Oklahoma City is not a premiere destination, the Thunder and Presti have been wizards in the ability to acquire quality players via trades.

The Thunder were last in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage last season (32.7). George shot 39.3 percent in 2016-17, which would’ve ranked first on OKC (minimum five attempts).

This signals a win now move by Presti, to Westbrook. This shows how much he’s working to keep Westbrook on a title contender.

George is a modern superstar and a quality two-way player who has been able to lockdown opponent’s best perimeter players. Westbrook now has a second option after being the only option all of last season.

George, 27, averaged a career high 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game on 46 percent shooting.

This will be the first time George has been paired with a legitimate superstar. While he has always been the no. 1 option in Indiana, that pressure will be off him, hopefully for an improved offensive game.

For the Thunder, this is a big risk, big reward situation. George is obviously a 1-year rental. However, having him on a contending team may just sway the former Fresno State Bulldog to stay in Bricktown.

Oladipo never seemed to fit in the Thunder’s system. He was inconsistent and often disappeared when it was crunch time. The former no. 2 pick moves onto his third team in three years. Oladipo averaged 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and a career low 2.3 assists

Sabonis was thought to be the next starting power forward of the franchise. However, an absolutely dismal performance all season long, led to the benching when the Thunder acquired Taj Gibson. Sabonis was relegated to bench time and had a couple of DNPs. Sabonis averaged 5.9 points on 39.9 percent from the field and only 32.1 percent from three.

Oklahoma City could still be working and we might hear their name a few more times before the sun rises.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!