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Friday Bolts: 10.26.18

Nick Gallo (okcthunder.com) recaps last night’s loss to the Celtics: “Westbrook drove left around an Adams screen, using his peripheral vision to scope the scene, registering Alex Abrines at top of the key. The Spaniard buried a three-pointer, then the next possession, Westbrook found his sharpshooter in the corner for another triple. Two Paul George free throws later and the Thunder was up 94-85 with 4:22 to go, giving the Thunder All-Star 22 points on the night. The Celtics outscored the Thunder 16-1 to close the game. A parade to the free throw line resulted in six Boston points over the ensuing two minutes, a relatively easy feat considering the Thunder was in the bonus at the 8:20 mark in the period. In the fourth, the Thunder was whistled for 12 fouls compared to just 5 for the Celtics.”

Brett Dawson (The Athletic) on the Thunder not panicking despite the 0-4 start: “The Thunder are 0-4 — the franchise never had started so much as 0-3 since moving to OKC — and though there’s a long season ahead, it can get late quick in the NBA’s Western Conference. There are few easy nights ahead, and the road to start has been rugged. But the Thunder aren’t gnashing teeth or mashing the panic button. Not with 78 games to play. Even after a dismal 5-for-20 shooting performance that included an 0-for-7 fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook stressed that even as his team takes on water, it’s still swimming in time.”

Royce Young (ESPN) with Russell Westbrook’s comments from after last night’s loss: “We’re OK. We’ll be all right,” Westbrook said. “It’s early. I’m confident in my guys in this locker room, I’m confident in myself and my abilities to make sure that we have an opportunity to win a ballgame. There’s no need to panic. Obviously we’re not starting the way we wanted to, but we’ll be OK and I will make sure of that. So, not worried.”


Haley O’Shaughnessy (Ringer) on the Thunder’s blind faith in Russell Westbrook: “His final shot was written in the books before he even caught the ball. Down three, Westbrook caught the inbound following a full Thunder timeout. Less than a second after catching the ball—26.5 left in the game—he pulled up 28 feet out. It was a predictable way for the Thunder to go out, and that predictability is inevitable when an offense is as limited on the perimeter as OKC is.”

The Thunder is 17th in Bleacher Report’s latest power rankings: “Russell Westbrook is back after knee surgery, but his return wasn’t enough to prevent a dispiriting 131-120 home loss to the Kings on Sunday. A lack of player movement grinds OKC’s attack to a halt whether Westbrook or Dennis Schroder is in charge, and all the underrated passing in the world won’t matter if the Thunder continue to post the league’s worst effective field-goal percentage. Oklahoma City remains one of just two winless teams, thanks to an offense that hasn’t come together.”