Royce Young on Carmelo Anthony’s message to Russell Westbrook: “We came here for you,” Anthony said he told Westbrook. “We came here because we believe in what you can do and what you bring to the game, and we don’t want you to stop doing that. We want you to be that player, we want you to be that person, and we’ll fit in.”
Erik Horne on how Patrick Patterson considers this his preseason: “Three games into his Thunder career, Patrick Patterson didn’t have a made basket. On Wednesday night against the Pacers when Patterson hit a corner 3-pointer to put the Thunder ahead by 13 points, Russell Westbrook made a beeline toward the free agent signee to celebrated his shot. It was not only a reminder of Patterson’s importance to the Thunder’s rotation this season, but a reminder that the 6-foot-9, 230-pounder is still working his way back from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.”
Brett Dawson on Josh Huestis preparing for whatever minutes he’s given: “In a Wednesday win against the Indiana Pacers, the third-year forward played a career-high 25 minutes. In the Thunder’s first two games, he played a little more than four minutes combined. That Huestis has played at all in every game is a step in the right direction for the 6-foot-7 forward, who’s in the fourth year of an experiment that saw the Thunder take the unprecedented step of drafting him in 2014 and stashing him for a year in what now is called the G League before signing him to a rookie contract in 2015. He’s now in the third year of that deal, and the Thunder has until Oct. 31 to pick up its option for 2018-19.”
Sports Illustrated lists the Thunder’s uniforms as worst in the NBA: “These jerseys are atrocious. The Thunder have had the worst uniforms in the league since their inception. When was the last time you saw something orange and blue and thought, “I want that.” Also, when was the last time you saw actual thunder and thought, “That looked orange and blue.” This team is in desperate need of a re-design. And the obvious solution here is to give Russell Westbrook creative control of the uniforms. Every night the team would end up wearing a subtle diss about Kevin Durant.”
Grant Hughes has OKC fifth in Bleacher Report’s power rankings: “A 2-2 mark after a soft, home-heavy schedule has to register as a disappointment for the Thunder, a team that won the offseason and could have cemented its contender status with a hotter start. In a thematic recurrence that wasn’t supposed to carry over from last year, OKC still only wins when Russell Westbrook registers a triple-double. He’s got two so far.”
Erik Horne on Andre Roberson’s brother playing ball at UCO this season: “Thunder guard Andre Roberson’s brother, Anthony, has joined the University of Central Oklahoma men’s team this season. The 6-foot-5 senior guard last played at Texas State during the 2015-16 season, averaging 4.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 53.2 percent from the field in 16.9 minutes per game. According to a UCO spokesman, Anthony Roberson be out until at least Jan. 1 as he recovers from a broken hand.”
Zach Lowe’s 10 Things he likes/does’t like: “The Thunder have had predictable hiccups integrating three stars on offense. For everyone but the Warriors, this is a real problem. One fun solution: have two — Russell Westbrook and Paul George — screen for each other off the ball in a Golden State-style “split” action. A tap from George is enough; Westbrook explodes to top speed so fast, he needs only the teensiest crease to rampage to the rim. He has long had dormant potential as a lethal cutter. Smart teams will switch the Westbrook-George dance, but George is ready.”
The Thunder is teaming up with Whataburger to combat hunger: “The Oklahoma City Thunder and Whataburger have partnered to help fight hunger in Oklahoma during this holiday season through a food drive at next Friday’s Thunder game and a three-week fundraiser at Whataburger restaurants. The Thunder will hold its annual Thunder Cares Food Drive, presented by Whataburger, at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday, Nov. 3. Fans attending the Thunder vs. Boston Celtics game that night are asked to make a donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. While supplies last, all fans who donate will receive a coupon for free Whataburger. For every $5 donated, fans will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Thunder team-autographed basketball or free Whataburger for a year.”
New Mr. Presti’s Neighborhood: Special guest Andrew Schlecht of Down to Dunk Podcast.
Around the League: Boogie dropped 41 & 23 in his return to Sacramento…. The founder of Alibaba has agreed to purchase 49 percent of the Brooklyn Nets…. Kyrie Irving has questionable beliefs volume two…. The Clippers buzzer-beat Portland and remain undefeated….