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Friday Bolts: 11.17.17

Friday Bolts: 11.17.17

Royce Young on the OK3 remaining a work in progress: “The trio of stars has produced an offensive rating of 107.8, steadily improving throughout the first month. The Thunder have won three straight — all at home, all against sub-.500 teams. They believe they’re improving, but as they find their identity, relinquishing the notion of balance might be their MacGuffin. That realization may have come after the low-point of the season to date, a closed door locker room meeting in Denver after a fourth straight loss. The message, coming primarily from Westbrook: Paul George, go be the star you are.”

Paul George is starting to feel comfortable on his new team: “The four-time All-Star struggled to fit in with fellow All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony after he was traded from the Indiana Pacers. He settled for jumpers too often, shot too quickly at times and didn’t get to the free throw line as often as usual. As he adjusted, the Thunder started the season with a 4-7 record. Once George broke out, the Thunder turned their fortunes. George erupted for 42 points in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers last Friday, then scored 37 points in a victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. He scored just 13 points in a win over Chicago on Monday, but his shots were higher quality and flowed with the offense better. The Thunder take a three-game win streak into Friday’s game with San Antonio.”

Fred Katz on Steven Adams again being questionable for tonight’s game in San Antonio: “Thunder center Steven Adams, who has missed three straight games with a right calf contusion, went through non-contact practice Thursday. The Thunder are yet to provide a status for Friday’s game. “We’re [not] going to have contact tomorrow at shootaround [Friday morning],” Donovan said. “But I think we’ll have a better feel for how he’s responding from today.” Adams is averaging 12.3 points and 8.4 rebounds in 11 games played this season. He has not played since the Thunder’s Nov. 9 loss at the Denver Nuggets.”

Jeff McDonald (San Antonio Express-News) on the Spurs being wary of OKC: “Adding George from Indiana and Anthony from New York was supposed to take some of the load off Westbrook and make OKC more formidable. That hasn’t quite come together yet. It took until a Nov. 11 victory over the L.A. Clippers for the Thunder to register their first win over a Western Conference club after an 0-6 start. OKC enters Friday on a three-game winning streak, perhaps a sign things are turning around. “They might be 1-77 and you’ll be worried because they have so much talent,” Ginobili said.”

Erik Horne on Dakari Johnson’s performance while filling in for Steven Adams: “It’s only been three games, but Johnson has filled in nicely in Adams’ absence. His numbers aren’t eye-popping (4.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, 17.4 minutes per game), but he’s excelling at subtleties that may otherwise be botched by a young big man.”

Michael Lee (Yahoo) on how Russell Westbrook and an R&B album helped Victor Oladipo take off: “It was a different position. Obviously, a different role that I was placed in,” Oladipo told Yahoo Sports. “I learned a lot. Made me a better player, going there and experiencing what I experienced. Watching Russ and learning from him on and off the court, that was huge for me as well. Everything about Oklahoma I’m very appreciative of. Going there, it benefited me, and it’s helping my game now.”

Carmelo Anthony’s recent appearance on PBS’ Finding Your Roots:

Nick Gallo previews tonight’s Thunder/Spurs game: “One thing the Thunder has to avoid at all costs against the Spurs, who come in allowing the third fewest points per game in the NBA, is being easy to defend. When all five defenders can load up to one Thunder offensive player who has the ball and there’s no movement or distraction happening, scoring at an efficient rate is nearly impossible. As it saw in stretches of the first but more so in the second half against Chicago are examples of players stopping the ball.”

Around the League: The Celtics beat the Warriors for their 14th consecutive win…. The Warriors weren’t happy with the officials in their 92-88 loss…. Chris Paul returned and the Rockets scored 90 points in the first half…. Adam Silver met with the NCAA to discuss the one-and-done rule.