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Friday Bolts – 5.6.16

Friday Bolts – 5.6.16

Berry Tramel on Andre Roberson: “That’s a legit concern. Continual ineffective offense will


make the Thunder scour the globe for another Swiss Army knife. But Roberson’s annual shooting improvement offers hope that Roberson will become a decent 3-point shooter. Put that with demonic defense and the athletic ability that makes his baseline leaps a target for Westbrook’s alley-oop passes, and the Thunder will have quite the ballplayer. For now, the Thunder will have to settle for a defensive specialist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that in this series. After Leonard torched the Thunder for 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting in Game 1, Roberson switched over and corralled the Spurs superstar in Game 2.”

Marc Stein of ESPN.com on the Spurs wanting Durant: “When it comes to listing teams capable of stealing Durant away from the franchise he’s helped build into a perennial power — and from the fiercely proud and protective state that treasures him as one of its own — almost every list out there has Warriors at or near the top. Just be sure to remember the following when you’re watching Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder play host to the San Antonio Spurs this weekend in a pivotal Game 3 and Game 4 on Friday night and Sunday night: The stately Spurs, league sources say, are just as intrigued as Golden State by the thought of making a run at Durant come July 1.”

I wrote something on the Spurs and Thunder and their continuity and how that’s unique in today’s NBA.

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com on Hack-a-Shaq: “A few team officials have suggested pairing this kind of tweak with a super bonus, sources say. Perhaps a Hack-a-Shaq victim might get three shots to make two free throws after any hack, or once his team has entered the bonus. Commit a certain number of overall team fouls — say, eight in a quarter — and then any player on the hacked team, including ball handlers fouled in the normal course of action, gets the same 3-to-make-2 privilege. Fouling Drummond on purpose gets less appealing if fouling Marcus Morris by accident two minutes later gives Morris, a 70 percent foul shooter, an extra chance for a two-point trip.”

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com on which team are you: “We’ve identified four strong cultures in the NBA that have endured for at least a decade: the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets. For many franchises, culture can shift from year to year, but not these guys. Their cultures are intentional, steeped in specific principles. Other cultures are emerging around the NBA. Some, like Oklahoma City and Atlanta, are direct descendants of San Antonio. The Golden State Warriors are cultivating their own school of thought, also influenced by the Spurs, but with a sprinkle of Silicon Valley’s startup culture. These worldviews draw on one another, but each is distinct in its own way.”

(I got the Heat.)

Jeff McDonald of the Express-News: “In Game 3 on Friday night in OKC, the Spurs aim to keep being themselves, no matter what the whistles say. The least penalized team in the NBA during the regular season, the Spurs sent OKC to the foul line 21 times in each of the first two games of the series. The Thunder’s 17 made foul shots loomed large in a Game 2 the Spurs lost by a point.”

Mama Durant’s movie is out on Lifetime this Sunday.

Jenni Carlson on the StormChasers: “But Briscoe does it all because he wants sports to be fun. They were when he played, but in the last decade or so, he believes fans have a harder time cutting loose. He thinks 9/11 had something to do with it. The stresses and strains of life are being carried into arenas and stadiums. He wants to help Thunder fans forget what’s going on outside the doors of The Peake. He considers it his job to make sure there’s no sitting on your hands, no crossing your arms and absolutely no grumpy looks on your faces.”

Anthony Slater on doubling Aldridge: “But in Game 2, the Thunder switched up scheme, stayed glued to Aldridge and played more physical. OKC contested all but five of his 21 shots. But it didn’t matter. The Thunder turned on a faucet it couldn’t shut off. Aldridge made 11 of those 16 contested shots. He dominated from start to finish, going for eight points in the first quarter and six crucial points in the final minute, keeping the Spurs in it with a huge 3-pointer and three clutch free throws. But that string of second quarter post-ups best highlighted his dominance.”