Friday Bolts: 6.2.17
Happy Friday, friends. These Bolts are for you.
Russell Westbrook watched Sister Act 2 instead of last night’s Game 1: “During Game 1, the Oklahoma City Thunder star posted an Instagram story in which he filmed himself singing along to Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, which is the better Sister Act simply because Lauryn Hill is in it. But that’s besides the point, because Westbrook singing is gold.”
KD’s mom discussed the Durant/Westbrook relationship: “He felt that he and Russ could both be successful apart. That was quite obvious; both of them had great years. But that wasn’t part of the dilemma because he loves Russ. I know right now their relationship seems a little off-kilter, but if we just give them space and room to figure it out, they will.”
Thunder assistant coach Maurice Cheeks was hospitalized on Wednesday: “Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Maurice Cheeks is “doing well” after an undisclosed medical episode occurred while he was on a flight to Philadelphia on Wednesday, according to a team official. Cheeks is said to be in “good spirits” and was released from a Philadelphia hospital Thursday.”
Bleacher Report’s latest mock draft has OKC taking Harry Giles at 21: “There are obvious risks tied to his surgically repaired knees and limited experience. But at No. 21, the risks are worth the potential reward that would come with Giles if he strengthens his legs and skill set. He’s bound to look more enticing during workouts than he did at Duke, where he came off the bench and struggled with foul trouble (7.7 per 40 minutes). As long as he stays healthy, Giles should be able to carve out a role in Oklahoma City as an energizer around the basket. But between his tools and room for growth offensively, his ceiling clearly exceeds role-player status.
Adam Silver on getting NBA players more rest: “We are requiring our arenas to free up more dates,” Silver said Thursday. “We’re competing against everything else that happens in these buildings, so you can only imagine the number of permutations that go into the computer program. But if we can ask them to hold yet additional nights, that also enables us to create more space between the games.”
Silver is also looking at the NBA Draft eligibility rules: “Less than a month away from a draft where about 20 players who completed just one year of college will be welcomed into the league, Silver expects the so-called “one-and-done” rule to be modified — somehow — before too long. But in saying that, Silver also acknowledged that even he isn’t certain what makes the most sense going forward. “My sense is it’s not working for anyone,” Silver said Thursday night before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. “It’s not working for the college coaches and athletic directors I hear from. They’re not happy with the current system. And I know our teams aren’t happy either, in part because they don’t necessarily think the players who are coming into the league are getting the kind of training that they would expect to see.”
Kevin Arnovitz on KD going bonkers in Golden State’s Game 1 Finals victory: “A Warriors team that’s nearly perfect on paper was masterful in practice, led by Kevin Durant’s 38 points… Asked what stood out about the Warriors in Game 1, LeBron James answered concisely, “KD.” But Durant’s individual exploits were anything but hero-ball. Though he was opportunistic when presented with a mouthwatering advantage — e.g. Kyrie Irving on the switch — he moved the ball generously, tallying six assists in the first half and finished the game with eight; he also pulled down eight rebounds. And for what it’s worth, Durant matched up with James on the other end when the Warriors’ starting unit was on the court.”
Kevin O’Conner on how the Cavs know what the issue is: “Cleveland’s transition defense was an eyesore all season, ranking 30th in transition points allowed, per Synergy, while allowing the most chances of all playoff teams. Conversely, the Warriors score on the break like they have Mario Kart star power, leading in points per possession and chances. It won’t be easy for Cleveland to flip this defensive switch.”
Not a great start for the Finals in terms of TV ratings:
I like the way CJ thinks:
Pretty good Russ hype video if you’re into that sort of thing:
Have a good weekend.