4 min read

Friday Bolts: 9.29.17

Friday Bolts: 9.29.17

The NBA passed new rules on lottery reform and resting players: “The NBA’s board of governors voted to pass legislation on draft lottery reform and guidelines for the resting of healthy players in the regular season. The NBA draft lottery reform passed with a 28-1-1 vote, with Oklahoma City voting against and Dallas abstaining. The NBA needed 23 of 30 teams — a three-quarters majority — to pass the legislation.”

Carmelo Anthony says deals to Cleveland and Houston were done: “New Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony said Thursday that agreed-to trades between the New York Knicks and both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets fell through at the last minute. ‘A deal was done with Houston early, then for some reason, whatever happened behind the scenes, it didn’t go through,’ Anthony told SiriusXM Radio. ‘It fell through, then we had to really start paying attention and thinking about other options.'”

The Cavs nearly landed Carmelo and Paul George on draft night: “Me and PG have a very close friendship,” Anthony said during a SiriusXM interview, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. “Actually, it was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night. We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the season.”

Nick Gallo recaps day three of Thunder training camp: “While they’re presently building chemistry with one another on the floor, there’s one MVP-sized factor missing from the action. Russell Westbrook is still resting after receiving a platelet-rich Plasma injection into his left knee’s patellar tendon last week. The procedure was unrelated to Westbrook’s previous knee injuries, which occurred in his right knee. As a result, Westbrook, along with forward Patrick Patterson who is also recovering from a knee procedure, have not been a part of the Thunder’s five-on-five, contact work. Still, Westbrook has been a prominent fixture in Thunder practices in making sure everyone is feeling confident, supported and unified in the early going.”

Zach Buckley (B/R) thinks the Melo hype is overblown: “It’s not like this is Hoodie Melo. Anthony is a 33-year-old scoring specialist who just had his worst player efficiency rating in more than a decade (17.9). The only NBA life he knows is that of a focal point. He led his rookie-year team in shots by 5.1 per game, and he has yet to relinquish his squad’s No. 1 spot.”

Cliff Brunt (AP) on how Andre Roberson & Steven Adams will benefit from the OKC “Big 3”: “Oklahoma City’s new super trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony will draw attention from two of the Thunder’s most rapidly improving players. Starters Steven Adams and Andre Roberson should have more room to operate while opponents try to stop three of the league’s top offensive threats.”

Adam Fromal (B/R) on the biggest flaw for all 30 teams: “This new trio in OKC has plenty of talent, and the pieces should fit together cohesively. George and Anthony are the best big-minute spot-up shooters with whom Westbrook has played since Kevin Durant departed, and the rest of the starting five should be able to cover up any weaknesses possessed by the superstars.  But this requires buy-in, and that’s where potential flaws emerge. As Tony East pointed out for NBA Math, “The Thunder, as a team, took 7,169 shots last season. Their three stars jacked 4,678 between them—or 65 percent of the squad’s overall looks, leaving 35 percent for the other 12 players. Nobody will be thrilled about that, so one member of the Big Three will need to accept a role change…”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expects players to stand for the National Anthem: “It’s my hope that our players will continue to use that as a moment of unity,” Silver said Thursday after the league’s board of governors meeting in Manhattan. “… Many of our players have spoken out already about their plan to stand for the anthem. And I think they understand how divisive an issue it is in our society right now.”

Paolo Ugetti (Ringer) on why Silver’s National Anthem stance will prove problematic: “The NBA undoubtedly will have to, as Silver says, “deal with it.” And the commissioner, who has built his popularity on being a refreshing, anti-Goodell, progressive, modern league leader, can surely anticipate the blowback that would result in fining players who protest. Even the NFL, through the booing and cringe-worthy pregame conversations, is not fining players who kneel.”

Zach Lowe on why tanking is slightly less valuable for teams now: “Flattening the odds in the NBA’s draft lottery, a change passed Thursday by an overwhelming 28-1-1 vote of team owners, will not end tanking and may not reduce it much. The league knows that; it repeatedly characterized the proposal as “an incremental step” toward more potential tweaks, sources say. The NBA is concerned about egregious tanking from teams that are already awful — the sort of tanking that generates think pieces and angry tweets.”