Friday Bolts: 9.7.18
Bryan Kalbrosky (HoopsHype) on why Westbrook and Schroder may thrive while sharing the court: “During the 2015-16 season, Westbrook and 6-foot-tall guard DJ Augustin played 88 minutes together. The Thunder outscored opponents by 17.7 points per 100. Oklahoma City outscored opponents by 17.8 points per 100 during the 2013-14 season when Westbrook was on the court with Reggie Jackson. The most astonishing example of another point guard coexisting well with Westbrook was in 2011-12. When both Westbrook and Derek Fisher were on the court, the Thunder had a net rating of 26.9. Schroeder, who was one of the most efficient scorers in isolation last season, could be the best point guard teammate to join Westbrook — not counting James Harden, who didn’t play that type of role with the team.”
Kevin O’Connor (Ringer) on the Thunder’s daydream-worthy two-PG lineup: “Thunder head coach Billy Donovan says he wants to play fast this season. A Schröder-Westbrook backcourt tandem would fit his vision. It’d be particularly interesting to see how the duo operates in open space alongside a frontcourt of Paul George, Jerami Grant, and a hopefully rejuvenated Patrick Patterson. Schröder is a better point guard than any of the scrap-heap options the team has had in recent years, like Raymond Felton (now the third point guard on the roster) and Norris Cole. He’s fast, capable of high-volume scoring games, and a far better passer than his reputation suggests. Schröder has a lot of improving to do as a decision-maker, but with the Thunder he’ll have more talented teammates than he’s ever had in Atlanta. Sometimes a new situation is all a player needs to click. But for Schröder and Westbrook to coexist as well as they theoretically could, it’s up to Westbrook to let it happen.”
Nick Gallo on Dennis Schroder’s welcomed opportunity in OKC: “Although it’s still early in his tenure, Schröder has had the opportunity to meet with the Thunder front office and get some on-court time in with Westbrook and others in offseason workouts. Schröder spoke of the organization’s “family” vibe, and has loved the feeling of everyone having each other’s backs. He gets the sense that’s what he should expect from the fan base too, from five battles on the other side in Chesapeake Energy Arena. “The Thunder is the big thing in Oklahoma, what we have, and they embrace it,” Schröder said. “They try to be there. They try to support us and we try to give back to give everything we have to win games.” Alongside one of his favorite players to watch, with the tutelage of his German forebears in his back pocket and with the huge gulp of oxygen provided by this opportunity in the Thunder organization, Schröder is primed to help this team put up W’s and continue building a legacy.”
NBA 2K19 released the Thunder roster’s overall ratings: Led by Westbrook’s 93-overall, Paul George’s 89-overall, Steven Adams’ 84-overall, and Dennis Schroder’s 81-overall.
Erik Horne with a collection of quotes on the Hall-of-Fame induction of Mo Cheeks: “Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs coach: “Maybe I go back too far, but he was one of the greatest of all-time. He had not just the skills at the point to do what he did for that number of years, but he was one of the most steady, cerebral kinds of guards. His demeanor was always perfect. He never got high. He never got low. He put the team exactly where they needed to be. He always knew the situation. He was a winner and competitive as well and a great guy at the same time. I’m thrilled for him.”
Gordie Jones (Forbes) with 10 points to ponder about Mo Cheeks: “Cheeks’ other signature moment was his joyous dunk at the end of Game Four of the ‘83 Finals, capping the Sixers’ title run. “I couldn’t believe that, either, because typically when the game is over, you don’t shoot the ball,” he said. “That was all adrenaline, it really was. Imagine if I had missed it.” Then he laughed. “Doc was on my left side,” he said. “I had no idea, until he said it to me and then other people were saying it to me.” Then Cheeks watched the video, but couldn’t feel too bad about what he did. “That was the euphoria of it all,” he said. “I should be OK with that one. We had so many struggles of getting to the Finals and winning, I should be OK with that.”
Mueller Sports Medicine (SI) spoke with Patrick Patterson about overcoming injuries: “He’s done countless leg exercises after another stretch of post-surgery physical therapy, and though he’s dished out plenty of assists on the court, Patterson’s also been on the receiving end of assists from Mueller Sports Medicine. “Mueller tape is the only tape I use before games,” Patterson says. “It has a nice stretch to it, but also keeps my ankle in a comfortable position while allowing it to still move with no resistance.” He says Mueller’s ankle braces “fit perfectly, almost like a sock,” and he started using the kinesiology tape for the first time this season on his right wrist after spraining it. That product, Patterson says, “helped with not only my shooting, but the recovery process as well.” Such dedication to recovery paid off. This past year, for the first time in his professional career, Patterson played in every game of the regular season. Now, only one dream remains for Patterson: He hopes to be on the court, one day, helping his team win a professional championship.”
Around the League: Ray Allen spoke about his time with the Celtics…. Kevin Garnett is suing his former money manager for an alleged theft of $77 million…. Current NBA comparisons for the 2019 HOF class’s biggest stars…. Boris Diaw has officially retired from basketball…. Could Chris Bosh return to basketball and land in L.A.?