Monday Bolts: 02.17.20
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander helped kick off All-Star Weekend with a strong performance in the Rising Stars game, scoring 16 points. Nick Craine (Forbes) discusses how SGA shined in the rookie/sophomore showcase event.
SGA struggled, though, in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night, running into issues with the passing skill. After the event, Gilgeous-Alexander said he’s going to work on his passing skills.
In case you were wondering, Oklahoma City is not a likely candidate to host an All-Star Game.
Chris Paul sat down with Maria Taylor to share his experience with the Thunder. Among the highlights: CP3 on being in Oklahoma, “It’s been refreshing being in Oklahoma” … On what he expected when the season began, “I expected our record to be better.”
The University of Florida honored its former basketball coach, Billy Donovan, by naming its court after him:
The All-Star Game finished very differently than any other NBA game, using what’s known as the “Elam Ending.” Bill Shea (The Athletic) details the history of the Elam Ending and its showcase in the 69th NBA All-Star Game. “One person that’s become a fan of the Elam Ending is Chris Paul, the veteran NBA point guard now with the Oklahoma City Thunder and current players union president. He said he’s a huge TBT fan and in 2019 coached a squad in the tournament for the first time. ‘For me, a guy who thinks about strategy, as I started watching the games more and more, every game had to have a game-winning shot. You couldn’t just foul. It got exciting,’ he said. ‘In this format (for the All-Star Game), I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and an unbelievable tribute to Kobe.’ It was Paul, who is on Team LeBron as a reserve in his 10th career All-Star Game, who brought the Elam Ending to the attention of NBA commissioner Adam Silver last summer.
The game itself, was fantastic, and the Elam Ending added a lot of drama. But, the biggest moment of the game was Chris Paul finishing an alley-oop from Russell Westbrook.
Per Jasmyn Wimbush (CBS Sports), it is the first alley-oop completed by Paul in his career.
Brian Windhorst (ESPN) says the greatness of this year’s ASG will live on. “Paul, another contemporary of Bryant who was cut from the same competitive cloth, was just as worthy of the honor Sunday. He shot the ball well, making seven 3-pointers on his way to 23 points, and he was his fiery self on the defensive end. His strong leadership helped Team LeBron overcome a deficit heading into the fourth quarter.”
Before the game, players had a little fun, with LeBron James trying to imitate Paul’s signature mid-range skills, and Paul and Kawhi engaging in a game of H-O-R-S-E.
Paul spoke about his experience and thoughts on All-Star Weekend after the game:
Paul’s fingerprints were all over the All-Star Game, writes Nick Gallo (OKC Thunder). “While shining in his own role, Paul has also helped one of the Thunder’s budding stars flourish as well. Paul’s travel buddy to Chicago for All-Star Weekend has been Thunder second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who competed in the Rising Stars game on Friday night and is lined up to participate in the Skills Competition on Saturday night. With the quickness and athleticism of a 21-year-old, Gilgeous-Alexander has had some plays run for him this season with the Thunder that used to be run for Paul in past years.”
And the biggest news of all: Daily Thunder and Anthem Brewing are teaming up to host an epic watch party on February 28, 2020. Watch the Thunder take on the Milwaukee Bucks at Anthem Brewing along with Daily Thunder staff and writers, your fellow Thunder fans, and enjoy food, fantastic beer, and maybe a preview of the NBA Finals…