Monday Bolts: 03.02.20
Oklahoma City suffered the worst loss in franchise history on Friday night, losing by 47 points to the Milwaukee Bucks. Over 50 people were at Anthem Brewing to watch the defeat, as Daily Thunder hosted its first road-game watch party. Among the attendees, Brandon Rahbar, who had to turn in a historically short recap because, well, the game wasn’t worth writing about, and Rahbar was busy entertaining the crowd with giveaways and Thunder trivia.
Thanks to all who came out the watch party. More dates to be announced soon.
Erik Horne (The Athletic) broke down the… uh… butt-kicking taken by the Thunder in Milwaukee. “The Thunder’s 47-point loss to the Bucks on Friday, 133-86, was the worst in franchise history. The previous record was a 42-point loss to Minnesota in January 2009. That was when the Thunder were still cutting their teeth, a bunch of first- and second-year players learning how to win games. In 2020, the Thunder have won games with a mix of moxie and execution that was non-existent on Friday.”
Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman) reported that the Thunder decided against reviewing the film from the shellacking. “Donovan decided that the most lopsided loss in Thunder history — OKC lost 133-86 at Milwaukee on Friday — called for no film at practice Sunday. ‘None,’ Donovan said. ‘They went through it, they knew. We talked more about just the physical. We’re going to play a Clipper team that has a lot of length and a lot of size and are really long on the perimeter and forward positions. So, we’ve got to be better, and we’ve got to be physical. So, we really just tried to get on the court and work on those things right away.'”
Royce Young (ESPN, and fellow DT Watch Party attendee) with an inside look at the growth of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. “After an impressive rookie season, Gilgeous-Alexander was more than some unknown young player, but not necessarily a sure future All-Star when the LA Clippers sent him to Oklahoma City alongside a treasure trove of first-round draft picks in the blockbuster Paul George trade. But Gilgeous-Alexander has continued to grow and is tapping into the kind of potential that has some wondering if he’s going to be the next young superstar in Oklahoma City.”
After practice yesterday, Danilo Gallinari raved about Paul’s leadership:
Erik Gee (SI.com) says that Chris Paul is the straw that stirs the Oklahoma City Thunder. “The communication part is what separates Paul from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. At one point you could chalk that up to age, but, Westbrook turned 30 in his final season in Oklahoma City, by that point you either know how to talk with your teammates or you don’t. As for Durant, his time away from the Thunder has shown leadership is not his forte.”
Steven Adams is also drawing acclaim for his leadership, per Kane Pittman (ESPN). “Adams’ passion and drive to succeed has led him to become a much loved figure within the Thunder organisation, with head coach Billy Donovan praising the New Zealander’s influence among his group. ‘He’s a total team guy, I think being a guy that’s been in the organisation for a long period of time there’s a seriousness about him of what we need to do,’ Donovan said.”
Darius Bazley went to LeBron James’s houes over the summer, and bonded more with James’s two kids than LeBron himself–a fact that Lebron understood because Bazley (along with other rookies) were closer in age to LeBron’s kids.
Andre Roberson is back in Oklahoma City, but is not practicing with the team, reports Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman).
Chris Paul appeared on Take it There (Bleacher Report), and said that he nearly teamed up with LeBron and Dwayne Wade.
Writing before the Thunder were unable to climb out of a 49-point hole against the Bucks, Nick Crain (Forbes) wrote about how the Thunder have found a lot of success coming from behind. “The Oklahoma City Thunder have won 15 games when trailing entering the fourth quarter this season. This is the most of any team in the NBA, with the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers tied for second with just eight wins each. The most recent victim to a Thunder comeback is the Sacramento Kings, who led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter. From there, Oklahoma City worked their comeback magic, finishing the third quarter on a 22-4 run, bringing them within one point heading into the fourth quarter. From there, they’d execute in the fourth quarter and capture that 15th fourth quarter comeback win of the season. Over the course of the season, Oklahoma City has come back to win games after being down 26, 24, 18, 17 (twice), 15, 14, and 12 points, among other deficits.”
A temporary reprieve for YouTube TV subscribers, as YouTube TV and Sinclair announced that they had agreed to a temporary extension to keep the Fox Sports regional networks (which include Fox Sports Oklahoma, the broadcast home of the Thunder) available for subscribers while the two sides negotiate.