Monday Bolts: 03.09.20
The Thunder pulled out a thrilling win in Boston yesterday, taking down the Celtics without their points and minutes leader (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, out with a hip contusion).
Erik Horne (The Athletic) wrote about the game. Before that, he wrote about a handful of OKC players and personnel with a chance to take home individual awards for the 2019-20 NBA season.
Sam Presti recalled some fond memories from his Boston past to Joe Mussatto (The Oklahoman). “It was so painfully obvious that even if I tried as hard as I could to see the game like Phil Barlow did, there just was no way,” Presti says. “There was no way I could be taught that. There was no drill that I could do. At the root of my despair was the fact that Coach was right.” Presti laughs about it, so hard he has to catch his breath.”
Before Boston, there was New York. Ahead of the Thunder’s less exciting win over the Knicks, both teams honored first responders, who have played heroic roles during each city’s most tragic moments:
Alex Roig broke down why the Knicks/Chris Paul rumors make sense for Daily Thunder.
And Justin Hickey updated us on Lu Dort’s development in his short and impressive time as an NBA player.
In Mike Vorkunov’s (The Athletic) look at how players are dealing with the coronavirus scare, Steven Adams gives an out of character PSA for personal hygiene: “A lot of people who don’t wash their hands after the bathroom are actually washing their hands now. Which you should be doing anyway. People want to be all anal about it now — do it all the time then. But I’m just doing the normal stuff that’s recommended.”
On a more somber note, Danilo Gallinari (whose home country of Italy has been ravaged by the outbreak) had a death from the virus enter his circle of friends, as Mussatto passes along.
The NBA is gathering teams’ plans for coronavirus protocol, due Tuesday.
Zach Lowe (ESPN) jumps on the Lu Dort bandwagon (he’s late but we’ll allow it): “It is kind of astonishing (and an indictment of the occasionally shot-phobic Terrance Ferguson) that Dort starts for a mid-tier playoff seed in the varsity conference. But he has earned that, mostly with tenacious, in-your-jersey defense. Dort is a giant cinder block with arms. You cannot move him. In the post, he is Kyle Lowry, but (at least) three inches taller. He defends everyone from star point guards to gigantic wings, allowing the Thunder to spare Chris Paul some grunt work.”
Per the NZ Herald, Adams is undecided on playing for New Zealand in world competition.
Nick Crain (Forbes) on the Thunder’s dominant play on the road.
Shams Charania (The Athletic) reports that the Mavericks made a push to acquire Danilo Gallinari before this season’s trade deadline.
Around the league: A “disconnect” with some players got Kenny Atkinson
fired mutually parted ways with … Marc Cuban got fined for bashing the refs … The NBPA is looking to replace Michelle Roberts … Draymond Green is beefing with Charles Barkley … Gregg Popovich will only let Kevin Durant play for Team USA if he’s fully healthy