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Monday Bolts: 10.16.17

Monday Bolts: 10.16.17

Erik Horne on the Thunder’s final roster cuts: “The Thunder made its second round of cuts Saturday, waiving guards Semaj Christon and Isaiah Canaan. If Christon wasn’t waived by Sunday, his $1.3 million salary for 2017 would have been guaranteed. Canaan was a camp invite on a non-guaranteed deal.”

Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison have already won Halloween: “Yes, that’s Collison and Russell Westbrook with perfect execution of the dynamic playground basketball duo from “White Men Can’t Jump.” Westbrook is Sidney Deane (played by Wesley Snipes). Collison is Billy Hoyle (played by Woody Harrelson).”

Fred Katz on the Thunder playing this season without a true backup center: “Rookie center Dakari Johnson doesn’t stand to receive minutes, and could spend much of his time in the G-League. Collison, meanwhile, got into only 20 games last year. Career-long power forward Patrick Patterson stands to play backup center on most nights. Jerami Grant, who played a bunch at small forward after OKC acquired him last year, will see time at center, too. It’s today’s NBA.”

Horne on Andre Roberson possibly seeing reduced minutes in 2017-18: “Fewer minutes seems like an odd trend for a 25-year-old entering his fifth season and fresh off receiving a three-year, $30 million contract extension. But when you look at the Thunder’s personnel, Roberson might see his minutes plateau.”

Tim Bontemps (WaPo) on Russell Westbrook’s All-Star ensemble: “Predictability should no longer be an issue for Oklahoma City. By adding two of the better scorers in the league in George and Anthony, the Thunder now has the ability to offer the kind of varied attack every coach desires. Those options beg questions of Coach Billy Donovan, about how he’ll handle the rotations and how he can find enough shots to keep all three stars happy.”

ESPN has OKC fourth in its initial batch of power rankings: “Russell Westbrook recorded an NBA-record 42 triple-doubles last season, breaking Oscar Robertson’s single-season record. Westbrook is at 79 career triple-doubles and with 29 more this season, he would pass Jason Kidd for the third most in NBA history.”

Nick Gallo on the Thunder defense: “The Thunder’s priorities on defense stem from one basic principle – everything bad that can happen for a defense occurs when the opposition gets the ball into the lane. That’s where layups happen. Fouls come in bunches because defenders come crashing over late to try to block shots or take charges. Often those fouls are and-one opportunities that close to the rim. The deep paint is also where the most natural, easy drive-and-dish, catch-and-shoot three-pointers come from.”

Neil Greenberg (WaPo) on Melo’s great fit in OKC — with a catch: “There needs to be a compromise as to how Anthony uses the possessions he does get, which sounds like a tough sell, but Anthony has adjusted his game when sharing the court with superstars before, as a member of Team USA.”

Timothy Wrapp (B/R) on Dwyane Wade considering OKC before signing with Cleveland: “Former NBA player Caron Butler told TMZ that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade considered the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers as potential destinations after his buyout from the Chicago Bulls.”

The Ringer’s 2017-18 NBA predictions: “Sure, a Warriors team fresh off a 16-1 postseason run to a second title looks deeper and scarier than ever heading into this season. But there’s still plenty to figure out after one of the wildest offseasons in NBA history. The Ringer’s NBA team tries to figure it all out, a day before the 2017–18 season officially begins.”