Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer: “Getting the ball into Westbrook’s hands is imperative in the OKC
offense, but just as important is how they do it. Here, the Thunder run a basic motion action that leads to a side pick-and-roll by Westbrook. They used Westbrook in more creative ways on Sunday, establishing what Donovan considered more sustainable looks. They’ll have to keep building over the course of the season though. Instead of isoing Westbrook at the top of the key like it’s the 1990s, the Thunder should consider running more actions that get him a dribble handoff at the elbow. With talented passing bigs like Adams and Domantas Sabonis, it might help to run more offense through the high post.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider ranks free agents: “Still just 24, Oladipo emerged as a two-way RPM standout last season, ranking among the league’s top 10 shooting guards. He has the chance to enhance his value with a strong performance on a bigger stage this season in Oklahoma City.”
Berry Tramel: “Another slow start. Another harrowing fourth quarter. Another Russell Westbrook historic performance. Call it the new normal. The Thunder beat the Lakers 113-96 Sunday night in Chesapeake Arena, OKC’s third straight victory over an NBA also-ran. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy, despite the final score. Until further notice, consider pretty and easy the Thunder’s past, not the Thunder’s immediate future. But also until further notice, no more wondering what Westbrook can achieve. Ain’t no mountain high enough. Nothing seems beyond his grasp.”
Keep an eye on possible extensions for Oladipo and Adams today. The deadline is tonight.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Adams, unquestionably, is worth it. That number is shocking, like so many new deals were this summer, but based on how the cap works, he is worth a player of that caliber. He’s OKC’s second-best player, a great defender, a great rebounder, a finisher in pick and roll and has touch around the rim. Quite honestly, his media quotes alone are worth half that contract. So OKC looking to lock him in and not worry about it later makes sense.”
Brett Dawson: “Nick Young puts up points in bursts, and the Lakers guard had scored six in quick succession in the fourth quarter Sunday night to make what had looked like comfortable Thunder lead something less than that. Russell Westbrook had to go back to work. His team leading by four, Westbrook scored nine points and assisted on a bucket in a 13-0 run that effectively closed the door on a 113-96 win against Los Angeles.”