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Monday Bolts – 11.22.10

Monday Bolts – 11.22.10

Big thanks to Patrick James and Joe for sending me some items for the Bolts. And remember if something is wrong, oops! -Mrs Daily Thunder

With KD out for the past two games there has been a lot of talk about Russell Westbrook stepping up big for the Thunder. The Sporting News notes his elevated game so far this season: “For Oklahoma City, there is no question about Russell Westbrook’s role — he is the star point guard and, however overshadowed he may be by Kevin Durant, a huge part of one of the league’s most promising young teams. But over the summer, playing for Team USA in the World Championship in Turkey, Westbrook filled a much different role. He was the sparkplug, assigned to bring energy and aggressiveness off the bench. He was a lesser cog for that team, but in the end, it seems to have made him a better player.”

Kevin Love the know it all: “Love played only one collegiate season with Russell Westbrook at UCLA but said he needed only one pickup game there to conclude that that the rather unsung recruit (at least by Bruins standards) from Long Beach, Calif., someday would be as good as he has become. “I don’t think I knew he’d be this good, this fast,” Love said. “But I knew he could be, and would be. I hate to say that I called it, but I was always the guy telling everybody, ‘This guy is going to be special.’ “

Serge Ibaka’s performance during the Thunder’s 6-1 run: “The Thunder is 6-1 with Ibaka in the starting lineup entering tonight’s game against Minnesota. Ibaka has averaged 11.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots and one steal in 32 minutes per game as a member of the first five. “Serge works hard,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Every minute he’s on the floor he’s going to give his best. But like all of our guys, it’s not going to always look great.”

Cole Aldrich has not been demoted:  “It’s just a couple of games, just to get Byron a look and see what he brings,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “And it gives Cole the opportunity to get after it on a game day knowing he’s not going to play.” At the start of the regular season, it appeared Aldrich was well ahead of Mullens on the Thunder’s depth chart. Brooks, however, said his decision to deactivate Aldrich over the past few games is not a demotion.”

A preview for tonight’s game: “Despite facing two of the league’s top defenses, the Oklahoma City Thunder have won both games they’ve played since Kevin Durant’s injury. Their offense has obviously taken a bit of hit without the NBA’s reigning scoring champion, but should have better luck against a Minnesota Timberwolves team that has the league’s worst defense. The Thunder, who might again be without Durant, look to extend their season-high winning streak to five games and continue their dominance over the visiting Timberwolves on Monday night.”