3 min read

Monday Bolts – 11.30.15

Monday Bolts – 11.30.15

Erik Horne on West vs. East: “In this often strange start to the season in terms of scheduling, the


Thunder is 17 games in and playing consecutive road games for the first time. It gets those games against Atlanta on Monday and Miami on Thursday. Among the Thunder’s season-best four-game winning streak, the last three of those wins have come against the East. Before the most recent run, however, the Thunder was just 2-4 against the other conference, with losses to Toronto, Chicago, the New York Knicks and Boston — three of which came at home.”

Sam Amick of USA Today: “The Xs and Os certainly matter, and Donovan will have to find his way like every college-to-pro who came before him. But the relationships – from Bennett to Presti to Durant, Westbrook and everyone else – will matter above everything. The Presti dynamic had everything to do with him having interest in the first place. The two had grown very familiar with one another through the college scouting process. Presti had become a regular at the Gators coaching clinic a few years back, and Donovan’s interest was piqued by the 37-year-old on one particular day when they spent time with acclaimed author and fellow coaching clinic attendee, Daniel Coyle. His book, The Talent Code, explores the belief that the key to greatness and expertise in any given field is good, old-fashioned hard work – 10,000 hours of practice, to be exact.”

Kobe Bryant is retiring at the end of the season. The Lakers visit OKC on Dec. 19, and then host Kobe’s final road game April 11.

Yikes, Reggie Jackson.

Piston Powered: “It appears that both Durant and Westbrook are still bitter about Jackson wanting to leave Oklahoma City, and for that matter, their whole city is too. I was in attendance for the game and the boos came down on Jackson every time he checked in or out of the game, every time he fouled, and every time he touched the ball. Even after the game when the Thunder had won handily, there were Oklahoma City fans yelling, “You suck Reggie,” as they laughed their way out of the stadium.”

More on the “P.G.” controversy rocking one Maryland county.

Vince Ellis of the Free Press: “But you get Westbrook’s and Durant’s comments. They — along with Thunder fans and the national media — believe Jackson should have just been content to back up Westbrook at point guard since the Thunder has title aspirations. But Jackson committed the cardinal sin of being vocal that he had higher goals for himself. He wanted to do more than just go stand in the corner and watch Westbrook and Durant hoist shot after shot.”

Eric Saar of Basketball Insiders: “Tenacious. Relentless. Ferocious. There are just a few words that seem to encapsulate what the former UCLA product mentally brings to his game. He doesn’t typically take plays off; he plays all-out every second, whether he’s looking to score or facilitate. He’s rarely out of control. He used to be and that got him in trouble on the court, but now he is more patient and measured when running Oklahoma City’s offense. Westbrook is now a better version of the 1B to his teammate Kevin Durant’s 1A. Westbrook is able to control the pace and help his team win most games when OKC’s core is healthy.”

Oh, here’s Jay Mariotti begging the Warriors to not sign Kevin Durant: “Think he wants Kevin Durant here instead of one or two of his 20-something boys? Think he wants Durant at the expense of Thompson? Last I looked, Durant has had injury problems. Last I looked, Durant sometimes lumbers in a halfcourt mindset, even as Donovan wants to speed things up with the lightning dashes of Westbook. The Warriors need to seize their championship now, when their legs are still young and their mode is freewheeling. Who gets the last shot: Durant or Curry? It’s not Durant. How would he feel about that?”