Monday Bolts: 8.6.18
The first family of Oklahoma is expecting their second child: “Nina Westbrook posted a photo of the couple’s 1-year-old son, Noah, laying apparently on her stomach. The caption reads “Sunday morning snuggles from Big Brother,” with a pair of baby emoji and a heart.”
Erik Horne on Abel Nader winning Paul George’s Celebrity Fishing Tournament: Nader, who was joined by Thunder teammates George, Russell Westbrook, and Andre Roberson, as well as head coach Billy Donovan and general manager Sam Presti, came back with five bass which met the tournament’s weight requirements. Nader’s biggest of the day was four pounds, 12 ounces.
Las Vegas sportsbooks set OKC Thunder over/under win total at 50.5: “We actually boosted the [Oklahoma City] Thunder’s number with the return of [Andre] Roberson and the subtraction of [Anthony],” Sherman said.
Nick Gallo gives expectations for Patrick Patterson this season: “Last season, however, Patterson’s first with the Thunder, he didn’t threaten the defense quite as much as he hoped. Coming into training camp, Patterson was still recovering from a knee procedure and had to work his way into the flow of the game on the fly once the season started.
A step behind to start the year, Patterson’s role ended up being a 15-minute-per-game player, with averages of 3.9 points on an admirable 38.6 percent three-point shooting, along with 2.4 rebounds per game. In 2018-19, the Thunder and Patterson himself believe he can contribute more, not just on the stat sheet but also in terms of the team’s overall gameplay and style.”
Brett Dawson catches up with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot: ‘It’s a new start,’ Luwawu-Cabarrot told The Oklahoman last week from Johannesburg, South Africa. ‘Everything is new. I haven’t been there for more than a day, so I can’t even fully realize that it’s gonna be a new life, a new city, a new coach, a new staff, new players, new friends, new things to do in the city, new restaurants. Everything is gonna be new. I love learning new things when I move somewhere.’
He knows enough to know that Oklahoma City ‘is not like New York or L.A.,’ but that’s no deterrent for Luwawu-Cabarrot, He’s anxious to explore life away from the basketball court in OKC, he said.”
Ben Golliver (Sports Illustrated) breaks down whether Carmelo Anthony can help the Rockets: “On the court, the defining image of Anthony’s one-year hiccup with the Thunder came during the 2018 playoffs, when coach Billy Donovan finally cut his minutes, prompting visible frustration from Anthony and much-improved play from the rest of the Thunder. Off the court, his OKC experience was best summed up by a June Instagram photo that showed him getting a wine top-off from a tuxedoed waiter alongside the not-cryptic-at-all caption: “All critics can duck sick.””
Zach Buckley (B/R) ranks the Thunder starting five as the 7th best in the league: “The Westbrook-George-Roberson-Adams quartet was a demolition crew. It outscored opponents by 13.5 points per 100 possessions, thanks in no small part to an absurd 94.9 defensive rating (last season’s best was 101.5).
That’s outstanding stopping support for a powerhouse offensive pairing like Westbrook and George (47.3 points and 13.6 assists combined), who’d benefit from having a low-maintenance spacer like Patterson. This is assuming Thunder coach Billy Donovan picks Patterson over Jerami Grant, which feels like the right choice to offset that Roberson and Adams aren’t shooters and Westbrook isn’t an accurate one.”
Around the League: Doncic vs. Ayton for ROY … Lebron vs. Trump … Team World Beats Team Africa … Oladipo dunks on a camper … Pacers extend McMillan’s contract … Cleveland lands Sam Dekker