A few notes from the Thunder’s off day:
Melo was FaceTiming
Carmelo Anthony left without fulfilling his media obligations in the aftermath of Monday night’s loss to Charlotte — a move that signified unhappiness in the eyes of many. Averaging 13.2 PPG on 17 percent shooting from downtown over the last five outings, it wasn’t far-fetched to assume he’d had enough.
Turns out he was just FaceTiming with his son.
Regardless of what he was doing, this didn’t turn out to be the story some thought it might be. Russell Westbrook did speak to the media and said “26 games” when asked where the Thunder is at this season. There’s not much difference between that and missing the interview entirely.
Andre Roberson is Questionable
Andre Roberson sat out Monday night’s loss to Charlotte with a sprained left ankle. The Thunder defense faltered in his absence, surrendering 116 points to the Hornets — including 40 in the third quarter alone.
Erik Horne of The Oklahoman is reporting that Roberson is listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s tilt in Indiana, and will be re-evaluated prior to the game. Victor Oladipo is coming in averaging 24.5 PPG (31.8 in December) and would surely have an easier night if Alex Abrines again draws the start at shooting guard.
Paul George’s Return to Indy
If you didn’t see it in Bolts, Gregg Doyal of the Indy Star absolutely eviscerated Paul George in this morning’s paper. Here is how the piece opens:
“The best thing Paul George ever did for this city was leave it.
Lord knows he didn’t do much for Indianapolis while he was here, here in name only, here because the name on the front of his jersey said Pacers, even if all he cared about – in a way that is extreme, even for the modern-day professional athlete – was the name on the back.”
Brutal stuff — and perhaps a view into the mood inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse when George makes his return to Indianapolis on Wednesday night.
For his part, PG isn’t under the illusion that he will get much love. Via Fred Katz:
Thunder fans will be at an interesting crossroads during the game on Wednesday. On one hand, the reaction from Pacers faithful might seem silly and over the top. After all, he did give the organization a warning and Victor Oladipo has looked like an All-Star. Gregg Doyal said it himself — the best thing PG ever did for Indianapolis was leave.
On the other hand, the OKC fan base doesn’t have much moral high ground when it comes to situations like these. That was sealed when a human being in a custom-made cupcake costume paraded around Chesapeake Energy Arena during one of Kevin Durant’s return trips last season. Stuff gets weird. Things happen.
Indianapolis won’t be KD Returns to OKC-level angry, but it will still be interesting to watch. Thunder fans should probably sit this one out and reserve judgment.