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Thursday Bolts: 01.23.20

Thursday Bolts: 01.23.20

The Thunder beat the Magic last night, winning another one with 60% of their starting lineup healthy. Brandon Rahbar recaps the action.

Steven Adams sat again, but he was questionable leading up to the tip. Could be back for tomorrow night’s Hawks matchup.

Schroder was very good. He’s been good enough all season that I would have lost a bet like this, had I made one:

Some Magic players have to wear their Schroder embarrasment right along with me:

Erik Horne (The Athletic) hands out midseason awards for the Thunder: “Many scoffed in 2018 when the Thunder said they could get (Dennis) Schröder back to playing the elite defense of his early days in Atlanta. He was inconsistent in Year 1 in OKC but has been outstanding and fully engaged in Year 2, taking the challenge along with Paul of defending No. 1 options in late-game situations. The result has been Schröder claiming the Thunder’s No. 1 net rating (6.1) and a strong case for sixth man of the year … even though Schröder doesn’t want to be a sixth man.”

Daniel Lubofsky (Hoops Habit) on Schröder’s strong season.

And Bleacher Report gives the 6MOY award to the Thunder’s backup point guard.

Quinn Davis (Basketball Insiders) on the decisions facing Sam Presti this trade dealind: “The risk of staying competitive is well-documented. Even though the Thunder have accumulated a king’s ransom of draft capital, most of these picks are from the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers, two teams that will likely be competing for championships in the foreseeable future. The Thunder making the playoffs will leave them drafting consistently in the mid-to-late first round where it is much harder to predict the potential of incoming draftees. With that said, the Thunder have the most to offer when a team is looking to trade out of a high pick, or when a disgruntled star emerges. The capital they accumulated could be simply saved up for future opportunities.”

Zach Buckley (Bleacher Report) speculates on the same subject: “A full-on fire sale feels unlikely. The Thunder won’t want to send the wrong message to their youngsters by demolishing a playoff team, so selective selling should be the focus. Steven Adams is a keeper. He’s worth the money. Chris Paul is probably a keeper. He’ll likely prove too expensive to move, and his leadership is invaluable for the development of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. But Dennis Schroder is worth shopping, and Danilo Gallinari almost certainly must go. He’s a 31-year-old on an expiring contract who should have an overwhelming amount of suitors. His price tag is too high for OKC not to make the move.”

I missed it last week, but you’ll probably pay closer attention to this Lu Dort profile now that he’s shown out in recent games:

Around the league: If you stayed up long enough for Zion Williamson to activate, he made it worth the waitDave McMenamin (ESPN) on some of the highlights from David Stern’s memorial service yesterdayDarren Yuvan (The Dream Shake) pronounces James Harden’s MVP chances dead