Thursday Bolts: 03.05.20
Despite blowing a 16-point third-quarter leader, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s clutch-time heroics continued, en route to a 114-107 victory. Brandon Rahbar has your recap.
Rahbar also dropped a post-game recap video. Peak at that sweet art on the wall, created by Sarah Sellers.
Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman) with five takeaways from the win.
Marlowe Alter (Detroit Free Press) says the the importance of guard play was on full display as OKC prevailed. “Paul and Gilgeous-Alexander showed why great backcourt play is all the rage. OKC’s potent top two guards can both play on and off the ball, and their closing lineup features a third point guard in Schroder off the bench. Paul and Gilgeous-Alexander combined to score OKC’s first 16 points, and at one point late in the third quarter, the trio was shooting a combined 21-for-26 from the floor.”
In case you wanted to revisit the back-to-back double-digit defeats, Erik Horne (The Athletic) delves into what was missing from the Thunder in those losses. “The words “tempo” and “pace” came up more than a few times Tuesday. There’s a connection between offense and defense that has plagued the Thunder in consecutive games against teams that punish mistakes with precision. ‘There’s times we can create penetration with our guard and get downhill, and then when the ball comes back out and we can’t get a shot, we’re going to have to keep staying with it and go deeper in the clock sometimes,’ Donovan said. ‘When you’re playing against top-five defenses, it’s really hard against a set defense to get quality shots on the first side. You need multiple changes of sides. And we’ve been really good all year long doing that.’ Not in the previous two games. The Thunder have mustered just 30 assists total against the Bucks and Clippers.”
The Thunder travel to the Big Apple to take on the Knicks on Friday, but ahead of the match-up, New York’s most famous fan is bickering with the team. Mike Vorkunov (The Athletic) breaks down the feud. “Lee, a devoted fan for decades who slowly became one of the leading faces of the Knicks as they provided a shortage of good players to latch onto, went on television to lash into the franchise and its owner, James Dolan. If the Charles Oakley affair had cast a cloud over the Knicks for how they treated the people who had sacrificed their sweat and toil for them, then a day of sparring with Lee was a public break between the team and the fan who was willing to endure almost everything to continue rooting for it. In the end, like the conflicts before it, the disagreement pitted Dolan against the part of the Knicks universe he cannot control.”
ESPN ranked the top 25 stars under 25, and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander landed at no. 10, tied with Devin Booker. Notably absent, Luguentz Dort. “Gilgeous-Alexander is quietly turning in an excellent sophomore season as the leading scorer for a surprise Thunder team. His development curve has been eye-opening. At age 17, he was a rail-thin, raw 171-pound guard, looking like a multiyear college player. He started coming off the bench at Kentucky before emerging as the team’s most valuable player and a potential top-10 pick.”
Marreese Speights was on the Scoop B. Radio Podcast and dished on two former teammates–Steph Curry and Chris Paul. “Steph is a little bit more laid back not too outspoken compared to Chris Paul, but Steph’s going to go out there and not talk but go out there and show. Chris Paul is going to talk and he’s going to go out there and show. Steph is like, ‘Alright cool’ I can show you better than I can tell you. You’re never going to see him get – like I told you Chris Paul is a guard that’s going to get on his teammates. Steph’s not really like that. Steph will say something to you when you go in the huddle but he’s not going to be out there on the court screaming and yelling or pointing making something look worse than what it is. But basketball-wise, they’re both going to go out there and compete and make their team better for sure.”
Need an internship? The CP3 Family Foundation is partnering with North Carolina A&T’s College of Business and Economics to offer an internship tied to a business of sports and entertainment class.
The stand-off between YouTube TV and Sinclair over the rights to the Fox Regional Sports Network rages on, and it appears YouTube TV will indeed be dropping the networks. It’s unclear if Fox Sports Oklahoma will be among the channels dropped today, but subscribers in affected markets should receive information today.