Thursday Bolts: 04.23.20
Shai is good at the basketball. I miss Shai.
The Athletic ran its NBA Awards and let’s just say there’s quite a bit of love for OKC here. “While the NBA continues to evaluate whether the COVID-19 pandemic will allow the continuation of this campaign or result in the first season that ended without a champion, The Athletic NBA staff of national writers and beat writers decided to maintain some level of April normalcy. Since this would’ve been the first full week of the playoffs, we decided here would be a good place to announce our award winners. Additionally, we added a few other categories based on what was revealed during what has already been an unprecedented and unforgettable year.
Our panel consisted of 33 writers (beat and national) and each brought considerable knowledge to this endeavor of awarding those most deserving for their contributions to the 2019-20 NBA campaign.”
ICYMI: Cray Allred on why CP3 deserves to be in the MVP conversation. “As much as any of the myriad pleasant surprises for the Thunder—Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s rapid development, Dennis Schröder’s swing to a two-way punisher, Billy Donovan’s retooled schematics panning out on both sides of the ball, LU DORT—Paul’s mastery at the helm has been the key to this feel good season.”
DT continued its grading season with Hamidou Diallo’s 2019-20 Report Card. “While again showing what we refer to as “flashes” as a young player (accepting the challenge of defending Giannis Antetokounmpo, exerting force and athleticism for the occasional offensive board, and of course the dunks), Hamidou Diallo’s performance from last season to this was flat. He was afforded 8 more minutes per game of playing time, but was stagnant in both counting and advance stats. He’s learning to defend one-on-one without fouling, and serving as a modest plus in the team’s defensive scheme. On offense, he’s just woeful. More assertive than Terrance Ferguson but much worse at shooting, Diallo has a -3.74 O-PIPM1 and improved his three-point shooting percentage to 20% in 2019-20.”
Recently Kendrick Perkins was on with The Athletic’s Joe Vardon. He gave his thoughts on the 2016 WCF’s and a major “what if”. “If I was on Oklahoma City, we wouldn’t have blown that 3-1 lead,” he said. “There’s no way in hell we would have blown that. I’m not saying because of me playing, I am saying just my locker room presence.
“Then I think about it on the other hand—he cost me a championship,” Perkins said of then-New Orleans general manager Dell Demps.
Chris Paul gave a conference call Wednesday to several media members to discuss the league’s status. Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman) relays his comments: “This is a situation where no one knows,” the Thunder point guard told local media. “The virus is actually in complete control. I seriously tried to answer things the best I could, but there are things where, it’s not like I’ve got the answers and I’m just not telling you.”
Happy Thursday, yall. Be safe.