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Thursday Bolts – 10.27.16

Thursday Bolts – 10.27.16

Erik Horne: “Russell Westbrook barked directly back in the face of a raucous Wells Fargo Center


crowd. He’d just knifed his way into the lane, absorbed contact and finished while drawing a foul. As Westbrook flexed, with the Thunder trailing by eight against the Sixers, a fan in the front row on the baseline stood up and delivered two middle fingers in the Thunder guard’s direction. Westbrook pointed at him with a confused look before walking toward the official. Right behind Westbrook was Steven Adams, equally as confused, delivering his own words to the soon-to-be ejected fan.”

Fred Katz: “Enes Kanter’s role is the ultimate paradox. The Oklahoma City Thunder big man will need to play more than the 21 minutes he averaged last season to help an offense that no longer has Kevin Durant. But he also works better as a center instead of a power forward, which is a problem given Steven Adams’ anticipated playing time increase. How can Kanter get minutes if Adams is hogging 30-plus a night at center? The two bigs played together for almost 12 minutes, including for most of the final three-plus, of Wednesday night’s season opening 103-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Thunder outscored Philly 32-16 using lineups with the Stache Brothers next to each other. It’s hardly mathematically significant. But it is a combination the Thunder will have to use under the right circumstances if they want to find success.”

Here’s my postgame story.

Lang Whitaker of NBA.com: “Russell Westbrook is standing in the visitor’s locker room in the Wells Fargo Center, minutes after the Oklahoma City Thunder have defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 106-97, in the season opener for both teams. As Westbrook is explaining his famous interest in fashion, he’s slipping a plaid Fear of God kilt over his black skinny jeans. He’s also wearing a yellow hooded sweatshirt that says “Paranormal,” which he says he bought in Spain because he “knew nobody else in the U.S. would wear it.” Westbrook’s fashion sense is both as unique and familiar as his game. Westbrook posted a stat line tonight that at this point, at least for him, has become commonplace—32 points, nine assists, 12 rebounds. And after a slow start, Westbrook took over down the stretch on the offensive end, scoring nine points in the final 4:09 to help secure the Thunder win.”

Dion Waiters on KD’s move: “He made a man move, he made a man decision. At the end of the day, he wanted something different. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. A lot of people probably say it is, but I think what he did was brave. Just being uncomfortable and getting out of the comfort zone.”

I also wrote this thing yesterday about the Russ revenge tour.

Neil Greenberg of the WaPo: “Westbrook was also typically the ballhandler during the pick and roll, accounting for more than a third of his 2015-16 possessions, and the team saw a higher efficiency when he passed the ball (1.08 points per possession) than it did when he created the offense himself (0.85 points per possession). But that was also due to having Durant to pass to — the Thunder scored 1.14 points per possession on the pick and roll when Westbrook passed to Durant; they scored 1.01 points per possession when the ball was delivered to anyone else.”