3 min read

Thursday Bolts – 11.10.16

Thursday Bolts – 11.10.16

Erik Horne: “But in the Thunder’s 112-102 loss on Wednesday, Roberson picked up two fouls in


the first seven minutes, forcing the Thunder to call on Alex Abrines. The defensive difference was apparent and allowed DeRozan to get warmed up. As soon as Abrines checked in, Kyle Singler took on the responsibility of Toronto’s leading scorer. On the inbounds play, DeRozan curled off a screen and caught an alley-oop, part of nine points with Roberson on the bench. By the time Roberson checked back in with 5:13 left in the second quarter, DeRozan was on his way to a 22-point first half.”

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com’s on MVP: “Westbrook has Thunder off to a 6-1 start, and is also flirting with a triple-double, with way more points. The problem is efficiency. Westbrook is averaging more than 23 shots and 5.3 turnovers. Basically, he always has the ball. I tend to be more impressed when a player produces with the ball in his hands that much (it’s easy to just waste time dribbling — cough, John Wall, cough) but a lot of voters will want to dismiss Westbrook’s nitro-boosted production as just a product of Durant’s departure. Westbrook gets 5 on Narrative, because if he leads the Thunder to a top-three seed the year without Durant while averaging something close to a triple-double, that’s going to resemble the Rose vote in 2011.”

My story from yesterday.

Patrick Redford of Deadspin: “It’s still incredibly early in the season, but the Raptors have made the fewest threes of any NBA team and they’re shooting the league’s worst percentage. That sounds like a recipe for a stagnant mess of an offense, and yet they’re in the top-ten in offensive efficiency. A great deal of that is because DeRozan is shooting out of his mind from inside the arc and getting to the free throw line more than ever. That’ll probably level out at some point, just like the rest of Toronto’s guards will eventually remember how to shoot, and the Raptors are probably going to end up as one of the league’s best ten or so offenses. They have the great misfortune of playing in the same conference as LeBron James, so even when Jonas Valanciunas comes back, their ceiling is still most likely two-seed, but at least they know exactly how good DeMar DeRozan is.”

I don’t know what this is, but I think I like it.

Andrew Bogut: “I think OKC exposed us a little bit last season (in the seven-game conference finals) when we went small and they went big. They kind of exposed it. They went the anti-death lineup, which was staying true to who they were and should have beaten us hypothetically, so I think they’ll figure it out. I think it’s a long season. The season is too long. They’ll get in a groove here pretty soon, I’m pretty sure. Hopefully it’s not (on Wednesday night).”

The Stache Brothers care.

Chris Ballard of SI.com: “The upshot: heading into Tuesday, the Wolves were a disappointing 1–4. It’s not that difficult to imagine them yet evolving into a playoff team in the months to come. More likely, this will be a season of peaks, valleys, and flashes of brilliance. Which is fine. For a team this young and talented, success will be measured years from now, not in the present. It’s a contrast for Tom Thibodeau, who maxed out his players in Chicago in pursuit of annual contention, battled with management (and vice versa), and appeared to age a month per week. The challenge in Minnesota is different. Mentor. Teach. Mold this group into the next Thunder or, better yet, the next Warriors. Here, Thibs’s leash is long but the stakes high. It’s one thing to MacGyver a team to the top seed in the East. Another to be staked a potential dynasty and, in Towns, a generational player.”