I’m feeling awful Scrooge-y, not nearly as delighted as everyone else by Thunder comeback wins against terrible teams who gain better lottery odds thanks to their miraculous losses to OKC.
Royce Young (ESPN) on Chris Paul gifting custom suits for his Thunder teammates to wear last night: “What got [Steven] Adams to break his traditional style of sweatpants, camo jacket and flip flops? Chris Paul bought him a suit and told him to wear it. “He was like, ‘Wear it to the game, it’s a team thing,'” Adams said. “I was like, ‘Ah s—, I have to wear it.’ I was just gonna hang it up.” Every player on the Thunder roster arrived to Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies wearing a custom tailored suit, set up and paid for by Paul. He had the idea in the preseason, then brought in a tailor to fit the team a couple of games into the season. The suits finally arrived Wednesday.”
Kirk Goldsberry (ESPN) on the ultra deep three-pointers becoming a feature in today’s NBA: “When Paul George labeled Lillard’s historic pull-up a bad shot, he probably didn’t realize just how much Lillard practiced those exact kinds of long-range looks with his trainer, Phil Beckner. Like a lot of NBA makeovers, Lillard’s deep-3 project stemmed from disappointment. Following a nightmarish playoff sweep by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018, Lillard was motivated to expand his range. The Pelicans stifled Lillard with traps, and he needed new ways to get his own shot against aggressive opponents. If Lillard could shoot from farther out, he wouldn’t always have to overcome double-teams and blitzes to get looks from downtown.”
Should the Bulls protest their epic loss to the Thunder?
Seth Partnow (The Athletic) says Chris Paul’s rip throughs are a window into some of the harder to trace edges that certain players deliver for their team: “If one were making a short list of the things that statistical analysis of basketball are better at picking up than traditional scouting, I’d put fouling propensity near the top. We intuitively know that committing fouls and sending players to the line is bad: the average field goal attempt is around 1.05 points per shot in most seasons, while committing a foul on a shot turns the same hypothetically average shooter from just over 50 percent to almost 80 percent accuracy.”
Rumblings that make you go hmmm as trade season gets underway: Mike Conley could miss multiple weeks with a hammy injury … Miami’s interest in CP3 is “extinct” … “No one wants CP3. Adams’ contract is terrible.” … The Blazers are embarking on a home-heavy stretch that could keep them from making a panic move.