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Thursday Bolts – 5.20.10

Thursday Bolts – 5.20.10

Chad Ford was impressed by Tiny Gallon’s workout: “Not every team in the league is a Gallon fan, but a few teams have him ranked very high. I saw him work out in New York and I can see why. He is skilled, can shoot with NBA range and has a big body. He needs to lose weight and prove that he’s going to work hard, but he’s a better prospect than Glen Davis was.”

Also, Ford’s new mock is out. OKC is taking Donatas Motiejunas and Solomon Alabi: “If Motiejunas believes he’ll slip this far, he most likely will withdraw from the draft. But he’d be a great long-term pickup for the Thunder if they can get him this low. He’s a very skilled forward who has some Pau Gasol and Toni Kukoc in his game. He is playing at a high level in Europe but needs to get stronger. It would be nice to draft him and stash him in Europe next season.”

Berry Tramel on the playoffs being a dud: “Of the NBA’s 15 series in 1989, only two went the distance, both five-game series in the first round. We’ve had 12 series completed so far in 2010; only Atlanta-Milwaukee went seven games. Thunder-Lakers clearly was the most compelling series of the first round. Only one other series, Boston-Cleveland, has approached it as we near the end of the conference semifinals.”

Dime looks at the top five underrated prospects of this draft: “Avery Bradley: Coming into this season, Bradley had tremendous hype and many high school basketball ranking services had him ahead of John Wall last year. After an underwhelming year at Texas, the Lottery buzz has definitely worn off, but to me Bradley is a more defensive minded Russell Westbrook with more range on his jump shot. Now the question becomes can he develop into at point guard like Westbrook? I think he can.”

Broderick Turner of the LA Times on the biggest surprise of the playoffs: “One of the biggest surprises was not that it took the top-seeded Lakers six tough games to get by the eight-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference first-round series. It was that the young Thunder didn’t succumb to the pressure of being in the playoffs for the first time. In fact, the Thunder was a rebound away from pushing the Lakers to a Game 7. But when Pau Gasol rebounded Kobe Bryant’s missed jumper in Game 6 and scored on a put-back with precious few seconds remaining, the Lakers knew they had escaped. To show how much respect the Lakers had for the Thunder, Bryant walked up to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the hallway after Game 6, hugged both players and said: “Ya’ll are two bad [dudes]. I’m glad we’re done with ya’ll.” Watch out for the Thunder next season and for years to come – that’s if they can keep that group together.”

Dime’s mock: “OKC, Daniel Orton: After getting ripped apart by L.A.’s front line in the playoffs, OKC will be looking to upgrade their interior defense. Orton is an Oklahoma native and natural shot-blocker who should fall right into their lap.”

Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thompson has OKC taking Gani Lawal and Gordon Hayward: “It was easy to forget about Lawal as he was overshadowed by Favors this year, but the Thunder will appreciate his soft hands and potential to score in the post. Will he show the upside of their previous wise draft picks?”