3 min read

Thursday Bolts: 7.20.17

Thursday Bolts: 7.20.17

Bleacher Report gives OKC an A+++ on its free agency report card: “Rolling the dice on a Paul George rental is the biggest risk they took, and considering what they gave up to land him, it’s hardly a shot in the dark. Either he stays, and they have the perfect superstar complement to Russell Westbrook, or he leaves, and they begin a rebuild without Victor Oladipo’s four-year, $84.4 million contract weighing them down. Oklahoma City’s other moves have been similarly win-win.”

Jenni Carlson on the sunset jerseys being gone but not forgotten: “Even though the jerseys were only worn on Sundays, there were wins this past season alone against the Lakers, Pelicans, Celtics, Timberwolves, Kings, Blazers, Pelicans again and Nuggets — and that last victory, of course, was Russell Westbrook’s record-setting game. He notched his 42nd triple double and drilled the game-winner in Denver. Images of him celebrating that final shot have been seen far and wide, again and again, and he was wearing the sunset jersey.”

Brett Dawson on Troy Weaver being content as Assistant GM: “At 49, he’s still intrigued by lining up a team in just the right way, though Weaver now gets that fix through team-building. As general manager Sam Presti’s right-hand man, his input is all over the Thunder’s roster. And though, 13 years into his NBA career, Weaver hasn’t quarterbacked his own franchise as a general manager, he’s content for now on a team of decision makers, continuing a partnership with Presti that dates back to the Thunder’s days as the Seattle SuperSonics.”

Bleacher Report says OKC’s biggest hole is not having a third scorer: “OKC’s roster is full and expensive, so this will demand either a trade or an internal solution. And until someone takes ownership of the role, it might be a by-committee situation. Between the three bigs, Alex Abrines and Doug McDermott, the Thunder should be able to support their two stars most nights. But they’d prefer a more consistent path if one opens up.”

Steven Adams isn’t worried about the super team arms race: “Not really concerned about it to be honest. I’m just worried about what the Thunder does. It doesn’t matter if it is the Eastern Conference or the Western Conference. It all comes down to what you and your team are doing. If you focus too much on one team, then you wonder off.”

Adams is finally looking to make his New Zealand national team debut: “When the time is right, I will be definitely suiting up. You will see me,” Adams said during a media appearance in Manila. It’s a prospect that can’t come soon enough for New Zealand basketball fans as they continue to await the prospect of the big centre adding much-needed size, defensive presence and toughness to a Tall Blacks team that ticks a lot of the other boxes as a growing international force. Up till now he has continued to make himself unavailable for international play as he has concentrated on establishing himself in the NBA.”

KD’s return to OKC was the most-watched regular season game of the 2016-17 season: “According to sportsmediawatch.com, Feb. 11th’s Thunder-Warriors matchup was watched by 6.04 million viewers, which makes it the 12th most-watched NBA game of 2017. The only NBA games that drew more viewers than Durant’s return to Oklahoma City were postseason games or the NBA All-Star Game.”

Fred Katz on the Thunder defense being one of the NBA’s best: “No one is well-equipped to defend the Warriors. But the Thunder will be one of the teams best armed to do it — both talent-wise and stylistically — even if the aspiration is to become the stingiest defense against 29 teams, not just one, as Roberson insists. “That’s one of the goals,” Roberson said. “That was the goal last year. It’s the goal this upcoming year.”

Happy 24th Birthday, Steven Adams: