3 min read

Tuesday Bolts – 10.15.13

Tuesday Bolts – 10.15.13

Ben Golliver of SI.com says Scott Brooks could be on the hot seat this season: “If he coached the same roster but for a different organization — say, the Knicks or Lakers — there’s little question Brooks’ job security would be a leading topic of preseason conversation after a 2012-13 season that ended in the second round of the playoffs. Oklahoma City’s team-oriented climate offers him all the stability a coach could ask for, and the team’s location shields him from some portion of the vultures that collect around big-market coaches in turmoil. Even still, what happens if Oklahoma City — which isn’t expected to have Westbrook until December, and isn’t as deep as in years past — falls short of the conference finals again? What happens if their offense again breaks down into “Durant vs. the world” one-on-five play, with not enough structure to provide support? What happens if Brooks continues to live and die with the same old targets of fan ire, Kendrick Perkins and Derek Fisher, and he winds up burned once again? It’s going too far to say that Brooks’ seat is truly “hot” at this moment, but he’s clearly got more questions to answer this season than his fellow incumbent coaches in charge of top-shelf contenders (Erik Spoelstra, Gregg Popovich, and Tom Thibodeau).”

SLAM has Russell Westbrook as their No. 12 player: “Ultimately for the Thunder, this could prove to be beneficial to them in the long run. It gives Reggie Jackson a chance to develop as a floor leader and scorer on the big stage instead of being just the King of the Summer League. It gives Jeremy Lamb a real chance to handle some of the scoring load left behind. Serge Ibaka will actually have to learn and utilize an actual post move or two. Durant…well, he’s Durant, so yeah. There’s nothing really to say about that guy. That bum. Oklahoma City’s going to struggle. There will be growing pains, and at times, folks will be wondering what the hell is Scott Brooks doing. Westbrook (along with Durant) was OKC’s “Get Out Of Jail Free” card in real life, except that they used that card 20-30 times a game. Brooks must get better without Westbrook, and if he can, he’ll make Westbrook better because of it. Because somehow he’s got to find a way to get easy shots and manufacture offense, and that’s when Westbrook’s burden can be lightened in his return.”

Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr are picking the Thunder to win the West.

KD: “Obviously we got to change some things up with how we play,” Durant said. “And I think coach is putting in some great offense for us. Everybody’s touching the ball. We’re moving it a little bit more. We’re finding the open shot. And we’re just trusting our offense.”

Chris Broussard talking about KD being a playmaker.

LeBron in a Q&A: “I don’t know. I don’t know what it would take for the so-called experts to say that — that’s not what I’m trying to do. My goal is to be the best of all time, and that means maximizing everything I have. And I feel if I can maximize my game, then I can be ranked as if not the greatest, then one of the greatest. Obviously, I have to keep winning. But I’m a winner. I’ve always won. So that’s not a question. And I feel I will continue to win as long as I can stay healthy and be a part of something special.”

Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop writing on the Grizzlies: “In a glitzier market, the swirling storylines and high expectations in Memphis would generate huge Internet traffic, but the Grizzlies barely nibble around the edges of our attention. In the past year, Memphis has seen a turnover in ownership and top management. The team’s highest-paid player was shipped out, and a coach who won 56 games was replaced. All of the upheaval has been in pursuit of a fresh approach to govern decision-making. Memphis may never attract LeBron James and big-name CAA clients in free agency, but for many players, factors such as market size and nightlife are less important than they used to be, measured against general quality of life (which in many cases includes average temperature) and workplace compatibility. Like Oklahoma City, Memphis could become a place where an appealing team prospers under the guidance of new ideas — and ultimately becomes a place where guys want to play.”