Royce Young on the NBA L2M report for Timberwolves/Thunder: “The NBA announced Monday that there was one incorrect no-call and noted the officiating crew didn’t see Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau calling for timeout in the final five seconds of the frantic finish against the Thunder that led to Andrew Wiggins’ game-winning buzzer-beater Sunday. Karl-Anthony Towns’ screen on Paul George that freed Wiggins was ruled to have been illegal, based on Towns’ stance being too wide. The report notes that Towns was stationary but his leg was out, which clipped George.”
Jack Maloney (CBS) on how OKC handled its first crunch time minutes of the season: “As Sunday night’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves went down to the wire, the new-look Thunder were put into a close game for the first time. Last season, there was no debate who would have the ball in the clutch: Russell Westbrook. But with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George — each a No. 1 option used to having the ball down the stretch for his old team — now in town, how they would handle end of game situations was one of the main questions heading into the season. The Thunder lost 115-113 but had to fight to tighten the score that much. How did they execute? Let’s break it down, possession by possession.”
NewsOK on Andre Roberson’s offseason knee procedure impacting his play: “Andre Roberson had an offseason procedure on his left knee. That much is certain. Whether that’s still impacting his play is less clear. Thunder coach Billy Donovan raised some eyebrows on Sunday when he suggested that an injury might be part of the reason Roberson hasn’t been up to his usual defensive standard early this season.”
Erik Horne on Westbrook experimenting in the fourth quarter: “With Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, Westbrook has been experimenting through three games. The Thunder’s fourth quarter was a continuation of that experiment, with equal parts Westbrook dominance and distribution. Call it success in a loss. Against Minnesota, Westbrook struck a balance in the fourth quarter that could be vital to the Thunder’s offensive cohesion this season. That version of Westbrook wasn’t present in the Thunder’s loss in Utah on Saturday, where he shot just twice in the final period.”
Brian Windhorst floated the idea of LeBron & Paul George going to LA….in 2019: “Remember, LeBron has an option in his contract. He has the option of signing another 1-year contract in Cleveland. If you’re the Lakers, it may not just be a 1-year window. It may be a 2-year window. Especially if you think of the concept they may not be able to get their books cleaned up enough in the next year. It may take two years to really offer themselves the pitch. Paul George has the same thing. He has the option of just picking up another year in his contract. The timing may be right in June, but it may be June 2019.”
Megan Gustashaw (GQ) on Russell Westbrook launching his own clothing line: “We don’t yet know what the clothing line will really look like, how much it’ll cost, and where it will be sold—although, Westbook has expressed an interest in opening his own stores before. All we have to go on is the low-key look he wore in the Chesapeake Arena on October 19th, and looking back, a very ’90s-looking Honor the Gift T-shirt, which he wore in September at Kith’s fashion week show.”
Around the League: Eric Bledsoe has likely played his last game in Phoenix…. Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double in his fourth NBA game…. The Grizzlies beat the Rockets and James Harden nearly fought Mario Chalmers…. Steph Curry was fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece at a referee…. Minority owners of the Grizzlies are moving forward with attempting to purchase the franchise.