4 min read

Tuesday Bolts: 10.31.17

Tuesday Bolts: 10.31.17

Brett Dawson on how the Thunder will defend Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight in Milwaukee: “The 6-foot-11, 235-pound Antetokounmpo leads the NBA in scoring at 34.7 points per game. He’s averaging 10.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, two steals and a block. He scores 23.7 points per game in the paint, 5.7 more than any other player. “I think the biggest thing with him is trying to take away that deep paint where he’s getting all the way to the rim, because then he’s a monster finishing,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “But he’s also a really good passer. He sprays the ball around really well and obviously, they’ve got good shooting on the perimeter. He’s an incredible player.”

Fox Sports on the Westbrook vs Greek Freak match-up: “The defending NBA Most Valuable Player and one of his top challengers will face off when Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night at the Bradley Center. Antetokounmpo has been dominant through Milwaukee’s first six games this season, averaging a league-leading 34.7 points with 10.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.”

Bobby Marks (ESPN) on today’s deadline for the Thunder to pick up Josh Huestis’ team option: “Last date for a player on a rookie contract to have his 3rd or 4th year team option exercised. Some of the names waiting a decision include Jahlil Okafor ($6.3M), Justin Anderson ($2.5M), Mario Hezonja ($5.2M), Rashad Vaughn ($2.9M), Josh Huestis ($2.2M), Brice Johnson ($1.5M) and Chris McCullough ($2.2M).”

Erik Horne on Paul George’s early season efficiency: “In six games, some flow has formed from Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and George playing together. George and Anthony each have a team-high 28 shot attempts in the first quarter, but George is shooting at a 57.1 percent clip, including 8-of-15 from 3-point range. The second quarter has belonged to Anthony, who has 10 more shots than George in five more minutes, while shooting 58 percent. Foul trouble aside against Indiana, George is scorching his last three games from the field in the first half, with field goal/3-point/free throw percentage splits of 57.1/77.9/100 before halftime.”

Arthur Weinstein (Sporting News) on Melo’s profanity-laden rebounding ritual: “Carmelo Anthony is famous for cursing on the court, especially when rebounding. If you haven’t heard him in action, check out the many YouTube videos on the topic (stating the obvious, these videos are NSFW and definitelynot kid friendly). So while Anthony’s salty language is no secret around the league, it is apparently news to one of his new teammates, Thunder center Steven Adams.”

Adam London (NESN) on Tony Allen calling out the Thunder for disrespecting former players: “It’s not a rule that teams must honor their former players, but Tony Allen believes it to be a classy gesture that should take place. The New Orleans Pelicans guard was on hand for the Sacramento Kings’ tribute to DeMarcus Cousins last week, which drew league-wide kudos. Allen, a 14-year NBA veteran, appears to believe the Thunder and Cavs both could learn a thing or two from the Kings. “That’s kind of being petty for the organization,” Allen told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “It’s premeditated. They (Thunder) thought about doing that before you even came back. To give (Durant’s No. 35) jersey away (to another player), a guy who has been in multiple MVP conversations, scoring champs, got those guys to the (2012 Finals) … And another guy like Kyrie, who won a championship for those people, it’s a sign of disrespect and a sign of pettiness.”

Kevin Arnovitz (ESPN) has OKC at 11 in this week’s NBA power rankings: “Nothing jells a team trying to incorporate new personnel like a matchup with a doormat. Accordingly, the Thunder took out a couple of weeks worth of frustration on Chicago on Saturday night. Getting the choreography right will take some time. But can someone explain how OKC, a team that led the NBA last season in rebounding rate, can rank 30th on the defensive glass?”

Jared Dubin (UPROXX) on the joy of watching Carmelo Anthony on a good team: “Folks, I’ve got to say, watching Melo when he’s not on your favorite team anymore is AMAZING. It’s so much fun. I’m now free to enjoy something that gave me so much angst over the last few years because the fan part of me that shouldn’t exist anymore due to covering the league for seven-plus years (but still does anyway because I’m a weak person) doesn’t really care about how it impacts the team on a larger scale. That team isn’t my favorite team, so I’m free to let Melo be Melo.”

Thunder players pick their favorite emojis:

Around the League: Gregg Popovich thinks new NBA resting rules are unclear…. Tyronn Lue is unhappy with the Cavs “unacceptable” start…. The Celtics handed the Spurs their third consecutive loss…. LeBron James dressed as Pennywise for Halloween and it’s terrifying…. Shaq guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night…. NBA coaches on the hot seat.