Tuesday Bolts: 12.03.19
Dennis Schröder tells Erik Horne (The Athletic) that fan, and even Russell Westbrook, have questioned his choice to wear Kevin Durant’s signature shoes on the court: “People were like ‘Why you gotta wear KDs?’ I was like ‘Bro, it’s just a shoe.’” If it was just a shoe, however, Schröder wouldn’t have gone back on his promise to himself less than a month into the season.”
Fred Katz (The Athletic) on the most stylish Thunder player… Steven Adams: “The camouflage is a mainstay in Adams’ wardrobe. Sometimes, he’ll flip the furry, Russian-style hat around and wear it backwards. It’s not a fashion statement. Adams says it’s more comfortable that way. Just about every piece of Adams’ wardrobe is about what’s more conveniently cozy — even if that places his attire into a category no one’s ever heard of: The beach-going hunting aficionado who’s closing down the vodka bar.”
Per a team release, the Thunder will be sending the fan champion of the Hotshot Challenge to the All-Star game for the national competition. Presumably OKC’s version is exclusively half-court shots.
Royce Young on the Thunder being placed at #19 in ESPN’s latest power rankings: “There was some curiosity within the Thunder that, in spite of the tumultuous offseason, this roster might still be good enough to flirt with a playoff spot. Many saw it as a long shot, and it’s not like the Thunder are exceeding expectations at 8-11. It’s just the back end of the West is doing the opposite, leaving an apparent door open to be in the early conversation. The longer they stay in it, the better, with it creating a little more value and leverage in trade conversations.”
Billy Donovan tells Joe Mussatto (The Oklahoman) that the Thunder’s precipitous drop in offensive rebounding rate this season is due to adjustments in scheme: “Even with the roster overhaul, Adams’ numbers alone signify the steep dropoff. “(Steven) Adams averaged five offensive rebounds per game over his last two seasons. He’s averaging 2.7 offensive rebounds in his first 16 games this year. “I think it’s more a product of our offense, to be honest with you,” Donovan said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with Steven. A lot of the times he’s up top, facilitating, distributing. Last year he was in around the basket a lot more.”
As Mark Medina (USA Today) points out, LeBron James will pass Gary Payton (9th) and has an outside chance at moving ahead of Chris Paul (8th) this season on the all-time assists leaderboard.
Marcus Smart on his toughest defensive assignments at The Player’s Tribune (H/T Johnny Thunder).