Interesting piece on the Thunder’s usage of the D-League: “Since the 2014 NBA draft, 24 of the 180 players selected have been stashed in leagues throughout the world, until the NBA deems them ready; and to be frank, for some that time will never arise. In recent years, the growth and improvements made in the D-League have allowed NBA teams to utilize a home-grown stash option
known as the domestic draft-and-stash. While a few teams each season engage in this practice, the Oklahoma City Thunder brass are clearly all-in on the benefits of keeping their assets close and of course helping the bottom line. The Thunder are the only team to utilize this option at least once in each of the past three seasons. It started in 2014 with Josh Huestis (which was a weird first round stash) and Semaj Christon, then again in 2015 with Dakari Johnson. This season Daniel Hamilton was their target.”
I think this is a first: Russell Westbrook getting a little Durant’ish with his Twitter.
Fred Katz talking with Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post on whether Westbrook’s triple-double stats are sustainable for a season: “Whether it is or not, Katz is going to get a front row seat to Westbrook’s incredible season, which is something we discussed heavily on this episode of “Posting Up.” In addition, we also broke down how the rest of the team is faring — including in-depth discussions on how recent acquisition Jerami Grant has exceeded Katz’s expectations and starting center Steven Adams, while playing through injuries, has slightly fell short of them. There also was a lengthy discussion of the team’s amount of games that have had wild endings — 17 of Oklahoma City’s 24 games have been within five points inside the final five minutes — and how the Thunder, thanks in large part to Westbrook, have managed to be wildly successful in those situations.”
Erik Horne on Semaj Christon: “With Victor Oladipo’s right wrist injury leaving his status in question for the Thunder’s two-game road trip — starting in Portland on Tuesday — it’s the right time for Christon to find his rhythm. In just 24 games, Christon’s gone from a player teetering between the final roster and the D-League to a key piece of the Thunder’s rotation. “I’ve put a lot on his plate with that second unit when he comes in,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Monday. “But I think he’s gotten everybody organized.” Christon’s distribution has been the high point of his increased minutes in the last six games. In that span, the 24-year-old has a 20-to-3 assist to turnover ratio.”
Sports Illustrated made their quarter season awards picks: Who do you think the MVP is?