Tuesday Bolts – 2.14.17
Kyle Koster of The Big Lead is here to lecture you: “If there was any lingering doubt rattling
around in Durant’s soul regarding his decision, it completely vanished during the blowout. Thunder fans never really loved him. They loved what he could do for them. Staying put to satisfy fickle fanbases is antiquated. Durant wants a championship and, hell, he will probably get one this year. He found a new adoring suitor and is enjoying the spoils of victory. OKC is just a town in the rearview mirror. He’s moved on. Time for the Thunder to do the same.”
The Thunder missing 24 straight shots is the longest streak in 20 seasons. Way to go, Thunder. Quite an accomplishment.
Serge Ibaka is moving to the Raptors.
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insiders grades it: “By this point, you’ve already read approximately 8,000 tweets noting the Magic effectively traded Victor Oladipo and the No. 11 pick in the 2016 NBA draft (used by the Oklahoma City Thunder to take Domantas Sabonis) in exchange for Ross and a pick that’s certain to be in the 20s. Obviously, nobody would make that trade if presented that way, including the Magic. When Orlando acquired Ibaka last summer, it was in the hopes that adding a veteran to the team’s young core would accelerate its development into playoff contenders. Your mileage may vary on that logic, but the plan was never to flip Ibaka again before he hit free agency. That only became reality when the Magic flopped and the possibility of Ibaka leaving as an unrestricted free agent proved a concern.”
ESPN Stats: “The Thunder were outscored by 36 points with Westbrook on the court, the worst plus-minus of his career. It was the second time in 11 meetings that Westbrook lost a head-to-head matchup with Wizards point guard John Wall. The Thunder’s five starters combined to shoot 27 percent from the field (12-of-45), including 0-of-13 from 3-point range. The Wizards’ starting five shot 61 percent (31-of-51), 12-of-17 on 3-pointers.”
The D-League is now the G-League. K.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com: “Durant and Westbrook didn’t interact. Like they have throughout the initial stages of their very public breakup, they mostly avoided direct contact or conflict. That will all change this weekend, when Westbrook and Durant will team up on the Western Conference All-Star team. But if this dinner — or the game that preceded it, a Warriors victory but a hard-fought one by both teams — is any indication, there is still hurt on both sides. And it’s not going away anytime soon.”
Erik Horne: “After a 3-pointer on the break put the Wizards ahead 91-57, Donovan immediately called timeout. Westbrook, with the ball in his hand, stayed on the court a little longer. He flipped up a one-handed shot, which hit all net as the Verizon Center crowd continued going berserk. He tossed up another underhanded scoop shot that banked in. Too bad it didn’t count. It was the most offense the Thunder had seen since before halftime. The Thunder lacked fire two nights after letting it all out against Kevin Durant in front of a raucous Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd.”