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Tuesday Bolts: 7.10.18

Brett Dawson on Andre Roberson’s rehab process: “As he left his courtside seat late in Monday’s Thunder Summer League game, the Oklahoma City forward reiterated that his return from injury is happening when he’s always said it will. “Training camp,” Roberson said. It’s an optimistic outlook, but the one the Thunder is hoping for after Roberson ruptured the patellar tendon in his left knee in January. And Roberson remains on track, he said, to be ready for the start of the season. On Monday, he had a workout with Thunder staff — and new teammate Nerlens Noel — before OKC’s Summer League game, which Roberson watched from a front-row seat alongside Noel, coach Billy Donovan and assistant general manager Troy Weaver. When he’s on the court, Roberson can shoot “slight jump shots,” he said, and do some ball handling drills. He hasn’t run yet, but the plan was to try some Monday afternoon on an AlterG, an anti-gravity treadmill that lets athletes ease back into full-speed running during rehab.”

Adrian Wojnarowski on the Rockets’ desire to land Carmelo Anthony: “The Rockets have lost Mbah a Moute, 31, and Trevor Ariza and plan to ramp up a pursuit of Carmelo Anthony once he becomes available after a trade and buyout or waive and stretch with the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told ESPN. The Thunder could waive and stretch Anthony’s $27.9 million salary, saving the franchise $107 million in salary and tax, within the next seven to 10 days if they are unable to find a trade partner, league sources said. The Rockets will be a premium consideration for Anthony, along with the Miami Heat, league sources said.”

Erik Horne on Melo, Houston, and what it says about the Thunder: “The biggest question for Anthony is still on defense. Last season, Anthony was targeted defensively in pick-and-roll – isolated continuously by, yes, the Rockets – and had to make way for Jerami Grant in the postseason. Even with Anthony on the court, the Thunder was able to field one of the strongest lineups in the league, outscoring opponents by 14.2 points per 100 possessions with Westbrook, Steven Adams, Andre Roberson and Paul George on the floor. Houston probably isn’t done adding reinforcements, but it appears confident enough to take a step back from having a Top 6 defense with Ariza and Mbah a Moute by papering over any defensive issues presented by Anthony, just as the Thunder was willing to test. The Thunder did it in the regular season, however, surrounding Anthony with three elite defenders in Roberson, Adams, and George. It didn’t work so well with Roberson hurt in the postseason. The Rockets must figure they can do it better.”

The Starters discuss Melo’s potential landing spots:

Cody Taylor (Thunder Wire) recaps yesterday’s Summer League win against Toronto: “P.J. Dozier scored 17 points and Rashawn Thomas added 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Thunder to a 92-82 win over the Raptors on Monday. The win marked the team’s second consecutive victory in the Summer League after the Thunder defeated the Nets on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas… With the win, the Thunder improved to 2-1 so far in three games during the Summer League. Teams will now be seeded 1-30 into a single-elimination tournament on the basis of the preliminary round that will kick off on Wednesday. Teams eliminated in the tournament will play in a consolation game on July 13.”

Nick Gallo on PJ Dozier’s performance in the win over the Raptors: “During Monday’s 92-82 win over the Toronto Raptors, Dozier got the engines revved early for the Thunder, attacking beautifully in transition twice to get all the way to rim and finish with coolness and touch. He also added a catch-and-shoot three-pointer and a three-pointer off the dribble on his way to a cool 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the first half alone. In the second half, Dozier got the Thunder into offense and focused in on the defensive end by drawing an offensive foul on a tough box out. The University of South Carolina product finished the game with 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 20 minutes to go with 17 total points. That balanced but productive performance is the product of a continually evolving mindset – one that the Thunder and Blue helped cultivate over the course of a year.”

Brett Dawson on how Billy Donovan wants the Summer League pace to carry over into the regular season: “The pace of play and the way the ball is moving, this is not a one-off,” Daigneault said after Oklahoma City’s 92-82 win against Toronto on Monday. “Everything we’re doing out here is designed to trickle up or to be experimented with or to be evaluated, both the personnel and the way we’re playing.” In short, the Thunder is playing fast this summer because Donovan wants his team to do it in the fall. The plan is for this summer style of play — aggressive defense, pushing the ball up the court and whipping the ball around to create open shots — to serve as a season sneak peek. “As a coach, stylistically, do I want the ball moving? Passing, cutting — I want all that,” Donovan told The Oklahoman during Monday’s game. “But it’s also got to make sense for our personnel. I think we have a team that can play really fast. I think we need to get up and down the floor. I want to see the ball move a little bit more.”

Nerlens Noel discusses his fit in OKC:

Steven Deane (Newsroom New Zealand) on why Steven Adams should play for the New Zealand national team: “Everyone has priorities in life. Adams’ list of to-dos, in recent times, has included cracking the NBA draft at a high enough position to earn a signing bonus large enough to be life-changing for himself and his extended family (check); proving wrong the haters who mocked his first round selection at number 12 by OKC in the 2013 draft (check); earning a $NZ140 million contract extension (check); and performing the impossible by living up to the ridiculous value of that contract (check). None of that, sadly, aligns with putting himself in harms way in a Tall Blacks singlet in the rough and tumble world of international basketball when he would otherwise be recuperating from a grueling NBA campaign. Adams has plenty of rea$on$ not to play for the Tall Blacks.”

Around the League: LeBron is officially a Laker…. The Rockets say the luxury tax is not influencing their summer…. DeAndre Ayton outshined Mo Bamba in their Summer League match-up…. Marvin Bagley is out for the rest of Summer League…. David Fizdale is promising “a different New York Knicks”…. The Warriors’ goal for Boogie is to have him for the playoffs…. David Aldridge says “stop complaining” about Golden State.