Tuesday Bolts: 8.21.18
Erik Horne on the Thunder announcing Bob Beyer as a new assistant coach: “The Thunder officially announced the hire of former Detroit assistant Bob Beyer as an assistant coach on Monday. Beyer spent the last four seasons in Detroit, most recently serving as an assistant head coach the last two seasons under Stan Van Gundy. It was with Van Gundy in Orlando where Beyer coached from 2007-12, helping the Magic to five consecutive postseason appearances, including the 2009 NBA Finals. Beyer comes to Oklahoma with experience in Big 12 country, as he served under Bob Knight at Texas Tech from 2001-03. He was first an NBA assistant in 2003 with Toronto. Beyer joins the Thunder staff after assistants Royal Ivey and Adrian Griffin left this offseason for assistant coaching positions with the Knicks and Raptors, respectively.”
Brett Dawson on the Thunder renewing its radio deal with The Sports Animal: “Matt Pinto will return as the radio play by play voice of the Thunder, which announced on Monday that it has renewed its broadcast partnership with Cumulus Radio. The renewed deal will keep Thunder games on 98.1 FM The Sports Animal. Pinto, who has been the team’s radio announcer for all 10 of its seasons in Oklahoma City, will be back for his 11th, and will continue to host the weekly Thunder Full Court Press on The Sports Animal. The Sports Animal is the flagship station in the Thunder Radio Network, a collection of radio stations statewide carrying Thunder games. A number of stations in the network — including The Sports Animal Tulsa — are Sports Animal affiliates. The agreement also keeps Thunder Spanish broadcasts on Cumulus station WKY 930-AM (ESPN Deportes) with announcer Eleno Ornelas.”
Russ, PG, Harden, and KD played pickup yesterday in LA: LeBron watched from the sideline.
Ti Windisch (FanSided) on who will become the Thunder’s fifth man: “Roberson could be back and ready to go to start the 2018-19 season, but Melo is very much gone. The Thunder got Dennis Schroder in return for Melo in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Schroder will be that fifth piece to fit with Westbrook, Roberson, George, and Adams. As I’ve detailed on The Whiteboard before, Schroder’s fit next to Russ is problematic at best. Maybe Donovan can make Westbrook/Schroder lineups work, but it seems unlikely that those two would start or end games next to each other. For all of Melo’s fault, he at least made 35.7 percent of his threes last year. Schroder only managed to make 29.0 percent of his. So let’s say it isn’t Schroder. Nerlens Noel is another big addition to the Thunder, but again, Noel is not exactly a sharpshooter. His minutes will likely come in relief of Adams, not alongside him. That leaves four good options: two guards and two forwards. On the guard side there’s Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson, and Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson are the forwards involved.”
Frank Urbina (HoopsHype) has Jerami Grant as his 28th best Power Forward next season: “The Syracuse product and nephew of ’90s legend Horace Grantaveraged 8.4 points and 3.9 boards per contest in 2017-18, posting the best year of his career according to multiple advanced stats along the way. His counting stats have never been – and probably never will be – very impressive, but the Oklahoma City Thunder re-signed Jerami Grant to a three-year, $27.4 million deal this summer, despite being deep into the luxury tax at the time the contract came into fruition, for a reason. Grant’s athleticism, defensive energy and rim-running on offense proved absolutely vital to Oklahoma City last season, particularly in the playoffs when he completely outplayed the starter at his position. With a bigger role after the departure of a certain 34-year-old future Hall-of-Famer, 2018-19 might finally be the season when Grant’s stats start to match the impact he makes on a nightly basis.”
Pelicans.com picked the December 12 match-up with OKC as its sixth-best home game of the 2018-19 season: “The national TV networks that cover the NBA agree: New Orleans vs. Oklahoma City is a matchup worth watching. Both of the Thunder’s visits to the Pelicans’ home floor will be carried across the entire country, with ESPN and TNT splitting the two games. In addition to boasting three of the NBA’s biggest names – perennial All-Stars Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Paul George – New Orleans and Oklahoma City are coming off nearly identical regular seasons, with both squads going 48-34. However, the Pelicans exceeded expectations, while the Thunder were an overall disappointment, entering ’17-18 with hopes of contending for the Western Conference title, but instead being eliminated in Round 1 of the postseason by Utah. The three-game head-to-head series vs. Oklahoma City last season proved pivotal in a variety of ways last season for New Orleans, including a February road win at Chesapeake Energy Arena that helped start a midseason Pelicans turnaround. New Orleans bested OKC 2-1, losing only in an April 1 matchup that preceded the club’s regular season-closing five-game winning streak.”
TV New Zealand on Steven Adams’ guitar talents: “NBA star Steven Adams is a man of many talents, showcasing his guitar skills during an interview in Wellington this afternoon. During a one-on-one interview with 1 NEWS, the 25-year-old jammed out a few songs on a guitar. Adams was put on the spot when asked by 1 NEWS sports presenter Jenny May-Clarkson to play a few tunes. “I’m real nervous,” said Adams. “I haven’t done this, this is strange.” The Oklahoma centre played two melodies on the guitar before admitting the nerves were getting the better of him. “I can’t do this is, it’s weird bro.”
Tim Bontemps (WaPo) on how Team USA helps create superteams: “Those connections have created high-profile unions across the league: The Heat’s Big Three is rumored to have initially begun discussing plans to play together while James, Wade and Bosh were part of the so-called Redeem Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics; the Golden State Warriors’ recruitment of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins was helped, in part, by prior Team USA experiences; and the same goes for Carmelo Anthony agreeing to join Paul George and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City last summer, then teaming up with Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston this month. Even future rumored partnerships, such as one involving Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler, are created from the same group of candidates, as NBA watchers try to anticipate the next big pairing-up.”
Around the League: The Raptors are hiring a friend of Kawhi to the staff…. DeMarcus Cousins is looking deadly from beyond the arc…. Victor Oladipo’s relentless pursuit of getting better…. Which player is the next Kobe Bryant?…. Why teams should think twice before tanking…. The Rockets signed Bruno Caboclo…. Some NBA owners want access to player mental health records.