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Wednesday Bolts – 10.12.16

Wednesday Bolts – 10.12.16

Sean Deveney of Sporting News: “But that’s not everyone in Oklahoma City. Many fans there did


care about Durant, cared about him about as much as a crowd in an arena can care about a player. Sure, they did not know about his deepest desires as a person, but that’s not part of the compact between star athletes and fan bases. That requires only that the star give complete effort on the court and represent the city well off it, and that the fans give their enthusiasm and support. Thunder fans did that for Durant, and he held up his end of the bargain for nine years. While it is refreshing to see a more open and chatty side of Durant, he’s got to know that what happened in July left a still-raw wound in OKC. He should remember that when he fields questions about his departure.”

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com: “Oladipo is tougher to peg. He wants the max, or close to it, and the Thunder would be right to hold off. An early extension can sew goodwill between player and team, but beyond that, there’s not really any point to signing such deals at an amount close to the max. A team can just wait until restricted free agency, evaluate the player for another season, and hand over the max (if that’s what it takes) in July. The Thunder need to see how Westbrook and Oladipo fit. If they don’t love the mix, Oladipo would be easier to trade without an extension attached under the current salary-matching rules. As a prediction, I’d lean “no” on Oladipo for now.”

Erik Horne: “Kanter came into this season wanting to improve his passing and has lauded the Thunder’s increased ball-sharing in preseason. Thunder coach Billy Donovan — a proponent of the big man who can move the ball — sees the potential. Much of that potential has to do with where Kanter gets the ball. Kanter’s pinpoint pass to Sabonis last week, while on target, had a high degree of difficulty.”

Russ has “no thoughts” about Mark Cuban’s superstar comments.

Vivek Jacob of BBall Breakdown: “Among OKC players last season, only Morrow, Singler, and Roberson shot worse from the field in the fourth quarter. Kanter and Adams shot 63.8 percent and 51.1 percent from the field in the fourth respectively, yet both combined to take less shots than Westbrook in the final quarter. When push came to shove in close games, Russ couldn’t kick those old habits. If Westbrook can rely on his teammates to hit shots in the first 36 minutes, he must trust them to hit shots in the final 12. This is the next level for Westbrook. The loss of a franchise player like Kevin Durant would be enough to burn any franchise to the ground. But in Westbrook, the Thunder have an uncapped hydrant with a reservoir of talent so deep it could be said to be limitless. The explosion of water might not be the most efficient way to target the problems, but on many nights, it should be overwhelming enough to do the job. Will it be enough to make the Oklahoma City Thunder a legitimate threat?”

Do read Kevin Arnovitz’s story on Bill Kennedy.