4 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 11.15.17

Wednesday Bolts: 11.15.17

Brett Dawson on Terrance Ferguson’s 24 point G-League debut: “Ferguson finished his Blue debut with 24 points and five assists, making 9 of 15 shots and 4 of 9 3-pointers as Oklahoma City beat the Texas Legends 122-118. When the game was over, Daigneault acknowledged Ferguson in the locker room for embracing his G League assignment on a day when he’d already practiced with the Thunder.”

Steven Adams is likely out tonight against the Bulls: “While Adams’ calf bruise shouldn’t keep him sidelined too long, he’ll most likely miss Wednesday’s contest. It seems probable Dakari Johnson, Patrick Patterson and Jerami Grant will continue being beneficiaries of the big man’s absence.”

Matt Moore (CBS) on Thunder crunch time struggles: “The Thunder don’t handle teams. And when that momentum turns, it turns hard. Checking out the game flows from OKC, the evidence is all over like a crime scene. Minnesota goes on a 7-2 run and an 8-0 run in the third quarter. Portland goes on a 12-1 run. Denver went on runs of 6-0 and 9-2 in the third. And in the worst example, in the Boston meltdown, they surrendered a 22-7 run in the third. This is what lays the groundwork for the meltdown. The best way to make sure you don’t find yourself in dicey coin-flip games is to beat the team by double-digits.”

Adam Fromal (B/R) on every team’s best lineup: “Best Lineup: Russell Westbrook, Alex Abrines, Paul George, Jerami Grant, Steven Adams. These five are scoring only 99.6 points per 100 possessions, which would leave them tied with the Dallas Mavericks for No. 26 on the league-wide leaderboard. But they’re also rather stingy, posting a 75.4 defensive rating that should terrify every opponent under the sun. Russell Westbrook has been a pest at the point of attack, while Paul George has done yeomen’s work against opposing wings. Meanwhile, Jerami Grant and Steven Adams have formed a potent interior duo that rarely allows an uncontested bucket around the rim. The power forward provides athletic contests from the weak side, while Adams drains energy away from his matchups with constant physicality.”

Jimmy Do (okcthunder.com) on Westbrook’s annual Thanksgiving charity: “Six years ago, when Russell Westbrook hosted his first Thanksgiving dinner at the Boys & Girls Club on 35th and Western, Thunder fan Shona Smith was a teenager when she first encountered the point guard. Moving shoulder to shoulder in line with plate in hand, Smith suddenly stopped dead in her tracks when she stared at an apron-clad Westbrook. Wielding a ladle, Westbrook flashed a smile at the wide-eyed teen and asked “You want potatoes?”

Brett Dawson on the Thunder expecting improvement from Patrick Patterson: “In the moment, Patterson said, he didn’t feel much different against Dallas. He’s still thinking too much, he said, still adjusting to a new team and to playing both power forward and center. But then he watched the film. Patterson reviewed his own performance and saw his comfort level with a variety of defensive assignments, whether covering the pick and roll or switching onto a ballhandler. He saw that he looked more fluid, watched the way he exploded upward to contest a shot with picture-perfect verticality. “Seeing it is very encouraging,” Patterson said. “It tells me that I’m progressively getting back to what I want to be.”

Grant Hughes (B/R) on the best in-game dunkers: “Some of the main criteria here are aggression and recklessness. Did you not think Russell Westbrook would pop up eventually? You may not realize this, but after watching Russ attempt this act of savagery on Gobert, your own aggression levels will have spiked. Try to remain calm and resist the urge to knock over walls or steal teammates’ rebounds; the feeling will pass if you give it time.”

Emily Farra (Vogue) on Russell Westbrook’s new clothing line: “So, of all the fashion-minded celebrities and athletes out there, it makes sense for Westbrook to design his own collection. He’s worked with Barneys New York on capsule collections for years, but his new line, Honor the Gift, didn’t launch there. Nor did he introduce his new offering in Paris, where he often travels for Fashion Week. Instead, he chose a body shop in Oklahoma City, the hometown of his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, for Honor the Gift’s debut. This past weekend, hundreds of fans lined up for hours to get a first look at the line, which is loosely billed as “unisex streetwear.”

Mark Strotman (NBC Sports Chicago) previews tonight’s Thunder/Bulls match-up: “The Bulls’ worst loss of the young season at the time came when the Thunder crushed them, 101-69, at the United Center. Now a largely rested Bulls team – one that hasn’t played since Saturday – gets a chance to make amends. The last time the Bulls had three days off they played well in a 97-91 road loss to the Heat. With Nikola Mirotic back in practice the Bulls are getting closer to full-strength. Fred Hoiberg has had practice time to get his young squad ready; will it be enough against a West powerhouse?”

Around the League: The Celtics won their 13th in a row…. Steve Kerr says the Celtics are the East’s team of the future…. Karl Anthony-Towns makes the case for medical marijuana in the NBA…. Gregg Popovich is now the fastest NBA coach to 500 road wins…. Stan Van Gundy wrote an essay in TIME about athletes who protest.