3 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 11.29.17

Wednesday Bolts: 11.29.17

Fox Sports previews tonight’s Thunder @ Magic match-up: “The Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic are eight-win teams, but how they got there is a different story. While the Thunder are still looking to get going with a new star trio, the Magic are trying to recapture some of their consistency from the early weeks of the season. The teams will get together in Orlando on Wednesday, when the Thunder will attempt to snap a six-game road losing streak while the Magic will bid to halt a nine-game skid.”

Mike Bianchi (Orlando Sentinel) on former Magic GM (and current OKC VP of Insight & Foresight) returning to Orlando tonight: “What a cold, cruel joke the Oklahoma City Thunder played on the Orlando Magic during the offseason when they hired former Magic GM Rob Hennigan and gave him the ridiculous title of — and I swear I’m not making this up— Vice President of Insight and Foresight. In Orlando, of course, Henningan was the VP of Bad Draft picks and Worse Contracts. He took over after the “Dwightmare” and slowly but surely “Robbed” Magic fans of five years. The reason I bring this up is because Hennigan’s Thunder will be in town tonight to face his old team — Hennigan’s Blunder. And we would be remiss if we didn’t commemorate this special occasion by thanking the worst GM in Orlando Magic history for the five most miserable years the franchise has ever endured.”

Erik Horne on Andre Roberson and if OKC can find its offensive rhythm with him: “The reality is Roberson’s starting role hasn’t been statistically damaging. The Thunder’s starters have a net rating (point differential per 100 possessions) of 23.8 in the first quarter, fourth in the NBA in the first period. But that doesn’t last. The Thunder’s starters have an offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) of 88.5 in the third quarter, last among 16 lineups in the NBA which have played more than 60 minutes together. That quintet has a net rating of minus-11.3 in the third quarter, also last.”

Brett Dawson on Patrick Patterson still being rusty after offseason knee surgery: “The eighth-year power forward, who signed a three-year contract with the Thunder in the offseason, is having the worst statistical season of his career. And though it’s been more than three months since Patterson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, coach Billy Donovan can’t say for sure if he’s 100 percent physically.”

ESPN gives the “Panic Level” for the NBA’s under-performing teams: “Panic level: 5 — The Thunder really shouldn’t be three games under .500 almost 20 games in. The metrics are weird, the close losses are perplexing and the eye test is inconclusive. Most expected the fit between Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony to take some work, but it’s been far rougher around the edges. With the inconsistencies prevailing more than a month in, the grace of “it’s still early” is starting to wear off.”

Jamie Cooper (Dime) on Carmelo Anthony’s witty response to being asked about under-performing teams: “When a reporter asked a question about whether he’s ever been on a team that isn’t playing to its potential, he had a simple response. “You been watching the past few seasons? There go your answer.”

NBA.com’s Blogtable discusses what’s wrong with the OK3: “I don’t know that 19 games is enough time to figure out how to get around a new city (for Carmelo Anthony and Paul George), let alone figure out your chemistry if you’re “the OK3″. We need to take a step back and let this thing marinate a little bit more before making any lasting declarations about this crew. They don’t look disjointed to me at all. I think they fit as a group. They just need more time to get their timing down and to figure out who has to sacrifice what for the greater good. It’ll come.”

Jason Concepcion (Ringer) on the rules of NBA revenge games: “Talking about feelings is uncomfortable in any setting. But in sports, where athletes are expected to transcend quotidian pettiness, the only acceptable medium for expressing emotion is the game itself. You can cry when you win or lose a big game. You can be angry at a missed call or convey anger through a savage dunk or by screaming after said dunk. This is why Russell Westbrook, the Petty King, is the perfect vessel for vengeance.”

Around the League: Blake Griffin may miss two months with an MCL sprain…. LeBron was ejected last night for the first time in his career…. Enes Kanter is sorry for encouraging fighting…. The Grizzlies GM says Marc Gasol is not a coach killer…. USA Today’s MVP rankings.