Wednesday Bolts – 2.8.17
Durant talked about his return to OKC: “I know they’re going to be rowdy in there, man. I’ve
been a part of some of the loudest nights in that arena. So I know it’s not going to be the friendliest welcome, but, like I said, I can’t wait to see the people that I really built relationships with over my time there and, you know, I’m sure fans that I got to know throughout my time playing there, even though they might not cheer for me out loud, I’ll give ’em a wink and they know what we had deep down inside.”
Fred Katz: “Both of the corners have been cushy for Oladipo this season. The Thunder’s biggest offseason acquisition has become more of a catch-and-shoot threat than ever before, and as a result, he’s cozied up in either of the corners, though he spends more time in the right, where he leads the NBA in shooting percentage at 50 percent. This time, though, with the Thunder down three to the Pacers, it didn’t go as planned. Russell Westbrook had penetrated the lane and kicked to old reliable on the left side. The pass was a little low, but there was so much room between Oladipo and his defender, who had collapsed into the paint to help on Westbrook, that there was plenty of time to rise and shoot. So, that’s what Oladipo did. Except, it went long.”
More non-traditional Westbrook stats.
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider with some trades: “Given the Magic gave up a lottery pick and a solid young prospect (Victor Oladipo) for Ibaka just eight months ago, this price would be a steal for the Pacers, who also get out of the final season of Stuckey’s contract. Yet I’m not sure Orlando will do much better for Ibaka, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, unless the Celtics and Raptors join the bidding.”
Brett Dawson: “Roberson hasn’t made offensive leaps in his four-year NBA career, but there has been a slow progression. He’s averaging a career-best 6.6 points and has more double-digit scoring games this season (12) than in his previous three combined (11). His four double-digit rebounding games match his total from those first three years. In four February games, Roberson is averaging nine points and eight rebounds per game and shooting 61.5 percent from the floor. He’s also shooting 1.7 3-point attempts per game this month, down from 2.8 per game in November, December and January.”
Draymond was apparently playing mind games with Durant.
Interesting post on Reddit about Westbrook and running.
Jenni Carlson: “In the sports world, we are often left with that question. When seemingly super-human athletes do other-worldly things, we wonder if what we saw actually happened. How could Julian Edelman make that catch in the Super Bowl? How could LeBron James make that pass to Kevin Love? How could humans turn a play into a clip from “The Matrix”? So much in sports feels surreal, but over time, we came to believe Westbrook and Durant had something real and deep and strong. Instead, they faked out everyone. Why do we care? Because we thought they did.”
Erik Horne: “The Durant fan reception isn’t expected to be rosy Saturday — certainly nothing like the Pierce-Boston mutual embrace spurred by his retirement. There’s always the future. Still, not every superstar will leave a franchise the same way. Some won’t leave much behind at all.”