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Wednesday Bolts – 4.6.16

Wednesday Bolts – 4.6.16

Zach Harper of CBSSports.com with a deep dive on OKC: “Kanter is kind of perfect in the


regular season. He eats up minutes in random games, essentially preserving the other more important players in the rotation. In the playoffs, he becomes a potential liability that can’t be lessened. You flat-out can’t play him even decent minutes against opposing starters once you get past the first round.. Throw Kanter out there against the Warriors this season and the team is minus-11.5 per 100 possessions. Maybe you can play him against Festus Ezeli or Marreese Speights, but you can’t have him out there against Draymond Green at any time no matter what. Throw Kanter out there against the Spurs this season and you go from a plus-22.5 to a minus-9.3. Can you even play him against Boris Diaw or David West? I can’t imagine getting away with Kanter for more than 15 minutes a game in the playoffs.”

Anthony Slater: “At times, stat-chasing has haunted the Thunder this season. Kevin Durant often doesn’t let end-of-quarter heaves go to save his 3-point percentage. The Bucks nearly got a comeback chance in Milwaukee last month because Serge Ibaka flung a late, ill-advised 3 early in the shot clock. Even Sunday, in the loss to Houston, it seemed Westbrook passed up some open lanes and looks at the rim because he remained a handful of assists away from a triple-double. OKC’s offense seemed to temporarily struggle.”

Russ’s season stacks up with Magic.

Ananth Pandian of CBSSports.com: “Johnson recorded 17 triple-doubles in the 1988-89 season and had 18 in the 1981-82 season. Westbrook can surpass Johnson if he is able to finish with a triple-double in at least two of the Thunder’s final four games. A tough feat for sure but with the way Westbrook has been racking up triple-doubles this season, it is quite possible for the Thunder guard to do.”

I wrote a little thing on Westbrook’s 17th triple-double.

Chris Broussard’s player power rankings: “Even with LeBron’s uptick, he would not have passed Westbrook if Russ hadn’t had, by his standards, a sub-par week. With Kevin Durant sitting out against Detroit, Russ was unable to work his magic. Sure, he scored 24 points and had six assists, but he shot 8-for-28 as the Thunder took the loss. Then, with KD by his side, he coughed it up eight times in a loss to former teammate James Harden and the puzzlingly mediocre Houston Rockets. Even though OKC only led by two in the third quarter in that game, the floor general has to take at least a slight hit after dropping a league-high 13 games after being ahead entering the final 12 minutes.”

Darnell Mayberry on the fourth quarters: “Opponents have outscored OKC by 10 points per game – 32.1 to 21.1 – in the 13 games in which the Thunder has carried a lead into the fourth quarter. The Thunder has allowed 52 percent shooting in those fourth quarters while making only 37.3 percent of its shots, including just 20.2 percent from 3-point range. Excessive fouling and untimely turnovers stand as two of the biggest factors in OKC’s fourth-quarter failures. The Thunder has committed twice as many turnovers as its opponents (61-30) in the 13 games it has lost when leading after three quarters. It’s resulted in more than twice as many points for the opposition (89-39).”