3 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 5.23.18

Brett Dawson on whether or not Steven Adams will expand his game further from the rim: “From the left corner, Steven Adams sank a 3-pointer. Then a second, and a third. A fourth followed, then a fifth. By the time he banged in a seventh straight, it was time to switch sides of the floor, and as Adams ran the baseline to the right corner, none of his Thunder teammates reacted much. The clear suggestion at this April practice was that an Adams eruption from behind the line isn’t such an unfamiliar site at the Thunder’s practice facility. And that has for some time begged the question: When might Oklahoma City’s 7-footer be comfortable enough to launch from long range at gametime? “I’m comfortable shooting it,” Adams said at the Thunder’s exit interviews last month, then turned deadpan. “The tough part is just making them, you know?” In 387 regular-season NBA games, Adams has attempted five 3-pointers, four of them desperation heaves. He’s 0 for 5.”

Berry Tramel grades Steven Adams’ 2017-18 season: “Adams was fourth in the NBA in field-goal percentage, .629, and that’s because of location, location, location. Adams took 70.6 percent of his shots from the restricted area. Adams made a career-best 68.8 percent of his shots from that range. Those numbers are an improvement from last season, when opponents packed the paint to stop Russell Westbrook drives. But they also are up from two years ago, when Kevin Durant was around to help spread the floor. Here’s the telltale sign – Adams had 101 dunks two years ago and 112 last season. This season, Adams had 150 dunks.”

Fred Katz grades Corey Brewer’s 2017-18 season: “Brewer’s signing brought on immediate comparisons to Andre Roberson, the Thunder shooting guard who suffered a season-ending knee injury at the end of January. Brewer isn’t the caliber of Roberson, the arguable Defensive Player of the Year favorite and a All-Defensive Team shoe-in when he went down, but he acted as a pseudo-replacement for him. “They’re two different players…Corey’s a different player. Dre’s a different player,” Russell Westbrook said. “They both have a lot of strong and great [traits] about them.” But no matter what Westbrook is willing to admit, they are undeniably similarly styled. And those strong and great traits certainly overlap. They’re wing defenders of varying quality. They’re relatively aggressive off-ball cutters within the Thunder offense. They’re non-shooters, which opposing defenses feel comfortable leaving open on the wings or in the corners. They’re transition threats who run the floor well alongside Westbrook.”

Jacob Rude (Lakers Outsiders) on CJ McCollum’s belief that Paul George is headed to LA: “In a live recording of the Woj Pod by Adrian Wojnarowski, CJ McCollum acknowledged that he expects George to go to LA: “I already tried to get Paul George once. He already turned us down once. You can only shoot your shot so much in the DMs before you have to just give up. He left me on read receipt. But nah, he’s a cool dude. He’s got to do what’s best for his family and he couldn’t control where he went. He ended up getting traded anyway to OKC. I wish him nothing but the best and I’m sure he’ll enjoy that California sunshine. What? It’s the truth.”

Eddie Makuch (Game Spot) on Paul George playing in a Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am: “In addition to its booth on the show floor, Epic is holding what it’s calling a “Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am” where popular streamers will team up with celebrities in a doubles tournament. $3 million in prize money is up for grabs (which is separate from the $100 million that Epic is handing out for other tournaments). The $3 million for the E3 tournament will be given away to a charity of the winner’s choosing, and that’s nice to see. In total, there will be 50 professional players and 50 celebrities competing in the event. Some of the biggest pairings include Ninja and Marshmello, Myth and Paul George, and Markiplier and Joel McHale. The tournament is taking place on Tuesday, June 12, starting at 3:30 PM PT / 6:30 PM ET.”

Robert Patos (HypeBeast) looks at an upcoming colorway of the Nike PG2: “Although Paul George and his Oklahoma City Thunder team are off contemplating their first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Utah Jazz, his signature Nike PG2 sneaker is still enjoying a nice stretch run with a brand new colorway rework primed and ready to hit the scene. “Blue Lagoon” forms the majority of the base, while black surfaces here and there, landing on the heel and mid-foot overlays, tongue, midsole Swoosh and outsole. A faint hit of “Hyper Violet” landing on the ankle collar and inner lining catch the eye, rounding out this summer-friendly color scheme. Priced at $110 USD, you can find this Nike PG2 at select Swoosh retailers on May 25.”

Around the League: The Rockets locked in defensively and tied the WCF 2-2…. KD hated the Game 4 ending and is looking ahead to Game 5 in Houston…. How the Rockets survived Golden State’s best punch…. The Dubs are being challenged for the first time in their KD era…. The All-Rookie team was announced…. Kyle Korver keeps taking — and making — his shot…. Dikembe Mutombo won the Sager Strong Award.