3 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 8.29.18

Ben Falk (Cleaning the Glass) on the plus/minus impact of Patrick Patterson: “Patterson was, ostensibly, signed to be the starting power forward for the Thunder, a perfect complement to the foursome of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams and Andre Roberson. The trade for Carmelo Anthony before training camp changed that, as did Patterson’s offseason knee surgery. Patterson ended up having to play his way into a bench role, usually in lineups featuring mostly bench players. Once again, the context changed and so did the plus-minus. It’s not clear what that says about what Patterson’s performance will be like if healthy and slotted into a lineup that better fits his strengths, where he can be a floor-spacer and ball-mover. He played only about 150 possessions with the four non-Melo starters, and Oklahoma City was +14.1 per 100 possessions in that time with a very strong defense. But he also played almost 700 possessions with a Paul George + bench unit, a grouping that was absolutely awful, with a -19.9 per 100 possession differential.”

Andre Liu (RotoBaller) has Westbrook & Adams as the fourth-best PnR duo in the NBA: “I know what you’re thinking… there can’t possibly be three duos better than the Triple Double King and the Kiwi’Stache. Here is the change: historically OKC has not been a very deep roster. This year, there are bigs that will be experimented on the court by Coach Billy Donovan (Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant). But the big addition is Dennis Schroder. Schroder was 7th in PnR possessions in Atlanta, one spot behind Westbrook. He runs 49% of his possessions as the PnR ball handler, and I believe that Schroder has the possibility of playing on the court with Westbrook to close, especially if Andre Roberson becomes a hack candidate. This cuts into Westbrook’s runs with Adams, who has the second highest points per possessions on PnR this season (1.22).”

Speaking of Adams in the pick-and-roll (and more):

More L.A. pickup basketball with Russ, CP3, etc:

Ryan Lewis (HoopsHabit) takes a closer look at the two-way signing of Tyler Davis: “Now, Davis will have an opportunity to impress the Thunder brass. As a member of the OKC Blue, Davis slides into the role once held by Dakari Johnson, who was traded late last month for Rodney Purvis, who was in turn traded to the Boston Celtics for Abdel Nader. Davis is set up in an excellent position to make something happen and realize his dream of playing in the NBA. It won’t be easy, but if Noel opts out after this season, the path to the NBA might become much clearer for the undrafted rookie. Until then, it falls squarely on Davis’ shoulders. Does he have what it takes to make the jump from the G League to the NBA? Only time will tell, but it’s obvious with the signing that there is something the organization saw in Davis that it liked.”

Abdel Nader threw out the first pitch at the Royals’ OKC Thunder Night:

Frank Urbina (HoopsHype) asks who was better — Oscar Robertson or Russell Westbrook?: “Robertson won a title; Westbrook can’t say the same. Robertson made nine All-NBA 1st Teams; Westbrook has only done so twice. Robertson was a 12-time All-Star; Westbrook has five fewer appearances in the star-studded affair. Robertson also had more longevity as a superstar, hitting the ground running by averaging an absurd 30.5/10.1/9.7 stat line as a rookie. Westbrook truly began to hit his peak in his age-25 season; prior to that, the advanced stats said he was merely a great player, and maybe not a Hall-of-Fame caliber one. So even despite the huge talent disparity of the eras the two studs played (or are playing) in, with Westbrook having to face off against the likes of Curry, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving and James Harden on a nightly basis while Robertson spent a large portion of his career in a league with, like, nine teams in it, Robertson was still more of a game-changer – a player truly ahead of his time. Who was better? We’re taking Robertson.”

Steven Adams has continued building on his massive tattoo:

Around the League: LeBron on speaking up about important issues…. Manu Ginobili plans on sticking around with the Spurs in retirement…. A Knick fan auctioned off his allegiance and will now root for the Lakers…. The NBA is lifting restrictions on sneaker colors…. NBA records that could fall this season…. Inside LeBron’s new HBO series “The Shop…. Here we go with the offseason Melo videos again.