3 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 9.19.18

Westbrook at 8, George at 11, Adams at 43, and Roberson at 78 in CBS Sports’ Top 100 Players list: “George finished fourth in last season’s Defensive Player of the Year voting and fit in seamlessly alongside Russell Westbrook as one of the NBA’s top 3-point threats. He shot 40.1 percent on a career-high 7.7 3-pointers per game. Only four NBA players averaged more 3-point attempts per game than George; of that group, only Steph Curry shot a higher percentage than George.”

Marc Spears (ESPN) on Steven Adams being ranked the 47th best NBA player by ESPN: “ I found it a little surprising that Oklahoma City center Steven Adams was ranked 47th overall. Perhaps that was respective to what he does on the floor that does not appear in the box score. But from an offensive standpoint, it is very doubtful that Adams can live up to a top-50 ranking. Otto Porter Jr. at No. 38 was a little surprising to me as well.”

Joelle Goldstein (PEOPLE) on Russell and Nina Westbrook expecting twins: “On Tuesday, NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook announced that he and his wife, Nina, are expecting twin girls. The couple revealed their good news in a YouTube video, titled The Westbrook Family, which was posted on Tuesday by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team for which Russell has played since his rookie debut in 2008. In the sweet video, Russell and Nina, who owns a lifestyle boutique called The Little Arc, discusses their current life with their 16-month-old son, Noah. “There will be two of them; we’re having twins,” Nina, 29, announces in the video, after joking that their son already “terrorizes” their dog. “If Noah gets out of hand, they’ll be able to both jump on him at the same time.”

More from the Westbrook family:

Kevin O’Connor (Ringer) on Jerami Grant as a possible breakout candidate in 2018-19: “In this switch-happy era of NBA basketball, teams can minimize the potential for mismatches by deploying as many players as possible who can match up equally well against any player—big or small, strong or fast. When a mismatch occurs on the floor, it can force the defense to rotate or help, and when that happens, open shots are soon to follow. There aren’t many players in the NBA who can switch across all positions on defense, but Jerami Grant is one of them. That’s why the Thunder re-signed the 24-year-old to a three-year, $27.4 million deal. Andre Roberson and Paul George were the pillars of Oklahoma City’s stellar defense last season. Grant’s versatility was the glue. Grant isn’t an elite defender like Roberson, but he’s strong and lengthy enough to defend taller players and quick enough to contain perimeter threats.”

Colin Ward-Henninger (CBS Sports) give the Thunder an A+ for the offseason: “OKC was able to re-sign George and part ways with Anthony, thanks to the Hawks playing middle-man, and the Thunder added Schroder as a backup to Russell Westbrook in the process. Noel could also be a low-cost gem, as he’ll provide shot-blocking and rebounding behind Steven Adams. Overall, things couldn’t have gone better for OKC. Grade: A+”

Isiah Thomas doesn’t think the Thunder will make the playoffs:

With Lee Jenkins being hired by the Clippers, SI picked his best stories — including this one about Sam Presti: “Then there are the images of Durant and Harden and Westbrook—the three players who have defined this NBA season—beamed every night to the world. Presti recoils at the suggestion that any of those snapshots sting. Gratitude. Nobody wants to lose a legend, but it’s better than never experiencing one at all. The Thunder, like pretty much every other playoff team, are still stuck in the woods behind the Warriors with no map. They don’t have the second pick, which is where they snagged Durant, or the third, which is where they gambled on Harden, or the fourth, which is where they shocked with Westbrook. What they do have is the Blackberry-toting visionary who assembled that magnificent trio in the first place, still taking the trips, writing the reports, empowering the deputies, banging away at the big drum.”

Around the League: Elton Brand is the new GM of the Sixers…. The Raptors believe Kawhi has “fire” for this season…. The NBA released a letter to remind players about mental health services available to them…. Dion Waiters won’t be healthy for the start of the season…. Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz are working on three-point shooting…. Dennis Smith Jr. is shocked by the hurricane damage in his home state of North Carolina…. The NBA’s Media Day live streaming schedule/guide.