4 min read

Wednesday Bolts: 9.27.17

Wednesday Bolts: 9.27.17

Carmelo Anthony will start at power forward this season: “After often resisting it in New York, Carmelo Anthony will officially make the full-time transition to starting power forward with the Thunder, coach Billy Donovan said Tuesday. Asked about Anthony laughing off the possibility of coming off the bench Monday at media day, Donovan said, “We’re going to probably, maybe, bring him in at the start of the fourth quarter.” After a second to let the sarcasm sink in, Donovan set it straight and revealed Anthony’s role. “No, he’s going to start the power forward spot for us,” Donovan said. “That’s what he’s going to do.

Thunder ticket prices are surging on the resale market: “Thunder home games had a price boom on the secondary ticket market immediately after Oklahoma City acquired Anthony in a trade with the New York Knicks, according to data from online ticket search engine SeatGeek. The average asking price for a Thunder home game jumped 7 percent after Saturday’s trade, said Chris Leyden, a content analyst at SeatGeek, which searches ticket-price information from across the internet.”

Rob Mahoney (SI) on the Thunder’s comeback: “The remaking of the Oklahoma City Thunder is less a series of moves than a feat of engineering. Consider the raw materials involved: Victor Oladipo, locked into a questionable four-year, $85 million deal; Enes Kanter, whose severe limitations on defense rendered him a 20-minutes-a-game player; the reasonably promising (but situationally miscast) Domantas Sabonis; and Doug McDermott, whom the Bulls jettisoned to OKC last season in a fit of exasperation. It’s from those four players (along with a second-round pick) that the Thunder landed Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, fitting the frame of a superteam around reigning MVP Russell Westbrook.”

Nick Gallo recaps the first day of Thunder training camp: “The Thunder, with newcomers Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Patterson, Raymond Felton, Terrance Ferguson and five training camp invitees, went through a variety of drills on Tuesday to start getting game-ready. Shell drills to begin putting in some offensive and defensive concepts along with some shooting and the end of the session helped the Thunder hit the ground running.”

Fred Katz on Thunder chemistry: “But even if it all works intuitively, these three probably won’t mesh in game one. They may step on each other’s toes. They may distribute shots unevenly. They may get away from whoever has the hot hand on any given night if only because the rhythm isn’t there yet. That’s the chemistry part. It’s the aspect that takes time and familiarity. And unlike many other “superteams” of the past who have had years to make it work, the Thunder may have just one with Westbrook, Anthony and George all capable of becoming free agents at the end of this season.”

Howard Beck (B/R) on this being Carmelo’s storybook ending: “Oklahoma City is not where Anthony, now 33, envisioned spending his twilight years as a pro. It’s not where he set out to land when he began pressing the New York Knicks for a trade all those weeks ago. It would not have even made his top 25 the last time he forced a trade, in 2011. It is, however, his last, best hope to script a happy ending; indeed to change his career narrative.”

Scott Rafferty (The Step Back) on how Steven Adams is poised for a big season: “None of this is to say Adams will suddenly average 20 points per game or become one of the best passing big men in the NBA. If anything his scoring and assist numbers will remain the same as last season or even decrease. But by establishing him as a greater pick-and-roll threat with more space to work with, he will have more gravitational pull than he did last season because of the shooters the Thunder now have on their roster. The combination will put defenses at greater risk of giving up open layups and open 3-pointers against the Thunder, both of which are the foundation of the best offenses in the league in today’s NBA.”

Is Russell Westbrook the king of fantasy hoops?: “Westbrook finished second to James Harden on the 2016-17 Player Rater, though it wasn’t for lack of trying. Westbrook was awesome, averaging a triple-double, though he left a bit to be desired in field goal percentage. OK, so Westbrook’s team added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, who have been big-time scorers. Harden’s Rockets added Chris Paul, a pure point guard. I don’t see Harden coming all that close to matching Westbrook in rebounds or assists, and I’d like to get a head start in those categories by selecting Westbrook first. I can get the extra 3s and safe field goal shooters later. Both are great — and the only ones I’d consider first in a roto setting — but I don’t see Westbrook losing too many stats despite the addition of George and Melo addition. In fact, the assists could rise a bit.”

Dwyane Wade is headed to Cleveland: “Twelve-time NBA All-Star guard Dwyane Wade plans to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers once he clears waivers on Wednesday, league sources told ESPN. Wade, who agreed to a contract buyout with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, will be an unrestricted free agent and will sign a one-year, $2.3 million veterans minimum deal to reunite with LeBron James, league sources said.”

Carmelo’s farewell letter to NYC: “New York equipped me to make it in any other place in the world.  It taught me how to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.  Saying Goodbye is the hardest thing to do.  I never thought I would, especially to you.  No one will ever take your place. It’s hard to find someone like you, so know you will always be missed. You helped me laugh. You dried my tears.  Because of you, I have no fears.  You came into my life and I was blessed.  It’s time to raise my hand and say goodbye.  It’s not the end, because like I’ve always said, NYC ‘til the end.”