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Weekly Bolts: Same Song, Second Chorus

Weekly Bolts: Same Song, Second Chorus

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May 4, 2021

Raise your hand if you’ve done the NBA Lottery Simulator at tankathon.com. Of course you’ve done it. And maybe, just maybe, you got lucky, with OKC landing on the number 1 pick, and Houston taking the 5th pick–meaning the pick would convey to the Thunder.

And wouldn’t you know it, just before I wrote this, I tried my hand at the NBA Lottery Simulator and the best-case scenario came up. I think it’s a sign.

John Napier

ICYMI: Daily Thunder alum, Tyler Parker, posted the latest installment of his Tank Diaries.  “I miss watching Shai play. His absence is great for the Thunder’s quest for the bottom, but the games are not the parties they were. They’re not without their pleasures now, but he was really peaking before the injury.”

Theo Maledon set a franchise record for most threes in a single season for a rookie.  Maledon broke Alex Abrines record of 94, set in the 2016-17 season.

Chris Paul made his return to Oklahoma City, but expressed disappointment that there were no fans in the arena.  Paul said that OKC fans made his first two years and last year special.

Derek Parker (SI.com/Fan Nation) says that Maledon and Aleksej Pokusevski have exceeded expectations in their rookie campaigns.  Maledon has translated playing time into stats, while Poku has been able to showcase the intangibles that made him such a promising pick.

Add LeBron James to the list of players who do not like the new play-in tournament.  The play-in tournament allows the 9th and 10th seed to compete for the 8th spot, while both the 7th and 8th seed could miss out on the playoffs with two losses. “Whoever came up with that s—t needs to be fired,” James said after the Lakers fell to 7th in the Western Conference.

Russell Westbrook solidified his fourth season averaging a triple double last night.  Westbrook accomplished the feat three times in an OKC jersey.  Until Westbrook averaged a triple double in the 2016-17 season, only one other player in NBA history had done so (Oscar Robertson).  I can’t imagine another player could ever notch such an accomplishment four times, so Russ may have a record that stands the test of time.  Congrats to the Brodie.

May 6, 2021

Coach Mark Daigneault caused some jaws to drop when he casually mentioned that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s lingering injury involved a “significant tear.”  Now, I’m no Olivia Panchal, but the injury reports had listed Shai’s issue as plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the plantar fascia, not a tear.

The good news is that even a tear should heal with rest, but this should remove any doubt that SGA’s season is over.

John Napier

Charlie Brown Jr. will get a second 10-day contract.  In three appearances with the Thunder, Brown has averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds.

Jenni Carlson (The Oklahoman) says that virtually every NBA team suffers a downturn every now and then, and it’s just the Thunder’s turn at the bottom.  “The reality is, every franchise, big market or small, blueblood or upstart, goes through a downturn from time to time.  This is the Thunder’s time.  What OKC is going through now is not a ton of fun. Thankfully, the players and the coaches have made it interesting at least. They have won games in which they were outmanned. They have remained competitive when it would’ve been easy to roll over. They have shown signs of progress and growth.”

In the latest NBA rankings from ESPN, OKC lays claim to the 29th spot.  The Houston Rockets hold the bottom spot, but the Thunder can’t be far behind.

On the other hand, The Athletic’s latest rankings give the worst-team nod to OKC.

Jonathan Wasserman (Bleacher Report) has the Thunder taking Evan Mobley with the #2 pick in his latest mock draft. “It might take longer to see results from Mobley compared to Jalen Suggs or Jalen Green. But the Thunder shouldn’t be in any rush. Long term, an Aleksej Pokusevski-Mobley pairing would be fun to develop.”

Andrew Lopez and Ohm Youngmisuk (ESPN) conducted a fantasy draft of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Bad boy Thanos was the number 1 overall pick, with Black Panther selected second.

May 7, 2021

Bonus bolt from Mr. Presti’s Neighborhood: Poku podcasted.

H/T CROklahoma for this breakdown:

Says G-League helped him to settle down and concentrate on basketball and find the rhytm, says other offball activities are taking his mind off the ball.

Says coaches give him the freedom to manipulate PnR’s and use the at will. Believes he showed he can play decent defense, especially as of late.

Plays positionless on court. Is under 100kg, which is top5 lightest considering height/weight ratio. Says he is looking forward to improve like Durant, considering strenght improvement, not weight. Feels stronger than at the beggining of the season. Believes he will improve a lot in that area.

Had problems adjusting to the speed of the game, so when he got the ball was either to shoot it fast or pass it fast, says he adjusted and feels a lot more comfortable with his shooting now. Will concentrate a lot on shooting in summer. Also mentioned Al who helped him a lot in terms of bigs not needing to rush 3pt shot due to height.

At the end, said he eats the most in the team, like humongous amounts of food, more of a metabolism problem with him not getting weight XD.