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I find the team frustrating and tantalizing for the same reason: coaching. What would happen if the coaching staff were better able to bring out the best in the players individually and collectively as a team?
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Thunder problem-solving
Being a thunder fan is like watching an old snl skit for the dating service lowered expectations...
2 months ago on Monday Bolts – 6.30.14
I'm curious about the off season. Amnesty Perk, let Thabo walk, bring in Gasol? Is that even possible?
2 months, 4 weeks ago on The Thunder’s season ends in six to the Spurs, 112-107
@duhsweetness Gotta love Kwame. Who has a better NBA career, KB or Anthony Bennett?
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Thunder vs. Lakers: Pregame Primer
@Royce Young I'm tired of reading excuses for Westbrook's poor decisions. It's like the definition of insanity. Really the biggest knock on his game. I'm only talking about, maybe, the last 2 minutes. He's got to understand that you look for the highest percentage shot possible. The rest of the game, mostly, it works to take the first open shot. But he can get those looks, or similar looks, almost any time. It's not all on him. SB has got to establish the team's mentality at the end of games. He has got to give the team more to work with in terms of direction and planning. Ask yourself--would Popovich allow it, for either his player or his team? Russ can't play the last 2 minutes of a close game the same way he plays the rest of it, and I'm tired of excuses like, you've got to take the bad with the good. I don't blame the loss on those quick shots by Westbrook; but you can blame him for decreasing the odds of scoring on those plays. One, two, three seasons of watching his shot selection time after time is one thing; but he has got to learn that this is one of the few places where he and the Thunder can improve, and they have got to focus on those weaknesses. Just because he throws up ill-advised shots and makes them sometimes doesn't mean he can't make better decisions at the end of games; and it doesn't mean that the coaching staff is unable to get him to try something different. I love Russ, but the only goal that means anything to him or the team is winning a championship. The only way to do that is focus on every little opportunity to increase your chances for success. Stop making excuses for Russell and the team.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Suns light up the Thunder from outside, 128-122
Quoting @Royce Young, "so it’s not unreasonable to see him in a Westbrook, Butler, Durant, Ibaka, [Insert Big] lineup either."
I was thinking before I saw this from Royce that this lineup with Collison might be good. Though I wonder how much Collison's fabulousness is partly due to playing mostly against subs at this stage of his career. I would like to see how it plays out, though, because this looks like it could be a good 2-way lineup. But I ask myself, if this lineup were closing against Miami, who could Collison cover? Bosh? Birdman? James? Battier?
6 months ago on What does adding Caron Butler mean?
@sammasaaron @f5alcon@4razr Looks to me like it's all pick possessions together. Of course, those that lead to the roll are more efficient than those that lead to the pop. So P&P combos like Durant/Ibaka look worse. Durant the the 3rd most efficient P&R ball-handler in the league! His #1 partner is Ibaka, but their efficiency is relatively bad (below league average), we would guess because these possessions mostly lead to a jump shot. But still, an Ibaka jumper out of the P&R is a good shot in the universe of shots, and Durant is off the charts with other partners.
This is OT, but what Thunder pair would you think is the most potent P&R combo on the team (& #3 in the league)? If you think skill and BBIQ, you'd be on the right track. Sure surprised me:
I'm thinking now would be a good time to bet it all on the Thunder. Odds are about 5:1 for the ch'ip this year. Anyone with me? What would be the best way of going about making a bet like that?
6 months, 1 week ago on Russell Westbrook a game-time decision against the Heat
Because I know everyone is holding their breath, I have to say I was wrong about Ibaka at the time of the Harden trade. I never expected Ibaka to improve as much as he has. This organization is proving a lot of people wrong when it comes to player development; and Ibaka is an outlier when it comes to his improvement at every facet of the game. All signs pointed to JH becoming the player he has become; only the faithful would have expected this from Ibaka, turning potential into production.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Thursday Bolts – 2.13.14
No mention of Perk starting on KG? That's a story within a story. How will that go? Can't see Perk staying on the floor long.
7 months ago on Thunder vs. Nets: Pregame Primer
I actually heard the words, "Scottie Brooks," and, "brilliant," in the same sentence tonight, nowhere in the vicinity of, "not." Give props where due. Brooks proving he has grown along with his players.
7 months ago on OKC finally beats Miami, 112-95
7 months ago on Thunder vs. Heat: Pregame Primer
@blueRAP Start Adams!
@blueRAP Where is the dislike button?
@[brooks' fault]@4razr The team doesn't get the respect or recognition nationally for their defense as much as they should. I want the world to start talking about their defense. I know they could become the best defensive team in the league.
Defense. I wish KD had just said defense in that interview. How did the team come back, Kevin? How did the team kickstart its fast break? Defense. I want KD to come out and talk about defense. This team needs to put some fear into the league and start talking about toughness and defense. Especially without RW, I want this team to talk about its defense, and adopt a defensive identity. Take the Slim Reaper ID to another level. The offense (KD) will take care of itself (KD).
You guys might enjoy this (my apologies if it's been posted): http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/01/29/blogtable-kd-or-lebron-for-mvp/
7 months ago on Wednesday Bolts – 1.29.14
@Royce Young@4razr That's my point, Royce. That is not the same as, "grabbing 55 percent of all boards that he had to fight for." There is no stat that shows the percentage of contested rebounds that a player "wins." What might be interesting is something like contested rebound percentage * # of rebounds/36, or just contested rebound percentage * total rebound percentage, either of which would give you a measure of relative frequency of contested rebounds. For Adams, that would give us 10.1*.55=5.56 contested rebounds/36. But neither quite gets us to the % of contested rebounds won:
"Hope I'm not the 217th person to let you know, but ... the Contested Rebound Percentage stat is not quite what you're thinking. It's just a simple calculation showing the percentage of a player's total rebounds that are contested. Lopez gets 8 rebounds a game. 4.1 are contested. 4.1 / 8 = 51% (values rounded).
I have no idea what use this stat has; I suspect none. A much more useful column would be what you're looking for: Percentage of Contested Rebounds per Chance. They have Percentage of Rebounds per Chance, but that is polluted (to some extent, depending how valuable/difficult you think uncontested rebounds are) by its inclusion of uncontested rebounds (of which D12 is the master, btw).
You are not the 217th person, Paul. It only feels that way."
7 months ago on Player Power Rankings: Fear the Reaper
More telling might be that he leads the team in rebound percentage.
Royce (and DT), wrt contested ft%: That is the % of a players rebounds that are contested; not the % of contested rebounds that a player grabs. In other words, 45% of Adams rebounds are uncontested. There was a whole back-and-forth on this with David Aldridge on nba.com.
I think it's obvious what the Thunder's philosophy should be: defensive. If they commit to playing hard, aggressive defense with the personnel at hand, the offense will come. This could be an elite defensive squad even without Westbrook.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Player Power Rankings: Uneventful events
A point about Presti and roster construction: he has consistently prioritized athleticism, length, and size over skill (such as shooting). This has worked out very well for the Thunder. He has tried to fill in the shooting with spare parts, which mostly hasn't worked. On the roster now, who is an elite shooter? KD.... Serge shoots well, but only in very specific circumstances. Lamb may become one. The domino effect of missing Russ is to put more pressure on shooters (psychological as well as defensive), and the team is paying that price. Bottom line, I think the team will be ok learning to live without Russ, but there will be some ugly shooting nights.
Two things that could help with this: getting a shooter, or getting a playmaker who can set up easier shots. Because that is the other weakness on this club, lack of another primary ball-handler. I think in the short term the team would be better served at this point by signing a pg than anything else; but in the long term, assuming Russ is healthy for the playoffs, this team could really use a shooter. So what is the best move?
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Nuggets smoke the Thunder, 101-88
@D@nny @Bryson NATE
9 months ago on OKC’s bench kicks the Spurs, 94-88
@Barry Amenema @4razr Anyone know or care to guess what percent of OKC's points come on 3-pointers, free throws or at-the-rim finishes?
9 months ago on Tuesday Bolts – 11.26.13
@anonymous12345 @4razr This is a great counter to the Spurs defense and an opening to the more efficient shots. Most teams will eventually start defending this when a player is hitting. As long as the team (or one player) doesn't fall in love with that shot, being able to hit it is a real advantage. The Spurs are very good at picking their poison and will stick with their defensive scheme longer than most, imo.
There is a theme in the nba (not new, but trending): Through three quarters, all but four of the Spurs' field-goal attempts
came from inside the paint or behind the arc. They know what the most
efficient shots in basketball are, and they work hard to create them,
never settling for the dreaded long 2-point jumper.
Eighty-two percent of Portland's points were on 3-pointers, free throws or at-the-rim finishes.
I don't mention this because I'm concerned about OKC's offense for the regular season; I mention it because meticulous attention to these kind of details is what separates the champs from the also-rans. I want to see more of OKC, and especially Westbrook, treating this like a do-or-die proposition. The team has to use the regular season to fine-tune everything they do for the postseason, and learning not to settle for inefficient shots is big part of that, IMO. Doing so without turning over the ball is even more important.
@The Great Wall Of Adams You forgot the sarcasm font
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Thunder vs. Bucks: Pregame Primer
@dollarbillrussell Why Fish instead of PJ?
@ Luke I like this comment from that tread: Some people other than those in America beleive a relaxed non arrogant
personality is a positive. He wont fail, his sister is a double olympic gold
medal champion and his 11other siblings are equally freakish.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Durant dominates and Adams shines as OKC tops Detroit, 119-110
Random thoughts: If the draft were held today, does Adams go #1? Adams making Kevin Pelton look good. Why is it that I keep reading Adams had a broken hand/thumb last year, yet that entire Cleveland thread, no one mentions it. Was it some kind of secret? Why do I read a scouting report that says Adams has small & bad hands, yet also read a report from a Celtics workout raving about his big, soft hands? I can see from the NBA combine measurements that he has good-sized hands. How did the Thunder get this fortunate? Where can I get hit by that lucky stick? Anyone notice that Adams pluses right now are mostly in the fundamentals where Serge has never really had it all come together? Great complementary players if Adams can really hold down the middle, which it looks like he can.
I'm surprised that y'all are so surprised. This is a team that is without its 2nd and 3rd best offensive players from last year. The starting lineup lost the one guy that everything runs through, and his backup is learning the nba point and learning to be an nba player. Scottie's a little over his head, but he has to keep it simple, because these guys are learning to play in the nba, and/or learning to play together. Outside of Durant, how many players in the starting lineup would be starting on another team? Ibaka might start on half of them, and that's it. They will figure it out, but tonight was pretty much what I expected. Oh, and they can't shoot. That's going to be a problem. Poor Reggie's going to have some more ugly nights with turnovers. But it will get better. I think this team could contend (with Russel), but don't kid yourselves. This is not some big surprise. The competition is also pretty good (tonight, and in the nba in general). Welcome to the real world of being basketball fans. Linear progession is not guaranteed. Don't get down on them :-) END RANT Oh, forgot to mention, Reggie's hurt!
10 months ago on That was bad: Wolves hammer OKC, 100-81
@International Man of Mystery @4razr Yeah, the Thunder may still avoid the tax next year; I think the option of a Perk amnesty and the TPE could have them spending money without going into the tax, which seems like a good idea. If by all in, you mean going into the tax, you may be right about the timing. But given the uncertainties around this team, I don't expect Presti to do anything rash this season when he has more options in the offseason.
10 months, 1 week ago on Tuesday Bolts – 10.22.13
Zach Lowe is reaching. He's probably right about 1 and 2 (and the result). But Presti is not going all in for this season--next season should be his target. Most likely he amnesties Perk next summer and picks up a player with the TPE from Martin, when he has had a full season to evaluate Russell, Lamb, and the rooks. Unless he finds a creative way to fleece another GM this season, I'm not expecting much in the way of player movement.
As long as assessments of NBA economics exclude the appreciation of team value, the deck is stacked against the players.
12 months ago on Tuesday Bolts – 9.3.13
Reading David Aldridge made me grateful for one thing about Jeremy Lamb: There's a good chance he won't be so good that the Thunder can't afford to keep him. Here's our chant for Lamb: Just good enough! Just good enough!
1 year ago on Breaking down the Thunder’s 2013-14 schedule
@Turfright @Bryson @4razr Look at what an impact Bowen had. The ability of a team like the Magic to take Howard and shooting all the way to the finals. The lack of off-the-ball shooting has been an issue for this team for a long time.
1 year ago on Friday Bolts – 8.2.13
@Turfright @Bryson @4razr It's less about shooters in a vaccum and more about spacing. Having shooters doesn't help Miami a bit without Bron and Wade.
@Bryson @4razr Arguable. The author's point, I believe, is that iso has actually become much harder due to allowing zone/roaming coverage, especially when there are no shooters to space the floor. So yeah, one-on-one is easier with the hand checkiing, but one-on-three is still pretty hard.
Analysis from previouos post: This is one aspect of the team/game that Presti has seemed to underemphasize (shooters). The focus on defense, athleticism, and fairly unstructured offense heavily dependent on two players has worked very well for the team--but it leaves them particularly vulnerable in the playoffs. The main point is that isos have an even greater degree of difficulty in today's NBA than in the past, yet OKC relies pretty heavily on one-on-one action, especially when things get really tight at the end of games or in the playoffs. Ball movement, offensive schemes and such can help, but there is no substitue for having guys like Battier, Miller, and Allen to knock down shots. Yes, the foul-drawing has led to a very efficient offense, but is a risky playoff strategy when defense becomes more intense, and fouls more difficult to come by or rely on consistently. This is also an area where Martin really helped--though less so in the playoffs. I think this year is an audition for Lamb as a possible Thabo replacement, and in that role his ability as a 3 & D guy will be more important than anything. I hope he becomes really consistent with that 3-point shot.
Enjoyed that read on Grantland, and this got me thinking: "In a league where aggressive defensive schemes are driving the constant one-on-one isolation play that dominated the 1990s into extinction, Datome should prove to be capable of handling the rigors of a higher level of competition, and could wind up being an extremely valuable role player.
In order to give their star players more space to operate without being harassed by multiple help defenders, NBA teams have begun to place an even greater emphasis on shooting. Guys that play hard or volume scorers capable of creating their own offense are far less appealing these days in comparison with players who do nothing but knock down shots — either spotting up along the perimeter or off screens."
See my comment in the next post--there is a limit on post length now? who knew?
@Jax Raging Bile Duct @L0rv Money wasn't the overriding concern for OKC ownership. The purely financial play would have been to work something out in Seattle, imo. I get the short-term arguments about arena prospects in Seattle and OKC, but a reasonably successful team in Seattle is going to be worth more than the same team in OKC.
@TempBoy Brandon Side note: I like the all-youth team of Reggie, Lamb, Roberson, PJ, and Adams. That could be a seriously good lineup......some day.
What I HOPE will happen is that Scotty realizes there's really no need to play Fisher. Either PJ or Roberson should get some rotation minutes; I actually expect Roberson to get the Liggins minutes because what he brings should translate well. What I expect is that Fisher will play more than seems justifiable.
Guess it's between Thabeet and Orton, because I will be shocked if Adams isn't in the running for d-league all-star this year. Orton is really going to have to stand out to beat out Thabeet, because incumbency/defense/consistency count for a lot, and Thabeet seems ahead on all three. I also wouldn't be shocked if neither gets much pt, because Serge and Nick can fill in ably at the 5 on many nights.
1 year, 1 month ago on Friday Bolts – 7.26.13
Here's hoping he goes all Ray Allen for us in the finals next year. Only reason to have him. If he was used as a 3rd string pg should be, then fine, but that ain't happenin'. Like giving matches to a pyro and saying, don't light 'em!
1 year, 1 month ago on Report: Mike Miller picks the Grizzlies
NO. At this point, there is no favorite, IMO. How is Russel's knee? Do the Spurs hold up? Are the Clips as good or better? How does Dwight fit in Houston? Does Memphis add shooting? Actually, I changed my mind. Thunder are the favorites, by a nose.
1 year, 1 month ago on Are the Thunder still favorites to win the West?
@Crow And 120% in year 2 and 3 (option). I took it more as a sign of Presti trying to manage the tax this year, and Roberson (and his agent) being ok with the overall contract. I'm not sure this is a sign of the team being cheap/penny pinching. More like a contaract that is backloaded, unless you think every rookie should be signed at the high end of the scale regardless...
1 year, 1 month ago on Friday Bolts – 7.19.13
@Perk has a lot of value
1 year, 1 month ago on Thunder are pursuing Mike Miller
Does everybody remember when the stats guy, from Dallas I think, said he wouldn't take Durant if he was given to him based on his first year? (I might have the details wrong, but that was the gist of it)
1 year, 1 month ago on Russell Westbrook is back on a basketball court
@Lost Ones @Old Man Game Dude--not all projects are created equal :-)
1 year, 1 month ago on Thunder Player Power Rankings: Post-Summer League edition