Views from OKC: Thunder look for retribution against Memphis
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“The last time these two teams met? Another similar outcome, but it was particularly pleasing to Grizzlies fans because of the way it was done. Russell Westbrook, averaging a triple-double on the season, was ejected early in the second half after being frustrated with officiating. Memphis went on to blow the doors off Oklahoma City, 114-80.”
This game is going to go one of two ways. 1) Russell Westbrook is going to come out looking for blood and he shoots the Thunder out of the game. 2) Russell Westbrook is going to come out looking for blood and he uses his weapons (Steven Adams, Andre Roberson and Victor Oladipo) to push the tempo and make Memphis uncomfortable. After Monday’s game, I’m leaning towards option #2.
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“Do you know why OKC loses games? It’s not because KD left. It’s because OKC is turning over the keys of their offense to Enes Kanter. If Kanter had better defensive effort and offensive awareness, it would have such an effect on the rest of the team. Nobody else on the bench can score because Kanter, the main scorer on the bench, refuses to distribute!”
Woah. I’m shellshocked with the timing of this article. Kanter put up 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists against the Chicago Bulls Monday; he finished with a +27 +/- in 28 minutes of play. But somehow he is “worthless” to the Thunder. Without Kanter, the bench would have zero ways to score so it makes sense that they run their offense through him. And one of those clips that show how bad he is at defense? Kanter’s not even on the court….But hey, it’s important to look at all arguments so check out the article for what it’s worth.
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“If the past is any indication, Oklahoma City could be on the hunt for an up-and-coming player in his fourth NBA season or less. Sources within the team believe the benefit of restricted free agency is too great to pass up: Unrestricted free agency creates for volatility and uncertainty. Restricted free agency at least gives the team a chance to match offers from other franchises.”
The Thunder are in an incredibly weird situation. They have the 23rd highest salary this season, but that jumps up to 5th next season with Oladipo and Adams’ extensions. Bringing in a high caliber young player will make it even more difficult to keep Andre Roberson around. But than there’s the possibility of trading Kanter to make space….All these possibilities scare me, let’s not talk about it anymore.