OKC Season Preview

Someday the stars will align and the Warriors will finally (finally) face off against the disgruntled ex of Kevin Durant. Oklahoma City wants to stick it to Durant one-on-one more than they want to win a title. At least that’s how I’d feel. I’m quite vindictive and rational. Under no circumstance are the Thunder title contenders. How can I be so sure? Last season was the referendum was not just on Russell Westbrook – but Paul George as well. You cannot blame all of the Thunder’s woes on Carmelo Anthony.

The “What the fuck” stat for OKC regarding Carmelo is his on/off, per CleaningTheGlass.com. The Thunder improved offensively when he’s on the floor, and regressed when Anthony is off the floor. This is despite Anthony’s field goal percentage falling to 40.4% and taking under 200 free throw attempts. Ask me what Anthony did well on offense last season and I would not be able to tell you.

So where was George in all this? Why didn’t he have the effect we all believed he’d have? For many reasons: 1. His legs aren’t the same after his injury in 2014. No where near the athletic freak he once was and the clock is ticking on him as an above-average player. 2. He’s the worst combination of somebody who isn’t as good as he thinks he is when it comes to being clutch; and simultaneously is way to passive. How in the world does anyone with the credentials of George allow Russ to jack up 43 shots in a do-or-die Game 6 in Utah. 43. George didn’t even complain.

The Thunder’s best player is a ball-hog who is too obsessed with sending fashion statements than winning. The only reason he plays balls to the wall is to pad his stats for vanity purposes. Their third best player is a passive, physically declining forward who’s drifting further and further from the basket. Who’s their second best player? I don’t know. It certainly isn’t George. Probably is, because there isn’t any realistic options.

To make matters worse: Andre Roberson is likely not to be the same player after rupturing his patellar tendon in January, needed a second surgery in May and JUST started running on a treadmill again. What’s insane is the 34-games he began the season, before getting injured, returning for a couple more games before finally getting hurt for the season, is the Thunder defensively were on track to becoming a top-5 team. Fourth in defensive rating (101.9) and 2nd in offensive rebounding percentage (27.5). After that, OKC fell to 13th (106.8) in DRtg. Middle of the pack. Shuffling around Roberson replacements, finding little success.

An awful lot of OKC hopes are reliant on the unknown qualities of. Dennis Schroeder is a cancerous personality to have in a locker room. But he’s a talented player that can manage the floor and is still incredibly young. Nerlens Noel was supposed to be the second coming of Theo Ratlif, then fell promptly lost his mind this last season in Dallas. It goes beyond just raging a hot dog in the media room. His general moodiness, disconnection to the game drove his stock down. From a stroke of the pen away from receiving $70 million over four-years, now is the backup on a minimum deal with a player-option for the second-year.

Can Noel provide what Adams does in short spurts? I hope so, but I am doubtful.

And that’s exactly my feelings towards the Thunder this season. I remain hopeful in their ability to bounce back… but I have my reservations. I am out on Westbrook. I am out on George. I am out on OKC. Congratulations landing on your feet after Durant ditched you. But that’s all you’ll get from me.

46-36… first-round exit… again.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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