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  1. #51

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Boss View Post
    Could be a steal. Thunder did as well as any other team roster wise since the end of last season.
    The Raptors, Lakers, (ugh) Warriors might be in this convo... even if the Lakers did terrible aside from LeBron.

  2. #52

    Thunder Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellaboo View Post
    Dakari Johnson out -

    TFerg could be next -
    Why do you say that? I would love to see him in the rotation off the bench. Think of the athleticism of our second team:

    PG - Schroder
    SG - TFerg
    SF - Huestis
    PF - Grant
    C - Noel

    They are all still young, but those guys would run and if they could trust each other, could really wear people down.

  3. #53

    Thunder Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by warreng88 View Post
    Why do you say that? I would love to see him in the rotation off the bench. Think of the athleticism of our second team:

    PG - Schroder
    SG - TFerg
    SF - Huestis
    PF - Grant
    C - Noel

    They are all still young, but those guys would run and if they could trust each other, could really wear people down.
    Nice starter second team reserves.

    Huestis, not so sure he'll return, any news on his contract? ESPN NBA Oklahoma City Thunder roster: http://www.espn.com/nba/team/roster/...a-city-thunder

  4. #54

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    I would maybe insert Diallo in there somewhere because this dude has some juice. Also can't forget about our Vet backup PG. Good to have some veteran leadership out there with a bunch of young guys.

  5. #55
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    I tend to think the entertainment factor on this team is going to be very high. Some serious athletes all over the roster. That can be said for many NBA teams, but when you start with the super-freak of all super-freaks in Russ, and move on from there, it should be fun to watch.

  6. #56

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Huestis almost for sure gone... and likely out of the league for G League or Europe.

    The Thunder’s one weakness right now is clear: lack of shooting. If there are more changes, I’d hope they address that.

  7. #57

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    LOL Melo already got Rocket fans groaning. He is once again refusing to come off the bench. Dude is delusional.

    "I know how to play this game of basketball. I've been playing it for a long time. When I feel like I'm ready to take that role, then I'll take that role. Only I know when it's best for me to take that role. I'm not going to do that in a situation where I still know my capabilities and what I can do. And at the end of the day, the people who really matter know my capabilities and what I can still do. You start getting to the media and debates, it's going to always be kind of back-and-forth."
    Presti deserves a statue just for ridding us of Anthony and his lame attitude.

  8. Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    His mind does not realize his body can't do what it did 7 years ago. Delusional is correct.

  9. #59

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    All I know is he better not somehow light it up in Houston doing the exact same garbage he did here, but just hitting shots.

    This team is okay but definitely some shooting needs. Not sure we have really lost any shooting from last year with Anthony being spectacularly unspectacular.

    Abrines is now a huge piece to this team. He needs to be a 40% 3 point shooter who can play adequate defense. If he can improve on his playoff performance against Utah, I think we'll be pleasantly surprised by how solid the bench can be and how much more we can do with closing lineups.

    Also, I know a lot of people have talked about Felton losing tons of minutes to Schröder...Thing is: Felton was our 3rd best Catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter last year at an incredibly solid 39.1% (Abrines was at 40.4% and George at 40.8%)

    If Westbrook could tick up from 36% to 38% on catch and shoot going from 1.1 to 2 attempts per game, I think would go a long way toward opening combinations of all 3 point guards.

    This year definitely needs to be about finding a way to integrate Schröder with Westbrook or realizing we need to abandon the practice going forward.

  10. #60

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Teo9969 View Post
    All I know is he better not somehow light it up in Houston doing the exact same garbage he did here, but just hitting shots.

    This team is okay but definitely some shooting needs. Not sure we have really lost any shooting from last year with Anthony being spectacularly unspectacular.

    Abrines is now a huge piece to this team. He needs to be a 40% 3 point shooter who can play adequate defense. If he can improve on his playoff performance against Utah, I think we'll be pleasantly surprised by how solid the bench can be and how much more we can do with closing lineups.

    Also, I know a lot of people have talked about Felton losing tons of minutes to Schröder...Thing is: Felton was our 3rd best Catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter last year at an incredibly solid 39.1% (Abrines was at 40.4% and George at 40.8%)

    If Westbrook could tick up from 36% to 38% on catch and shoot going from 1.1 to 2 attempts per game, I think would go a long way toward opening combinations of all 3 point guards.
    For Melo's shortcomings in the playoffs, people are completely exaggerating the negative effect he has on the team offensively. First, the starting lineup numbers with him were elite, which suggests he was not at all the disaster he's being painted as. Second, he was the second most valuable shooter behind PG on a team without much shooting. Yes, Melo shot worse than expected at just above the league average at his 35.7%... but his shooting still helped the team a lot. Defenders respected Melo's shot and he thus pulled defenders towards him, which opened up the paint for others. It's not just about making threes, but about taking them a high volume and the defense respecting it. Only Paul George gets the respect as a shooter that Melo gets. Here's the number and percentage of threes for 2018-2019 players:

    PG: 244 on 40.1%
    Melo: 169 on 35.7%
    Russ: 97 on 29.8%
    Abrines: 84 on 38%
    Felton: 81 on 35.2%
    Schroder: 76 on 29%
    Patterson: 67 on 38.6%
    TLC: 53 on 33.5%
    Ferguson: 40 on 33.3%
    Grant: 32 on 29.1%

    One of fan bases favorite things to do during the offseason is project better shooting from players without evidence. There's not much evidence to suggest that Russ is going to improve as a three point shooter. Could he take more spot up threes, which he shoots at a higher percentage? Yeah, but there's no reason to think Russ will actually become a valuable off ball player. We say that every offseason and it never happens. Abrines has never got consistent minutes and Ferguson did not shoot well or garner any respect from defenses. Also, any of these guys could also have worse shooting seasons. Only Patterson has a history that suggests that he could handle more shots.

    Anyway, guys could show improvement, but Melo made a lot of threes and demanded defensive attention that opened the lane up for Russ, Adams, PG, and others. I think OKC made the right move to move on from Melo, but this suggestion that he only hurt the team is untrue and is probably overly influenced by his abysmal performance in the playoffs. Let's hope OKC can find some shooting on the roster or add someone because that's the hole on this team right now.

  11. Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by warreng88 View Post
    Why do you say that? I would love to see him in the rotation off the bench. Think of the athleticism of our second team:

    PG - Schroder
    SG - TFerg
    SF - Huestis
    PF - Grant
    C - Noel

    They are all still young, but those guys would run and if they could trust each other, could really wear people down.
    1) - Because he deleted all of his social media like the others that were recently traded did. He might have been told he was being shopped ?

    2) - Didn't have much of a Summer League performance ?

    3) - Money ?

    4) Burton or Diallo might replace him during the season ?

    And everyone knows that Huestis is gone. You can only get away shooting less than 30 % free throws if you're one of the top defenders in the league.

  12. #62

    Thunder Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    LeBron James moving to the west (L.A. Lakers), looks as though the west is stacked with the top 10 best players in the league.

    We're an NBA big league city now. Fan loyalty for our Thunder will continue; however we are seeing OKC elevate to a higher level of player appreciation as well.

  13. #63
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    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    For Melo's shortcomings in the playoffs, people are completely exaggerating the negative effect he has on the team offensively. First, the starting lineup numbers with him were elite, which suggests he was not at all the disaster he's being painted as. Second, he was the second most valuable shooter behind PG on a team without much shooting. Yes, Melo shot worse than expected at just above the league average at his 35.7%... but his shooting still helped the team a lot. Defenders respected Melo's shot and he thus pulled defenders towards him, which opened up the paint for others. It's not just about making threes, but about taking them a high volume and the defense respecting it. Only Paul George gets the respect as a shooter that Melo gets. Here's the number and percentage of threes for 2018-2019 players:

    PG: 244 on 40.1%
    Melo: 169 on 35.7%
    Russ: 97 on 29.8%
    Abrines: 84 on 38%
    Felton: 81 on 35.2%
    Schroder: 76 on 29%
    Patterson: 67 on 38.6%
    TLC: 53 on 33.5%
    Ferguson: 40 on 33.3%
    Grant: 32 on 29.1%

    One of fan bases favorite things to do during the offseason is project better shooting from players without evidence. There's not much evidence to suggest that Russ is going to improve as a three point shooter. Could he take more spot up threes, which he shoots at a higher percentage? Yeah, but there's no reason to think Russ will actually become a valuable off ball player. We say that every offseason and it never happens. Abrines has never got consistent minutes and Ferguson did not shoot well or garner any respect from defenses. Also, any of these guys could also have worse shooting seasons. Only Patterson has a history that suggests that he could handle more shots.

    Anyway, guys could show improvement, but Melo made a lot of threes and demanded defensive attention that opened the lane up for Russ, Adams, PG, and others. I think OKC made the right move to move on from Melo, but this suggestion that he only hurt the team is untrue and is probably overly influenced by his abysmal performance in the playoffs. Let's hope OKC can find some shooting on the roster or add someone because that's the hole on this team right now.
    Agree 100%. Dead on. Melo had significant positive impact in a lot of Thunder wins during the season. His playoffs were abysmal and that is what sticks with us all. I totally agree to how the Thunder handled moving Melo, so don’t freak that I’m saying he should still be in OKC. But Houston is getting a deal and he’ll help them especially with losses they had. He’ll be playing the 3 and when you consider he is basically taking the spot James Ennis’ would have had.....Rockets did OK here.

  14. #64

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Melo was pretty good for most of the season. Seems like he wore down after the All Star break. I don't know what his numbers were but just seems like the farther the season went the further he sank. If he could limit his minutes to about 20 per game I think he would still get pretty good numbers and help a team.

  15. Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    ^^^^^^^^^
    This all lines up pretty much with what I was saying all season. When they were beginning to gel with their starting 5 they were arguably playing the best basketball in the league, and this is even with Melo struggling from a historical perspective. But just as people were legitimately talking about them as potential giant-killers, Dre got hurt and it all went into the toilet. As soon as Roberson was out Melo's defensive deficits became glaringly obvious, and throughout the rest of the season guys feasted on his slowness and general lack of defense. Robes cleaned up so, so much. Of course over the entire season up to that point he was roasted on social media and elsewhere - by those who could not see the forest for the trees - for his shaky shooting.

    I personally was hoping (as I posted here) that Melo had another gear and would shake off his shooting slump and cause some matchup problems in the playoffs, but alas, it was not to be. I think the Melo deal was worth a shot for Presti, and if nothing it proved to Russ that the ownership was willing to pull out all of the stops. It also proved to basketball media and other haters that OKC could indeed lure marquee free agents, which he essentially was when he came here. I think all of the above probably played a part also in securing Paul George, which was infinitely more important. But at the end of the day he was not a good on-court fit. Fare thee well. Presti made the right move once again in dealing him.

    Back on Melo: he wants to be the impact starter that he claims he can be with Houston, I STILL don't doubt it. But IMO he'd better be doing P90X right this minute.
    NOTICE: I WORK FOR A DOWNTOWN TOURIST ATTRACTION

  16. #66

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Melo was okay offensively for us. Took hardly any corner threes (like 11% of his total shots were from the corners) but he was pretty good.

    Biggest issue is that, with Roberson out, Melo couldn't be hid defensively. We saw Utah go at him and score at will. He was unplayable, and for a 27 million dollar player, that is unacceptable.

    Now that Houston has him on a minimum deal, you can live with that a little more. I fully expect him to play better with Houston during the regular season and be a giant liability in the playoffs again. It'll be like Ryan Anderson part two for Houston accept a lot less money is involved.

  17. #67

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    For Melo's shortcomings in the playoffs, people are completely exaggerating the negative effect he has on the team offensively. First, the starting lineup numbers with him were elite, which suggests he was not at all the disaster he's being painted as. Second, he was the second most valuable shooter behind PG on a team without much shooting. Yes, Melo shot worse than expected at just above the league average at his 35.7%... but his shooting still helped the team a lot. Defenders respected Melo's shot and he thus pulled defenders towards him, which opened up the paint for others. It's not just about making threes, but about taking them a high volume and the defense respecting it. Only Paul George gets the respect as a shooter that Melo gets. Here's the number and percentage of threes for 2018-2019 players:

    PG: 244 on 40.1%
    Melo: 169 on 35.7%
    Russ: 97 on 29.8%
    Abrines: 84 on 38%
    Felton: 81 on 35.2%
    Schroder: 76 on 29%
    Patterson: 67 on 38.6%
    TLC: 53 on 33.5%
    Ferguson: 40 on 33.3%
    Grant: 32 on 29.1%

    One of fan bases favorite things to do during the offseason is project better shooting from players without evidence. There's not much evidence to suggest that Russ is going to improve as a three point shooter. Could he take more spot up threes, which he shoots at a higher percentage? Yeah, but there's no reason to think Russ will actually become a valuable off ball player. We say that every offseason and it never happens. Abrines has never got consistent minutes and Ferguson did not shoot well or garner any respect from defenses. Also, any of these guys could also have worse shooting seasons. Only Patterson has a history that suggests that he could handle more shots.

    Anyway, guys could show improvement, but Melo made a lot of threes and demanded defensive attention that opened the lane up for Russ, Adams, PG, and others. I think OKC made the right move to move on from Melo, but this suggestion that he only hurt the team is untrue and is probably overly influenced by his abysmal performance in the playoffs. Let's hope OKC can find some shooting on the roster or add someone because that's the hole on this team right now.
    I didn't project better shooting. I said that I don't think that the loss of Melo changes much for us in regards to shooting. 169 on 35.7% is respectable, but I think we'd be stretching to say that we can't find a way to replace that with the current roster.

    I think it's important to understand that OKC did not start a PF last year, we started 2 SFs. This makes sense in today's NBA - but I think we can certainly question whether or not our #2 SF can actually be upgraded. Anthony's skillset is what it is: He can shoot okay from anywhere on the floor (a skillset that surprisingly few NBA players have), and when needed, he can create a shot against any defender on the baseline and gets a solid percentage out of those shots even today. At 3-point shooting Anthony is better than Westbrook in raw stats 6%, but when you look at stats that give us actual information about shooters, he's about a 1.5% better shooter. The difference between Westbrook and Melo is the type of 3 they take. Russel took 2.9 pull ups/game for 27.9% and Melo 1 for 28.9%. Catch and Shoot Westbrook took 1.1 at 36% and Melo took 5.1 @ 37.2%

    The question becomes will OKC (and Russ specifically) find a way to get the better shots or will they continue to take the crappy ones.

    Even assume we make marginal gains on that front, given the performance of Abrines in the playoffs and various moments throughout the regular season, we know that we have a player who, if consistency can be found on his end, will at the very least bring better 3-point shooting to the floor than Melo did - and with the deepest stable of PG/ball-handler play OKC has ever had, a guy like a Abrines can find his way into just about any lineup.

    For all the changes we think we see happening this offseason, the success of this team depends on factors that are not really dissimilar at all to last year's team: Can Russ expand his game to be a more complete player and can Abrines+Grant be a dynamic force off the bench in the vein of some of San Antonio's 2013/14 Green+Diaw Combo. Paul George and Steven Adams are exactly who they need to be for OKC to win a championship in the next 3 years (improvement would only help the cause). Roberson, if he can be what he has always been could be part of a championship team (he showed that in 2015/16). Westbrook becoming transcendent and the other two real assets that we have blossoming are the difference between competing for a championship and continuing to be a team that fights for home-court and one-series in the playoffs.

    What we need to see this season are significant gains on both of those fronts so that we know we have what we need going into 2019/20 --- short of catastrophic injuries to GSW, this season was likely over before it started...before Boogie signed with the Warriors.

  18. #68

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Hope Dre is in top-notch shape when the Thunder play Houston; he'll switch off on Harden & Anthony. Take it to the bank, Melo's coming at OKC with a vengeance.

  19. #69

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    The results will probably be similar to his first game against the Knicks. I like Melo though. His shots are a thing of beauty when they're falling.

  20. #70

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Laramie View Post
    Hope Dre is in top-notch shape when the Thunder play Houston; he'll switch off on Harden & Anthony. Take it to the bank, Melo's coming at OKC with a vengeance.
    Maybe he'll get up to a 3/4 jog, so scared

  21. Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Laramie View Post
    Hope Dre is in top-notch shape when the Thunder play Houston; he'll switch off on Harden & Anthony. Take it to the bank, Melo's coming at OKC with a vengeance.
    I seriously doubt Melo can keep up with the pace of an OKC - Rockets matchup ? He needs to lose about 20 pounds if he plans too.

  22. Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    To me, watching Melo’s game - which largely consists of backing down dudes in iso - is like seeing an occasional wishbone or other running option play in a college football game. It’s exhilarating and gives you a nostalgic jolt, especially if you grew up watching something like it. Sometimes it even makes you think “dang, why don’t you ever see an offense like that; defenders can’t handle it...”

    Then the next time they trot it and it gets stuffed in an embarrassing manner. At which point you realize the game has simply passed it by and that team speed, athleticism and modern defensive strategy won’t let such a thing thrive these days.
    NOTICE: I WORK FOR A DOWNTOWN TOURIST ATTRACTION

  23. #73

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    It would be different if he ever passed out of his ISO jab-stepping. But everyone on the team literally starts walking back for defense once Melo gets the ball with 15 seconds left on the shotclock, they know he is tossing a brick regardless of anything.

  24. Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Pretty accurate, regrettably.
    NOTICE: I WORK FOR A DOWNTOWN TOURIST ATTRACTION

  25. #75

    Default Re: Oklahoma City Thunder 2018-19

    I know for a fact there was significant tension between melo and adams over Melo's work ethic, or lack there of. Melo has always out talented just about everybody over the years, but now he's 34, out of shape, and his talent diminished. The reason Lebron has held up so well is lebron out works everyone AND is supremely talented. Melo just had supreme talent and an eh work ethic. That works at 24 not so much at 34.

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