In the brave new world of basketball analytics, trends and modules, a simpler stat surfaced this week that was utterly inexplicable. Two teams have lost 10 games this season in which they led after three quarters. One is the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers, who have no one on their roster who knows how to win a game. The other is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have two of the supposed best closers in the game in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. [Read more…]
One couldn’t have imagined a worse outcome for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2014-15 season. A massive plague of injuries kept the team below full strength for the entire campaign. Specifically, Kevin Durant missed 55 games, Serge Ibaka missed 18 games and Russell Westbrook missed 15 games. The other four rotation players who started and finished the season with OKC – Anthony Morrow, Steven Adams, Andre Roberson and Nick Collison – missed between eight and 16 games each. All those missed
Finally! There are two NBA games tonight that actually count in the standings, with contests at DraftKings closing at 8:00 Eastern. It’s also trade deadline day, and Arron Afflalo has been dealt to Portland in the first significant deal. [Read more…]
Mitch McGary was unexpectedly thrown into the spotlight this week. He’s going to be there a while. The burly rookie forward of the Oklahoma City Thunder had spent most of his first NBA season recovering from injuries while toiling in the D-League. Prior to Sunday, he had played just eight minutes over two games this season while averaging 14.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in eight games for the Blue, Oklahoma City’s affiliate. But on Sunday, the Thunder were hosting the Los Angeles
There can, at times, be a rather contentious relationship between the media and the superstars that it covers. Some times, it may be warranted. Others, perhaps not so much. Former ESPN NBA writer Chris Palmer seems to have earned the ire of Kevin Durant over the years, in large part for his polarizing opinions. Tuesday, Palmer had another opinion to share. [Read more…]
Is Paul George really out for the season? If the Pacers can make a playoff push in the weak Eastern Conference, it sounds like he might not be. In a video interview on Tuesday, team president Larry Bird did not rule out the star forward’s return this season despite his horrific leg injury suffered last August. “We’ll see where Paul’s at. Still have no idea whether he’s coming back or not, but it seems like every week, he’s getting better and better.
The next 36 games will likely determine point guard Reggie Jackson’s career trajectory. Jackson, 24, will become a restricted free agent after the season, assuming he doesn’t exercise a $3.4 million qualifying offer Oklahoma City will almost certainly extend him. How much a team will offer him and what his role will be for the foreseeable future will probably be decided over the duration of the regular season and in the postseason, if the 23-23 Thunder even reach the Western playoffs. Before
If Derrick Rose wants to sit out games because he doesn’t feel 100 percent healthy, that’s fine. If Rose wants to go to the coaching staff, training staff and management of the Chicago Bulls and develop some sort of maintenance program which allows him to sit out games from time to time, that’s fine, too. In fact, given what the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have done with their aging stars over the last several seasons – and the success that