Bernucca: Erratic Thunder Could Use Mohammed’s Calming Presence

Thunder

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…]

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Sprung: Analyzing the Decline of Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

Age has finally caught up to Dwyane Wade, to an extent. The longtime Miami Heat superstar is putting up career lows in field goal percentage, effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage, while his scoring average and PER are at their lowest rates since his rookie season 12 years ago. However, that doesn’t mean Wade is still not a really good player— just one slowly in decline, now 10 days after his 34th birthday. That’s natural for someone who’s played over 35,000

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Five Things To Watch: Oklahoma City Thunder

kevin-durant-signs-with-roc-nation-sports-1

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

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DuBose: After Harden’s Triumphant Return to OKC, Rockets Grateful for Trades That Weren’t

Morey

Each time the Rockets play the Thunder, four names immediately come to mind: Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, Steven Adams and Mitch McGary. With all draft picks now liquidated, those players make up the return Oklahoma City received for James Harden in October 2012. Martin left the Thunder in free agency after one season off the bench, and the others all score fewer than eight points per game. That’s it. Lamb, who was supposedly the trade’s crown jewel as the No. 12 pick in 2012, isn’t

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Fantasy Spin: Westbrook Decision Affects Entire Lineup

Dwyane Wade

Important decisions must be made about the two most expensive superstars before filling out our Friday lineups at DraftKings. Without Anthony Davis $11500 (ankle), the Pelicans lost an ugly game in Phoenix and are in big trouble against the Warriors. Klay Thompson (ankle) is out, making Stephen Curry $9600 and Draymond Green $7600 the best plays, though Steve Kerr probably hopes to limit their minutes and rely on his depth. [Read more…]

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Rookie Rankings, Week 14: McGary Gives Thunder a Bolt of Energy

Thunder jersey sleeves

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

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Bernucca: Phil Can’t Fix Knicks Through Twitter

PhilJackson-DerekFisher

While many GMs were working the phones this week, Knicks president Phil Jackson was using a different, more contemporary form of communication: Twitter. On Thursday, Donnie Nelson and Danny Ainge swung a five-player trade that sent Rajon Rondo to Dallas and draft picks to Boston. On Friday, Daryl Morey, Flip Saunders and Sam Hinkie worked a three-team deal that landed Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved in Houston and draft picks in Minnesota and Philadelphia. But not Jackson, and not the Knicks. Jackson doesn’t

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