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What does the Oklahoma Thunder have to do to win a Championship? (1 comment)

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Thunder Fan

Oklahoma City Thunder posted by Thunder Fan

The 2013-14 season for Oklahoma City Thunder came to an end when they lost in the finals of Western Conference in Game 6 to San Antonio Spurs, who were eventually the champions. The Spurs were able to defeat Oklahoma three times, but in two of those games, Serge Ibaka was not playing due to his calf injury. However, overall, the season was quite good for Oklahoma, finishing with 59-23. In the postseason, the team survived tough games from Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies. In the end, Oklahoma was simply not good enough to match the Spurs.

For 2014-15 season, Oklahoma City Thunder has as much chance to be the champions as the Spurs. There seems to be changes in Oklahoma's approach, as indicated by the change in roster. During offseason, the team brought in veteran Sebastian Telfair and Anthony Morrow, and in the draft, they managed to snag Mitch McGary.

Even though they are an elite NBA team, the Thunder fell in its ranking for offense in the last season. From second place, they dropped to seventh; however, one of the main reasons for this slip was Westbrook's injury, and the team had to rely heavily on versatility of Durant. The new acquisitions seem ideal for seeking better shots and more movement of the ball.

Experts feel that it is going to be Thunder-Spurs final, but one must not forget that the Spurs have eliminated Oklahoma for last two years in succession. Oklahoma will have to prove that they are ready for the Spurs with a great offense. People are expecting a prolonged fight, and both teams will have to compete fiercely throughout the season for earning the first seed, which will provide advantage of playing on home grounds. However, Oklahoma City Thunder may not have performed enough during the offseason for closing the gap.

Continue reading "Oklahoma City Thunder"


NBA News

NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams and their Prospects for 2013, 2014 Season posted by NBA News

In the 2012, 2013 prediction of the NBA game seven, Miami Heat were the favorites to win according to basketball sports betting sites. They went ahead to win against the spurs. Miami Heat were defending their title for the second time. Spurs were not the favorites but they had raised hope in many people that they had a chance to take the title. Most odd makers had put odds in the fact that the game will be close. This prediction also came to be true with the final 95, 88 score. There are those that are looking for Miami Heat’s prospect for the 2013-2014 season.

Defending the Title

Miami Heat are favorites to win again in early predictions for this season. The Lebron James magic is expected to play out again as he leads his time to another victory and defend their title. Some predict that Lebron may retain his Most Valuable Player of the year title this coming season. He has consistently shown his skills in shooting, defending and attacking.

On the other hand it may be too early to judge. What are the real prospects of defending the title? Defending the title for the third time will not be that easy. There is talk of Dwayne Wade’s knee injury. Whether he will be part of the action next season and whether Lebron can do without him, is another important factor that will determine the prospects for the team this coming season.

Westbrook’s Return to Oklahoma City

Another team to watch is Oklahama City Thunder. Some odds place it second for the title after Miami Heat. Their prospects are also good. The team up of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is going to be interesting to watch this season. The two are expected to help lead the team towards the title. However Russell has been on crutches and is widely expected to recover in time but how well he recovers and the level of his game remains to be seen.

Continue reading "NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams ..."


Randolph Charlotin

Refreshed Bench posted by Randolph Charlotin

Focus on the last names:

 

Jeff GREEN.

 

Troy MURPHY.

 

They were meant to be Celtics.

 

If Danny Ainge stopped his trade deadline dealings at the two-for-two swap that sent C Kendrick Perkins and G Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Green and Nenad Kristic, then fan dread over Boston’s chances in the playoffs would be understandable.

 

But Trader Dan was far from done. Often with Ainge, he makes a deal with complementary moves in mind. The two trades that followed Perkins’ departure cleared room for productive veteran players on the bench and improved versatility.

 

Celtic fans have a tough time accepting change from a winning formula. Perkins was the anchor in the middle of the defense, an intimidator that protected the paint from intruders. The Celtics hung their hat on being a physical defense-first team and was the cornerstone.

 

Health permitting, Boston could had claimed their NBA-record 18th championship. But health hasn’t been on the Celtics’ side this season. Already down are the two O’Neals (Jermaine and Shaquille) and G/F Marquis Daniels. Ainge decided not to wait and hope for modern medicine.

 Upon arrival Kristic was in the starting lineup and Green came off the bench. Regardless of their performance (they helped the Celtics win against the Los Angeles Clippers), they were available to play, which is something Perkins and Daniels can’t do right now. Perkins is expected to miss his first two to three weeks while Daniels might not play another game this season.

Continue reading "Refreshed Bench"


john howard

Thunder Go Green on Pistons posted by john howard

With 7 seconds left who would you go to?  Kevin Durant no doubt.  If not, the blazing quick Westbrook.  Last night, the Pistons took both those options away, leaving Jeff Green one on one with Maxiell.  Green layed it up.  Oklahoma City took a one point lead with 2.5 seconds left.  What was more impressive is what Westbrook did next.  No one talked about it.  There was no post game interview, but Westbrook did something that every high school coach dreams of.  He turned his the dribbler not once, but twice in 2.5 seconds.  Ben Gordon got the ball on the in bounds and Westbrook forced him to change directions twice.   Every time you turn your defender, the defense has many advantages.  One, you can double team with his back turned. Two, as in this case, they don't make much progress up the floor.  And, three, it eats up clock.  He may be the best defensive point guard in the league.

Oklahoma City shot a terrible 38% from the floor and only hit 2 three pointers.  They made for it with 14 steals and 44 free throw attempts.  Durant ended up with 30 points and 13 trips to the line.  Westbrook had 17 points and 10 free throw tries.  The shooting must improve and someone has to hit 3's.  They acquired sharp shooter Dequan Cook who has yet to hit a 3.   Cook and Harden where a combined 0 for 7.  Both can shoot, so they will change.  But, Cook's defense is going to have to improve to earn a spot in the rotation.  He gave up an easy bucket at the end of the 3rd quarter.  Cook's has gotten close to 15 minutes each game and they may fall if he doesn't start hitting shots.

Continue reading "Thunder Go Green on Pistons"


john howard

Oklahoma City Thunder run with the Bulls posted by john howard

The Thunder open the season with a victory over the Chicago Bulls.  The defensive pressure led by Thabo Sefaloosha was too much for the Derrick Rose and the Bulls.  He had 4 blocks and 2 steals.

Russell Westbrook is on the fast track to becoming a premier player in this league.  He got to the free throw line 13 times, had 10 rebounds, 28 points, and only 3 turn overs.   Talk about production at the point, Eric Maynor came off the bench and added ten points with perfect shooting.  38 points from the pg and only 3 turnovers is incredibl.e

 Kevin Durant landed on his tailbone in the 3rd qtr but appeared to be ok when he returned.  He didn't shoot it great, but led all scorers with 30 points and added 7 rebounds.

Jeff Green, as usual, did a little bit of everything and was the Thunder's 3rd scorer over twenty with 21.  Serge Ibaka had 8 points and 9 rebounds. 

The only dissappointment of the night was newcomer Dequan Cook who went 0 for 4 beyond the arc.  If he is going to stick with the team and earn a spot in the rotation, he must stick shots.

This team got off to a very good start.  Go Thunder!!!

Continue reading "Oklahoma City Thunder run with the Bulls"


john howard

Summer League Scare for Thunder. posted by john howard

New comer Cole Aldrich did not play in OKC's first summer league game of the year.  in fact, the Thunder did not start a single rookie. 

James Harden did not make a single 3pt shot, but attempted 18 free throws and had 19 points for the Thunder. 2nd year player Eric Maynor had 5 assists and 15 poinsts.   DJ White continues to show he can score with 13pts on 29 minutes and 6 rebounds.  He may be needed this year if Serge Ibaka's injury is significant.  He went down with a knee injury but walked off the floor.  There is no word yet on what his condition is. 

The star of the night was Byron Mullins who had 24 points and 7 rebounds with 2 blocks.  He played a lot in the developmental league and saw limited time with OKC last year.  He is a good pick and pop player that can allow Durant and Westbrook to exploit one on one matchups.  Should he continue to develop, he could allow the Thunder to let Krstic go and simply replace him with Mullins.  I think that is the plan for now. 

Continue reading "Summer League Scare for Thunder."


john howard

The Thunder keep getting better. posted by john howard

Two of the biggest needs for the Thunder are inside presence and outside shooting.  They got the shooter by trading the 32nd pick to Miami for sharp shooter D. Cook and the 18th overall pick.  Wow!  The move helps Miami trim the cap space they are fighting while acquiring a very high second round pick to go along with the other 3 second rounders they already have.  Second round picks are not guaranteed like first round ones are. So, Miami doesn't have to keep the guys they draft. 

As for the Thunder, Cook will help spread the floor and give them more punch off the bench.  He is only $2.2 against the cap. So, he is a very inexpensive shooter that helps fill a need.  But more impressive in this deal is the 18th pick to go along with the 21st and 26th.  With 3 picks, the Thunder could trade up and try and take a good big man.  But, I don't know who will trade down.   Rumors have it that Indiana wants a point guard, but not at the ten.  Epke Udoh from Baylor may be available at the ten. 

They may simply draft and then deal one or two of the players for future picks.  They should get somebody that will help with the 3 picks.  Nick Collison is in final year of contract and BJ Mullins doesn't look like the answer.  DJ White has had moments and I think he can score inside.  But, there is one thing that makes all players better: competition.  Bring in people to challenge White and Mullins for a spot not only in rotation, but on the team, and you will get better.

From the mocks I've seen, Daniel Orton's name has been popping up at both the 18th and 21st.   James Anderson may possibly fall to 18th and Damion James could be available at 18th.   Both could give a slasher, playmaker type to sub in for Durant and play with the second unit.    Then, they have the 26th pick to gamble on a foreign player.  Like they did with Serge Ibaka.  He didn't come to play untila full year after he was drafted. 

Continue reading "The Thunder keep getting better."


john howard

NBA draft, Who Drafts the Best? posted by john howard

There are three ways an NBA team can improve:  1) Draft  2) Trades  3)  Free Agency.

 I've taken a look at how well teams have drafted since 2003.  I used the number of rebounds, points, assist, steals, and blocks to help me rank the teams on their ability to draft.  If a player was acquired via a trade, he counts towards the team that received him in the trade.  Also, the statistics that count are only the ones that the player acquired while with the team that drafted him.  So, if a player was traded and then became a good player, that team lost out.  Let's see the results.

The first list is the most simple.  It is how teams rank by just counting all the points, rebounds, steals, blocks and assists:

1)  Chicago

2)  Portland

3)  Oklahoma City

4)  Atlanta

5)  New Orleans

6)  Toronto

7)  Boston

8)  Orlando

9)  New York

10) Miami

11)  Cleveland

12) Sacramento

13) Charlotte

14) Philadelphia

15)  Denver

16)  Memphis

17) LA Clippers

18) Utah

19)  Washington

20) Indiana

21)  Golden State

22) Minnesota

23)  La Lakers

24) Milwaukee

25)  New Jersey

26) Detroit

27) Phoenix

28) Houston

29) Dallas

30) San Antonio

This is a pretty good look at how well teams have been drafting.  Portland is really high on the list, but has 15 picks since 2003.  Oklahoma City had 12, while NY and Memphis each had 10.  On the flip side, other teams had less than one per year.  So, stockpiling picks has a positive effect. 

Continue reading "NBA draft, Who Drafts the Best?"


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

Congratulations OKC !!! posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

I just wanted to congratulate Oklahoma City Thunder fans. Now you too know the joy of a "Beat L.A." chant that comes to fruition.

To be clear, I don't believe OKC has any hope of winning their seven game series. However, every game the Lakers lose is another they have to play to advance, and with their players advancing ages, one can hope that the Thunder's tenacity is taking its toll on the Laker team. So, while the celebrations are likely to be short-lived, I'll congratulate OKC and their fans one last time. "Beat L.A."!!!

Continue reading "Congratulations OKC !!!"


Johnny Matheis

Spot plays 04/03/2010 posted by Johnny Matheis

Before getting to the big races, most people like to wager on the races leading up to them. Here are some nice spot plays for 04/03/2010:

For each race, there will be a projected order of finish, listing, in order:

PROGRAM NUMBER-NAME OF RUNNER-PROBABLE ODDS-COMMENTS:

Then good bets, exactas, 50 cent trifectas and 10 cent superfectas will be listed:

2nd RACE GULFSTREAM 1 MILE Maiden claiming:

6 RUTH WONDERS 7-2 -Looks to be a sure thing, but anything is possible with young runners 

9 INTERCOM 8-1 Consistent, not likely to win, but hard to keep off board here

7 COUNTRY GREEN 20-1 Addition of Lasix may be all that's needed to hit board here

12 DANCE OF THE TIGER 4-1 Big class drop makes it a "must use" in exotics

2 I CAN SEE A GENIUS 20-1 Ran poorly as a 2 year old in September, has time to grow, and good jockey change

13 KINDA KINDA (Also eligible, not likely to get in)

11 CONSOLACION SUR 20-1 -passes some in stretch, but hitting the board still a challenge

1 KILLARNEY MIST 5-2-We've seen her best, and it isn't impressive

10 JEANNIE S 20-1 -a bit of a class drop may help here

3 LYNN'S PRINCESS 20-1 -already has 22 lifetime starts in April of 3 year old year.

5 DOINITWITHSTYLE 20-1 Fades

4 SHAHADAROBA 20-1-Also fades in stretch

8 SEXY THUNDER 20-1 -just nothing to like

BEST BETS: WPS on 6, Show on 6,11,12: Trifecta Box 6,7,9,12: Superfectas Wheel 6 with 9,12 with 1,2,7,9,11,12 with All, Wheel 9,12 with 6 with 1,2,7,9,11,12 with 1,2,7,9,11,12, Wheel 6,9,12 with 6,9,12 with 1,2,6,7,9,11,12 with 1,2,6,7,9,11,12

Continue reading "Spot plays 04/03/2010"

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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Thunder beat Kings 104-92 for 7th straight win (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Bucks F Parker out for season with knee injury (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Thunder beat Kings 104-92 for 7th straight win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Oklahoma City Thunder know as well as anybody this season how difficult it is to overcome adversity, so forgive them if they have no sympathy for the Sacramento Kings right now. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


Kings fall to Thunder in first game since firing of Michael Malone

Russell Westbrook had 32 points and seven assists, Kevin Durant scored 26 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the reeling Sacramento Kings104-92 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight win. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


The Sacramento Kings may have just done a really, really dumb thing (Ball Don't Lie)

If you want to pile on, you can. This has all the hallmarks of an easy read. The Sacramento Kings surprised everyone this season by racing out to 9-5 record. The team then lost its out and out superstar, the ever-improving DeMarcus Cousins, to a debilitating bout of viral meningitis. The Kings lost their last game with DMC, and expectedly whiffed on seven of nine contests with Cousins recovering (mostly) away from the team. The Sacramento Kings also feature a new’ish owner that sometimes embarrasses the team’s fan base with his musings on how the sport should be played, and they boast a general manager and influential consultant that were hired after the team’s coach was hired –a rare NBA move. That coach was fired, late on Sunday, as first reported by Yahoo Sports’Adrian Wojnarowski . Michael Malone was dumped after just 24 games this season, following the first year of a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year. Clashes in basketball philosophy were cited as the reason for the dismissal. The NBA cognoscenti, as you’d expect, was gobsmacked. The quick take would mention something along the lines of a front office working under the whims of an unknowing owner. That the owner and front office needed to wait until the team had dipped under .500 with Cousins sidelined in order to make a move, hardly caring about the nearly two final years of pay it would have to throw Malone’s way. That the owner was foolish to hire a coach first, and front office second. The take would move on to speak to the idea to place Tyrone Corbin, a genuinely good dude and genuinely terrible NBA head coach, as interim head coach is an absolute joke. The take would then explain that expected the Kings’flat-footed and poor-passing lineup to turn into some amalgamation of the 1970 New York Knicks and 2014 San Antonio Spurs is laughable. That this is just another incident of a new owner gone mad with expectation , and a general manager willingly following along so as just to keep his phony-baloney job. Toss this in ……and you’ve got a narrative, son. (Nik Stauskas has missed exactly two-thirds of the shots he’s taken this season, and over three-quarters of the three-pointers he’s tossed up. An unfair sample to rip on, I submit, but we’ve got a while to go on this guy.) What’s worth mentioning, though, is that Michael Malone presided over a 23rd-ranked defense last year, one that has only moved up to the 20th spot this season in spite of the Kings’ascension to the ranks of the mediocre. He’s also watched helplessly as his team has wasted a 24 and then 26-point lead in losses to the Mavericks and Grizzlies this month. His team has fallen to the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder, the Dwight Howard-less Houston Rockets(twice), and the bleedin’Los Angeles Lakers. Dude lost to the Pistons on Tuesday. Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro worked closely with George Karl in Denver, and it’s quite possible that Karl could work as the sort of go-between pitched in the middle of someone like Michael Malone, and more up-tempo sorts like Don Nelson –a coach team advisor Chris Mullin and team owner Vivek Ranadive adores. After all, Karl recently told SiriusXM that he still feels as if he has one more coaching stint left in him , taking on the Bob Hill role of tossing his name out in every open NBA coach candidacy out there, and he’s just 19 months removed from winning the NBA’s Coach of the Year award. Seriously, though. Come off it. DeMarcus Cousins was always going to be a star, once he figured this league out, but it’s hard to slough off Boogie’s accomplishments over the last two seasons without crediting Malone to some degree. Rudy Gay isn’t exactly a Houston Rocket-styled wet dream at this point, but he has at least modified his previously-untenable offensive game to an ideal that suits the modern NBA. The Kings dumped Isaiah Thomas at Cousins’behest, reportedly, in order to bring in Darren Collison –and Collison is playing his best ball in years in spite of a role that probably doesn’t suit his strengths. Omri Casspi had to start a couple of games and even play huge minutes. Reggie Evans is the team’s supposed defensive force, and at times he makes Carlos Boozer look like Taj Gibson. RYAN HOLLINS IS ON THIS TEAM. Woj lists Karl and Vinny (seriously) Del (you’re joking, right?) Negro as possible long-term replacements, which apsatively boggles the mind. Karl is a fine coach, but his faux-zone trapping schemes and emphasis on position-less play seem ill-suited for this roster. Nearly as ill-suited as expecting a team literally centered on DeMarcus Cousins to turn into some flash and dash running outfit, as the Kings’front office apparently expected. It should be noted that the longest-tenured coach in the NBA was a former front office executive that fired his head coach on the day that his team’s best player returned from a major injury. Gregg Popovich fired Bob Hill after San Antonio’s 3-15 start in 1996-97, a turn addled by David Robinson’s back injury. Robinson returned just in time for Popovich’s head coaching debut, and the team won three out of six games before The Admiral broke his foot, knocking him out for the remainder of a season that eventually netted the Spurs the chance to draft Tim Duncan. That’s how luck and timing goes in this league. Pete D’Alessandro’s mentor from Denver, the much-lauded Masai Ujiri, is currently kicking tail in Toronto while working with a roster and coaching staff primarily hired by the much-maligned and since-fired Bryan Colangelo. There are no easy answers in this gig. It’s more than possible that Michael Malone may not be the sort of coach to push a team over the top. He was thought to be the defensive mastermind in Golden State while working under Mark Jackson, and yet the Warriors shot up from 14th to fourth and then first in defensive efficiency in the seasons following Malone’s leave from the Bay Area (the actual basketball players involved may have also had something to do with that). George Karl could be in the wings. Tyrone Corbin may have been hamstrung by a mismatched Utah Jazz roster. The Kings could win the 59 or so games it will take to secure the seventh spot in the Western playoff bracket. We don’t know. What we are aware of is the fact that the Kings fired a very good basketball coach over the weekend, and that the owner has made some curious moves since taking over this team. It’s just fine to judge them from afar, and it’s up to the Sacramento front office to prove us all wrong. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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