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the_ouskull
9/16/2008, 11:48 PM
Needless to say, what with us drafting #4 overall this past season, we're a few years away. Our roster reads like a who's-who of good-to-great college players who either haven't achieved their pro potential, or who are too young/missing something to be(come) great.

Our most likely starting lineup is:

1 - Earl Watson
2 - Kevin Durant
3 - Jeff Green
4 - Chris Wilcox
5 - Nick Collison

I can see this lineup getting a lot of the minutes. It's the most well-rounded in terms of ability and experience. However, I don't think that this is our best lineup. I think that our best lineup will be:

1 - Russell Westbrook
2 - Kyle Weaver
3 - Kevin Durant
4 - Jeff Green
5 - Chris Wilcox

It's not a very strong offensive lineup, to be sure, and the frontcourt, with the exception of Durant, who, while fairly tall, is very small, even for a 3, is hella undersized. BUT, this lineup will be very quick, and probably our best defensive lineup, which, at this point, is something we need to both sell to our team, and pride ourselves on.

-- I think that, in time, Westbrook will be a decent; a solid NBA player. I don't think he's a future All-Star or anything like that. (If it weren't for the fan voting, I wouldn't think that Durant is either though...) But, he's a h*ll of an athlete, and he's a solid defender who takes playing defense seriously. His outside shooting is suspect, and he's going to have trouble defending stronger/taller guards, even with his quickness, but his athleticism and upside make him our best long-term option at the point guard.

-- As for Kyle Weaver, I think that he's going to be one of the steals of this draft. He's already a really good defender, and, like Westbrook, someone who will commit to playing defense for the length of the court. With our starting backcourt being capable defenders, we can slow down the pace of the games and cover up our offensive "issues." But, Weaver also has a suspect outside shot, and, frankly, unlike Westbrook, I don't know if it will ever come around.

-- A lot of people see Durant as "the next big thing." Yes, he was dominant in college, and yes, he's a very skilled offensive player in terms of getting his shots. BUT, he's not very committed on the defensive end of the court, and putting him up against opposing 2's every night, even with his size and length (heh, yeah I did...) isn't going to be good for his confidence, or for our team. When he's not able to stop his man from scoring, he tends to try to make up for it by scoring more himself. Until he takes the defensive end of the court even more seriously than he takes the offensive end, he'll never be a star at the NBA level.

Some people see a rookie scoring 20 ppg, and they douse their drawers. I see a rookie who put up 205 three's, but only shot them at a 28% clip. He settles for jump shots too often. Of the Top 30 scorers in the NBA, only 2 shot a higher FT percentage than Durant. (Dirk and Caron Butler) So, while he was the 28th leading scorer in the NBA, he was only the 84th most efficient (based off of John Hollinger's PER rating... Google it) player in the league; a full 12 spots behind fellow rookie Al Horford, by the way.

So what he basically is, is an offensive player who will get, and believe me, take, his shots... whether or not it helps his team. I'm not saying that he plays selfishly. Don't misunderstand me. It's not like he had a lot of options to pass to anyway. But, if he's going to be an elite player, he has to be more willing to let the game come to him instead of taking bad shots just because nobody else is going to take (hit?) them.

For somebody who (allegedly) has such a high basketball IQ, he sure seems willing to settle for jumpers is all that I'm saying. And, his rebounding stats would back this up as well. He's between 6'9" and 6'11", depending on who you ask, and his wingspan is even greater than that, yet, because he spends so much of his time on the perimeter, he's only shooting 5.6 FT's per game, and he's only averaging 4.4 rpg.

He is, without a doubt, our best player, but he's far from a great player (he's 56th in the league in combined points/rebounds/assists, behind the likes of Mo Williams, Andre Miller, and Mike Dunleavy Jr) at this point. Whether or not he will become that player is completely up to him, and it's up to his off-season work ethic. Until his tapeworm-havin' body is up to the task of going to the basket, and going to work around the basket, more often, he's going to always be a good-but-not-great player.

-- Jeff Green is hard to figure. He's the bad kind of tweener; either a slow three, or an undersized four. Given that, in 28 minutes per game, he only averaged 4.7 boards, I'm going to have to lean towards both. He is another one of those great college players that may or may not become a good pro. He has trouble getting open looks, contributing to a poor shooting percentage. Also, for someone who is supposed to be such a solid passer, I'd like to see him with more than 1.5 apg. (Heck, even the black hole Durant averaged 2.4 per.) Green either needs to bulk up so that he can bang, or he needs to slim down so that he can more effectively guard other 3's. Until he leaves Tweener Land, he's going to struggle at the NBA level.

-- Chris Wilcox is a name that a lot of Sooner fans remember for the way that he dominated the Final Four that we should have won a few years back. However, that dominance has not translated nearly as well to the next level. He's not nearly as muscular when compared to NBA players as he was compared to the slow, white kids Kansas through at him, and his athleticism has been what's keeping him around, frankly. And, even that hasn't made for his being a competent defender. He's only averaging 0.6 bpg, and twice as many turnovers as assists. At least offensively he plays within himself. 95.3% of his shot attempts came from within the basket area. However, he only shoots 68.4% from the FT line. And, given that he's going to be 26 at the start of this season, we can realistically only expect another 2-4 years of his highlight reel dunks before his athleticism starts to fade, leaving him as an immobile, undersized center who can't shoot and can't play defense on 4's or 5's. This is a make-or-break year for him. Personally, I think that we need to trade him, and then trade back for him. When he came over from the Clippers halfway through the 2005-06 season, he posted averages that were well above his career highs all across the board, even averaging 79% from the line. In order for us to play well, he has to learn how to guard somebody, fast.

That's enough for now. I'll discuss the other players later...

the_ouskull

BigRedJed
9/17/2008, 08:01 AM
Wait a minute. We aren't going to trade for Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler and David West? Out.

BigRedJed
9/17/2008, 08:02 AM
Who want two in the corner? Good seats folks, two in the corner...

birddog
9/17/2008, 02:34 PM
i'd like to know exactly what should be the future of carlesimo.

is he a caretaker that will be replaced once the transition to okc is complete?

i've heard he's a great teacher for the younger players but at some point we'll need something more than that. will he last atleast two more years? is he actually a good coach?

Hella Sideburns
9/17/2008, 07:42 PM
I think you're off on durant, he was great at the end of last season when he started to get more comfortable. Add in that he was options no. 1, 2 and 3 on a bad team and of course he was a chucker. I really think that eventually his 15 foot-to the basket game will be pretty unstoppable.

Westbrook will be the rare point guard that will play late in close games, because his defense is airtight. I think that Durant can turn into a good defender, too. Kobe got nothing but crap about his defense until he decided he wanted to be a good defender and that was all it took. Durant, if you look at his past, has already proven that he will work hard. Once things slow down for him, we'll get a better look at what kind of player he'll be.

the_ouskull
9/17/2008, 10:11 PM
You're right about Durant finding his stride late in the season...

...except for one thing...

From March to April, his shooting percentage dropped from 52.6% to 46% and his FT% went from 90% to 84%. (Both are still very good, though...) And, while his numbers, other than the percentages, did go up across the board, so did his minutes per game. From March to April, he got an almost 4 minute per game increase, which increased his shots per game by 5, and his points per game by 2.5 on the nose.

But, statistically speaking, March was an anomaly for him. Perhaps he "hit his groove." More than likely, he just got hot for a while. 'cause, in March, other than his shooting percentage, all of his other stats were lower or the same, and the 3.7 ppg increase from Feb to March can easily be explained by the 15% jump in his FG%.

Something else that's hurting KD's game right now, in my humble opinion, is the fact that he's not a natural 3-point shooter, and his percentages bear that out. In 19 wins, he shot 41% from the arc, compared to 24% in the team's 61 losses in which he played.

He also fouled less, turned the ball over less, and played better defensively in our wins... He's got to learn to better use his length (yeah, I did) defensively, while still moving his feet, and not doing one or the other. Someone with his height and wingspan should be pulling down more than 4 boards, 1 steal and 1 block per game. He's just not nearly as aggressive defensively as he is offensively, and, considering how often he settles for jumpers, his offensive aggressiveness is overrated too. In no month (other than the 1 game played in October) did he average more than 1.8 fouls per game. That's an indicator of defensive aggressiveness.

He's a little, skinny kid, trying to bang bodies with grown men. Until he bulks up, he's going to be treated like a little, skinny kid, trying to bang bodies with grown men. This team will go as KD goes, for certain. But, until he realizes that this isn't college, he's going to be a good, not great player. Considering how young, and how tiny he is, it may take a few years. We get to watch someone with the potential to be great. Whether we watch him grow up and become a man, or burn out as a child is up to him... but, right now, he is to weightlifting what Vince Young was to the Wonderlic.

As for Carlesimo... I think that he's a great coach for such a young team. I don't know of anybody else that's out there right now that could do a better job of teaching the game to these young players. BUT, is he a championship-caliber coach? His resume, both at Seton Hall, and in the pros, leads me to believe "no." The closest he got was in 1989, losing to Michigan and Rumeal Robinson in the finals.

the_ouskull

Hella Sideburns
9/17/2008, 10:36 PM
it was also his first year playing an NBA schedule. 30+ games to 80+ for a guy that weighs 190 pounds or whatever, hell, it's a wonder he played at all down the stretch.

i know we're going to lose 60 games this year and that it's going to be a while before we have a winner, so I'm just trying to look at the silver lining on everything.

Really, the key is probably adding 15-20 pounds. He'll never be a 40% outside shooter, but i think he'll hit enough eventually to pull the defense out, and if he adds some muscle, suddenly he'll be able to take it to the basket in the league like he did in college.

he's such a unique body type, i really have high hopes for him.

the_ouskull
9/18/2008, 07:04 AM
It's a delicate balance he'll have to find between putting on the necessary weight to handle the physicality of the NBA and not losing any of his cardiovascular conditioning due to adding weight. Also, adding weight can have an effect on your outside shot, which, considering his current percentages, would be disastrous. I understand that you're trying to look on the bright side, and I admire that in people. However, I'm a bit more of a realist (many would say pessimist) when it comes to things such as this...

The potential is totally there. Either way, feast or famine, I'm going to be excited to watch and see what, and why, things happen. That's a large part of why I love the game... Also, didn't we just pick up Robert Swift? The homeless man's Bill Walton, circa 1986? :D

the_ouskull

Hella Sideburns
9/18/2008, 02:56 PM
It's a delicate balance he'll have to find between putting on the necessary weight to handle the physicality of the NBA and not losing any of his cardiovascular conditioning due to adding weight. Also, adding weight can have an effect on your outside shot, which, considering his current percentages, would be disastrous. I understand that you're trying to look on the bright side, and I admire that in people. However, I'm a bit more of a realist (many would say pessimist) when it comes to things such as this...

The potential is totally there. Either way, feast or famine, I'm going to be excited to watch and see what, and why, things happen. That's a large part of why I love the game... Also, didn't we just pick up Robert Swift? The homeless man's Bill Walton, circa 1986? :D

the_ouskull

the problem with adding weight is usually when a body can't support it. If a 6'10, 250 pound guy wants to play the three and then adds 15 more pounds, it can be a problem. Does KD even weight 200, right now? I think his frame should easily support some extra weight.

It doesn't have to be a detriment to his outside shot, necessarily. Adding weight can definitely be a detriment to a 3-point shot, but if a guy is getting pushed around physically for four quarters, 82 games, adding weight to deflect some of that punishment can actually improve conditioning, which allows the player to keep his form deeper into games/the season.

As for Robert Swift, well, we have to fill our ginger quota.

the_ouskull
9/18/2008, 07:03 PM
Durant is listed at 225. I'm also listed at 225. (I weigh closer to 210.) Durant is also listed at 6'9". I... am NOT listed at 6'9". (I'm closer to 5'9" than I am 6'9".)

He's tapeworm skinny, and until that gets fixed, he's going to have "issues." End of story.

Maybe Swift could hire Eric Cartman as a personal trainer. That guy knows how to bring out the best in ginger kids.

the_ouskull

starclassic tama
9/22/2008, 10:43 PM
ou_skull is vastly overrating durant's struggles and shortcomings as a player. you have to remember this kid is TWO YEARS removed from his senior year of high school. he has ONE college season and ONE pro season under his belt. averaging over 20 points per game as a 19 year old rookie in the NBA is unheard of. this kid is going to be a superstar, and sooner rather than later. i'd be willing to bet durant averages near 25 points per game next year and the thunder win at least 30 games.

the_ouskull
9/23/2008, 10:26 PM
How much?

I won't take the "Durant averages 25 per game" bet unless you allow me to tack other statistical numbers on it as well. Willie Burton once put up 53 in an NBA game. Durant can average 25. That's not exactly a stretch.

I WILL take the "Thunder will win 30 games next season" bet. Name your stakes.

Seriously...

the_ouskull

starclassic tama
9/24/2008, 12:55 AM
the fact that it's on here is enough for me so you can get some egg at the end of the season. the basketball world has not seen a talent like durant in a long time. i'm not a stat nerd, but i know if durant averages 25 a game this team will be better, so i'm sticking by durant averages 25 and the thunder win 30+.

the_ouskull
9/24/2008, 06:38 AM
In other words, you were offered a chance to put your money (or whatever) where your mouth was, and you called Linus and asked if you could hide under his security blanket with him. Figures.

the_ouskull

Hella Sideburns
9/24/2008, 02:15 PM
I honestly hope we don't win anywhere near 30 games this season. The 2009 draft is going to be epically weak except at the very, very top.

starclassic tama
9/24/2008, 03:54 PM
what do you want to bet, internet tough guy? i'm a broke college student. since when do basketball players need to add weight? i'm beginning to wonder if you even watch basketball. at the combine durant was 6'10 188 lbs. i would say right now he is 200, MAYBE 205. which is also what larry bird weighed. he had a pretty decent career if you know who larry bird is?

hella sideburns: i hope you don't go to any games and support the team. we don't need fans who don't want to win. i hope we win 82 games, i don't give a damn where we draft.

badger
9/24/2008, 05:10 PM
How much?

How much are you overrating?
vastly. ;)

Seriously though, everyone thought OKC was getting a crap deal with the Hornets loan a few years ago, but they nearly missed the playoffs then. I would love a pleasant surprise this time around too. Whenever someone predicts a win-loss thing, I usually out-bid them by one win.

However they do this season, it will be nice to know they aren't on loan anymore. As for the logo, that can get shipped to New Orleans.

badger
9/24/2008, 05:11 PM
I honestly hope we don't win anywhere near 30 games this season. The 2009 draft is going to be epically weak except at the very, very top.

Yes, Blake Griffin is the only player in next year's draft :D

the_ouskull
9/24/2008, 05:15 PM
i hope you don't go to any games and support the team. we don't need fans who don't want to win.


internet tough guy

Wow, conflicted much?

First of all, I don't need you to tell me that you're a college student. It's painfully obvious from your posts.

Second, you're a college student. I'm a high school teacher with a kid on the way. You make more money than I do, I promise.

Third, winning, especially in the NBA, is a marathon, not a sprint. This team, with its current combination of players and coaches, isn't capable of winning 82 games and a championship. It will be playing way over it's head, talent-wise, if it wins 28 games. Thinking that doesn't make Hella less a fan. It makes him more of a realist.

What about our draft, our current talent, and our coaching staff shows you the potential for a 10-game improvement? Yes, I think that the Oklahoma City fans are going to do a lot for this young team, but, lest we forget our place in the grander scheme of things, the Oklahoma City Hornets were as much the product of Chris Paul's arrival in Oklahoma City as they were their own arrival in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant is no Chris Paul. (Spare me the, "They were both ROY's" argument. Durant isn't in Paul's league as a player unless, by "league" you mean the NBA. Besides, statistically, and wins/losses-wise, which is what really matters anyway, you can make an equally strong argument that Al Horford should have been the rookie of the year last season... HIS team made the playoffs.)

As for invoking the name of Basketball Jesus... lean forward and choke yourself.

http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/images/full-metal-jacket-sergeant.jpg

WITH MY HAND, NUMBN*TS!

You should be ashamed of 1) invoking the name of Basketball Jesus in the first place, and 2) doing so without having your facts, or your head, straight.

When Larry Joe Bird was drafted out of Indiana State in 1979 following an amazing run in the NCAA's that culminated with the Sycamores losing to Magic Johnson's Michigan State team, he was 6'9" and weighed 220.

Kevin Durant is listed, as anybody (that wanted to sound somewhat informed) could look up on NBA or ESPN dot com, at 6'9", 225. He's probably closer to 6'10", and the 225 is probably close too, although, if anything, it's lower.

So yes, physically, they have a similar build. However, there are differences. 1) Bird is (was AND is) much, much stronger. 2) Bird could actually play a little. His rookie season, in addition to scoring more points per game (21.3 to 19.4) Bird also averaged 10 boards per game. (10.4, to be exact, or 6 boards per game more than KD averaged this past season... Bird also averaged 2.1 more dimes per game and shot a better percentage from the field. Bird also, despite not being known as a great athlete like Durant is, averaged more steals and almost as many blocks per game.

Not that I'd know anything about the guy. Feel free to educate me, please...

http://www.lacoctelera.com/myfiles/leemarvin/brett-pulp-fiction.jpg

Oh, you were finished? Well, allow me to retort.

In order to be able to take full advantage of his wingspan and athleticism, Kevin Durant needs to put on weight. If he's only averaging 4-5 boards per game, at 220ish pounds, it is going to hurt his game, and our team.

I want us to win too. If Durant adds more weight, he will be able to: 1) play in the post more on offense, so that he can shoot more free throws and take better advantage of his 90% FT shooting. 2) guard more 4's in the post instead of getting abused by them when he's switched off onto them. If he can guard stronger players without fouling them, it helps his game, and our team. 3) so that he can bang for more rebounds, helping our team on the glass and taking away offensive rebounding opportunities, which usually lead to higher percentage scoring opportunities for the opposing offense, which does not help our team win.

Do YOU want us to win? If so, cheer loudly, but don't think. It can only hurt the team.

the_ouskull

starclassic tama
9/24/2008, 06:58 PM
cute pictures. ok you win, you know more about basketball because you think this team isn't capable of winning 30 games and kevin durant is a no good bum. forget that he averaged 26 points a game as a true freshman in the big 12, and over 20 (not 19.4) points per game as a teenager in the NBA. you are right, he doesn't have the work ethic nor desire to be any good, and this team will be lucky to win 6 games.

the_ouskull
9/24/2008, 09:43 PM
Why are those your only two options? It's either 82 games or 6 with you? Really?

Look, I admire your enthusiasm and wish that I could share it. However, being older, knowing a bit more about the game, and being a natural pessimist, I can't. Just 'cause you picked a basketball knowledge fight on the internet with the wrong person doesn't mean that you don't have anything to bring to the conversation. It just means that you were wrong about a few things.

For example: You were right about Durant's scoring average. It was 20.3 for the season. (I didn't look it up. I was off by 0.9 pts. Sue.)

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/kevin_durant/career_stats.html

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3202

But, at the same time, I did ask you (what I feel is) a legitimate question...

What is it about this team that's changed since last season, that shows you a 10-game improvement over last season's record?

Also, for the record, Hella (earlier) wasn't saying that he wants to see this team lose, long-term. But, frankly, losing in the short term, considering the anemic depth in the 2009 draft, will make us a better team in the long run. I don't want to see us lose either. It will hurt attendance for the first few years of the team, which will make us look bad in the wake of the Hornets thing, and it could potentially hurt the morale of a young team, in addition to making us look bad to future pro franchises...

But, for the long-term success of this team, the more chances we can get at a Blake Griffin, Ricky Rubio, or a Blake Mullens, the better off we'll be.

(I'd include a few more names, but their painful weaknesses are a large part of why this is a weak draft class...

- Demar DeRozen: Can't go left. Seriously. At all.
- Brandon Jennings: Can't get into college. May not want to come back to the U.S., or be allowed to, depending on his overseas contract.
- Jrue Holliday: Lacks true point skills, and has an inconsistent jumper.
- Hasheem Thabeet: If he was alone in a gym, he couldn't hit a layup, and he'd have trouble getting the rebound.)

In this year's draft, after the first 5-8 picks, it thins out QUICKLY. We want one of those picks. If 30 wins can still land us in the Top 5, guaranteed, then I hope I'm wrong and that we win 30. But, I'm not thinking about the 2008 season. I'm thinking about the 2010 season.

the_ouskull

starclassic tama
9/24/2008, 10:47 PM
you know more about the game according to yourself. the reasons i think this team is 10 games better is really simple. most of the time, athletes make their biggest jump between their rookie and second year. i think with durant and jeff green getting a year older and better, and joe smith giving us some scoring inside, coupled with russell westbrook who is a terrific defender and the move and new enthusiasm propels this team to something like a 31-51 record.

i just think you are underestimating durant's talent. but anyways, everyone else feel free to discuss our team. the thunder coming here is one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. college football is my number one sport, with the NBA being second so this is amazing that we have our own team.

GO THUNDER

badger
9/25/2008, 11:16 AM
Throughout NBA history, teams with great players have still had mediocre overall records.

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/PHOTOFILE/AADL038~Pau-Gasol-NBA-Rookie-of-the-Year-Photofile-Posters.jpg
Pau Gasol, NBA rookie of the year, averaged at least 17 points per game in his career with the Memphis Grizzlies since 2001, yet the team achived less than 30 wins four times during that span. Of course, he is now with the Lakers and winning a lot more easily alongside Kobe.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2008/06/18/2008005299.jpg
Ray Allen, now an NBA champion with the Celtics, had his humble, losing career start in Milwaukee. His first few seasons, the team hovered in the 20s and 30s for wins. This was despite the fact that during those seasons, he had 17, 19 and rookie season drub of 13 ppg, respectively. Great player, losing team.

http://img2.blogcu.com/images/b/a/s/basketballlover/kevin.jpg
Now we come to the whorn (or do you have to be at UT for more than one season to be a whorn, lol?) Like the guys mentioned above, Durant played most of the games last season and had a high scoring average of about 20 ppg. He also got Rookie of the Year honors. Of course, you don't get another high draft pick by having a good season. 20 wins. That's like one win for every point Durant averages!

I've seen single players turn franchises around (Jason Kidd is good at that - see Mavs after he got drafted by them), but I think the first few games of the season will be very telling on how the rest of the season will go. The players, I think, are not happy about moving to OKC (Cue Clay tp say: "Boo hoo.") I am not sure how the move and other player transactions during the offseason (the Sonics had a LOT of draft picks) will effect team chemistry. All I know is - 20 wins. You need a change in the team with a record like that, so I'm eager to see what this season holds in store.

starclassic tama
9/25/2008, 12:43 PM
why do you think the players are not happy about the move?

the_ouskull
9/25/2008, 04:33 PM
I would hardly call Pau Gasol "great." Ray Allen has been on the cusp of "great" at times during his career, but it could be argued that he was the 4th best player on that roster last year, behind the obvious two and The Ultimate Merc.

Jason Kidd, while a borderline "great" player at one point, is far, far from it now, and, lest you forget, he split the ROY with Grant Hill that year, probably shouldn't have, and as a rookie played on a team with two established talents in Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson. Mashburn was hitting 24 points per game and chipping in 4 boards and 4 assists, and Jackson was averaging 25/5/4 before going down with an injury 50ish games into the year. Also, Popeye Jones led the league in offensive boards that year (easy to do with Kidd shooting) and Roy Tarpley hit for 13 ppg and about 8 boards per.

Yes, Kidd was good, but "great?" Even for a rookie, 11 points, 5 boards, and 8 dimes a game (plus 2 steals) is really good, but not "great" when you're shooting 38%, and 27% from the arc.

In fact, if he weren't such a good rebounder for his size, Kidd would merely be (and, in my opinion, still is) considered a "really good" player. The guy has never averaged 20 points in a season, has never shot over 43% in a season, and, for all of the hype about his passing, has only averaged 10 dimes in a season 3 times. (Although in fairness, after his rookie year, he's never averaged less than 8 in a season either...)

The fact is, once he stopped being a fearsome defender, he was just another overpaid guy who can't shoot a lick.

And that turnaround in 1994-1995 from 1993-1994 was the reason that the Kidd split the ROY with Grant Hill, 'cause Grant Hill was great. Kidd... Well, Quinn Buckner coached the Mavs in 1993-1994, so that should tell you just about all you need to know.

the_ouskull

starclassic tama
9/26/2008, 01:51 PM
why do you think the players are not happy about the move?

i'm still curious about this badger. did you just make it up and try to pass it off as fact?

badger
9/26/2008, 03:13 PM
i'm still curious about this badger. did you just make it up and try to pass it off as fact?

Sorry, just now getting around to reading this. I'm not blowing you off - I'm just finding football more interesting than basketball right now.

I didn't make up the fact that some Sonics were upset about moving. For nearly a month before the Sonics move, I was searching the news wire daily for developments in a thread I called "Sonicwatch" to try to figure out what was going on. This little gem really PO'd the Seattle fans:

Seattle P-I: Bennett to Sonics players: 'Boo hoo' (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/basketball/364678_arena27.html)

Bennett was told via e-mail that some players were upset about leaving Seattle by Oklahoma-based public relations consultant Brent Gooden. Clay responded via e-mail with the words "Boo hoo." Gooden responded back to "Boo hoo" with:


Great response. I would play wherever for half of the lowest paid player on the team.

I thought that was general knowledge, but then again, I realize that most people weren't following this case as much as I was a few months ago.

There's also opposing players to factor in, as the Sonics weren't the only ones playing basketball in Seattle, but with the 82 game schedule, ever team makes a stop in every town. Here's an example of player reaction there.

Seattle P-I: Shaq shares in fans' dismay (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/basketball/355735_moore20.html)


It's dumb, it's stupid. They should have to wait from the bottom like everyone else.... Seattle has tradition, the Space Needle, and there's water here. Oklahoma City's a college town. You're not going to have the TV market there... When I think of Seattle, I think of G.P., the Reign Man, Sikma, Lenny Wilkens... The Oklahoma City Sonics? When my son asks me about that, I'll say there's no such thing.

All players upset about the move and hate OKC? Of course not. Remember Chris Paul talking to Charles Barkley back when OKC had the Hornets? Well, I cannot find a Youtube of the interview, but many news sources cited that Paul encouraged Barkley to come to OKC and see for himself how nice it was, but kidded that Barkley was "too lazy" to carry through. Paul has said this about OKC:

Hornets official site: Paul interview in 2007 (http://www.nba.com/hornets/news/askcp_18apr2007.html)


I love it. Last year, when I went home to Winston-Salem after our season ended, the first night I went to sleep and woke up the next morning, it was almost like this NBA lifestyle was a whole other life. It was like it was a dream, and then I woke up in my bed at home... Iím from a smaller town and my family is all there. Iím used to living in a place where I see people every day who I know well. And Iím such a homebody. Iím very content just playing basketball, watching TV and spending time with my family.

Barkley later backtracked said OKC deserved the Hornets.

NewsOK: Barkley compliments Hornets, Oklahoma City (http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/395727/barkley_compliments_hornets_oklahoma_city/)


I've got to take my hat off to Oklahoma City. What they've done for that team has made it exciting and fun. For them to open their hearts up, sell out every game, for a team that everybody assumed they would have for only one year, is pretty good. I personally think they should stay there. No. 1, New Orleans wasn't supporting the team. And New Orleans is not ready for a professional sports franchise right and will not be anytime soon.

I know you don't like it when I post longer posts, star, but you seemed to be suggesting that I didn't have facts and articles to back up what I was saying, so I felt the need to cite everything. The truth, from multiple sources is that not all players were enthusiastic about the prospect of moving from Seattle to Oklahoma City. The truth is that some players and former players enjoyed Oklahoma City's atmosphere when the Hornets were here because of fan support and a smaller town feel. The truth is that along the same lines, some current and former players disliked Oklahoma City for the same reason.

Not everyone likes this move as far as players go, and that, star, is the truth, as I have shown and repeatedly cited above.

badger
9/26/2008, 03:16 PM
I would hardly call Pau Gasol "great." Ray Allen has been on the cusp of "great" at times during his career, but it could be argued that he was the 4th best player on that roster last year, behind the obvious two and The Ultimate Merc.

Skullman, Gasol is not solely a role player, but worthy of all-star nomination/selection, which is why I used the word "great." There are much better words to describe basketball players, like "legendary," so by no means am I giving Gasol Michael Jordan status. I just think he is an above-average player and a team leader, two qualities that make him great.

An All-Star player will not mean a good over team record though, which is what I was getting at. Team chemistry, fan support and other intangibles will also effect the winning.

the_ouskull
9/26/2008, 05:04 PM
Is Gasol being listed as a 5, which is what he's listed at, or a 4, which more accurately describes his game? As a 4, he doesn't sniff the All-Star team, in either conference. As a 5, he does, but that says as much about the lack of quality big men as it does his own play, IMHumbleO.

...and make no mistake about it. His experiences on the Spanish national team, under current Coach Reneses, and former coaches Miguel, Sainz, Imbroda, Lopez, and Hernandez have a great deal to do with his outlook on the game, and his style of play. I'm a Gasol fan. I just don't think that "great" is a label for which he's ready. That's all. It's a difference of opinion, not an argument.

STUPID! :D

And yes, a number of players across the league don't consider Oklahoma City a "pro town" simply because it's never had a "pro" team. It's a minor league / college town to them. (And for the record, it's a college town to them because of the successes of the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma State has NOTHING to do with that particular opinion.)

But also, consider the source... Shaq is a freaking moron. Until Kobe, and then D-Wade, the referee's darling, came along, his nickname to me was "Floor," not "Shaq." ("Floor" 'cause he kept getting swept out of the playoffs...)

the_ouskull

SoonerKnight
10/1/2008, 11:17 PM
maybe they can surprise everyone.

birddog
10/8/2008, 07:26 PM
i believe their preseason game is on ksbi cox 52 tonight.

SoonerTroll
10/8/2008, 09:49 PM
www.oklahomacitythunderforum.com

tommieharris91
10/8/2008, 11:22 PM
Is Gasol being listed as a 5, which is what he's listed at, or a 4, which more accurately describes his game? As a 4, he doesn't sniff the All-Star team, in either conference. As a 5, he does, but that says as much about the lack of quality big men as it does his own play, IMHumbleO.

...and make no mistake about it. His experiences on the Spanish national team, under current Coach Reneses, and former coaches Miguel, Sainz, Imbroda, Lopez, and Hernandez have a great deal to do with his outlook on the game, and his style of play. I'm a Gasol fan. I just don't think that "great" is a label for which he's ready. That's all. It's a difference of opinion, not an argument.

STUPID! :D

And yes, a number of players across the league don't consider Oklahoma City a "pro town" simply because it's never had a "pro" team. It's a minor league / college town to them. (And for the record, it's a college town to them because of the successes of the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma State has NOTHING to do with that particular opinion.)

But also, consider the source... Shaq is a freaking moron. Until Kobe, and then D-Wade, the referee's darling, came along, his nickname to me was "Floor," not "Shaq." ("Floor" 'cause he kept getting swept out of the playoffs...)

the_ouskull

Why did you taint all of your great posts in this thread by writing the words Oklahoma State?

starclassic tama
10/9/2008, 12:38 PM
that thunder board is a mess. how many different subforums do they have? there should be one forum.

the_ouskull
10/11/2008, 09:00 AM
Well, our resident "thinks he knows ball guy" (me) is obviously wrong about the Thunder. A noted analyst picked them to finish with a winning record, and, because of his status, we should all listen immediately.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3636731&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab7pos2

I have never felt more confident in my pre-preseason prediction.

the_ouskull

starclassic tama
4/17/2009, 01:41 AM
well the season is over and i predicted durant to jump from 20.3 to 25+ per game (he finished with 25.3) and the team to win 31. we fell short of my win total by 8, but since the beginning of the calendar year we have been playing better than most 31 win teams.

Collier11
4/20/2009, 10:17 AM
With the team as is we can win 30 next year, with a good draft or one solid pick up via free agency we could challenge for 40 wins but I still dont think we are ready for the playoffs.

For anyone who doesnt have a subscription, there was a really good and positive article about the Thunder in ESPN the mag last week. I will look for a link...

the_ouskull
4/29/2009, 05:48 PM
We ended the season on a much, much stronger note than we finished it... something that a lot of talented young teams with good home crowds will do. Our core group of players is not only talented, but also very young and inexperienced. Therefore, they're learning new things about the game every single day. Some vets, it just gets old hat to them. Hungry, TALENTED, young players, and often their teams, will improve exponentially.

But, sadly, even if every player on this roster hits their max potential as a player, together, and we get a monster coaching job out of Brooks, we're still a second-round out for years to come.

Yes, I LOVED the Krstic get. He and Sefolosha were great, great gets for us. A big body that can move and score down low, and at least contest the shot of opposing posts, and a defensive-minded, athletic wing who plays like his "give-a-sh*tter" has never been broken. I was there for his swat-from-behind of Kobe. LOVED it.

..but even if we throw out a lineup of:

1 - Westbrook
2 - Sefolosha
3 - Durant
4 - Green
5 - Krstic

..then we're still looking at a thin, inexperienced bench, nobody in our top seven players that is comfortable handling full-court pressure for more than a few trips up the court, and 2 1/2 good defensive players (Westbrook, Sefolosha, and Green) in the starting five. Also, Green can't continue to play entire seasons at the four weighing only 235 pounds.

Collison has maxed out as a player, and Watson will only decline from here on out. Green, on the other hand, may have a higher ceiling than anybody on the team; including Durant. If Westbrook can cut down on the turnovers, and get more comfortable running the offense, then we have a chance to be a solid, young team with a lot of athletes.

I forgot what else I was going to say, so I'm just going to bail here.

the_ouskull