WTLC Daily Loud Links: October 30, 2013

US PRESSWIRE

The Thunder get things going tonight in Utah. Finally.

We have finally reached the beginning of the Thunder's season. Many question marks loom, but we can be sure that we still get to watch one of the best players on the planet do his thing. There is never a dull moment.

***

Charles Barkley is high on Steven Adams. I'm glad that he's noticing what it means for OKC's chances.

"Let me tell you something, the big Australian kid, I forget his name right now..." Barkley blurted out on TNT's season preview show Tuesday night, clearly referring to OKC's 7-foot New Zealander.

"Adams, Steven Adams," Barkley repeated after some help. "(The Thunder) need a big guy who can score. I think Adams is going to have a terrific rookie year. I said Oklahoma City's only weakness is down low, they don't get easy baskets. You have to beat up the Miami Heat. If Adams does a good job and Russell (Westbrook) comes back, there are four legit teams in the West (including the Thunder)."

Jeff Van Gundy picks the Rockets to...win the championship? Come on Jeff Van Gundy, I thought we were friends. Or at least I thought you and Russell Westbrook were friends.

The Thunder had 3 efficient scorers last season. John Shuhmann wonders if you can guess who.

OKC has expanded its TV viewership by 65% this year.

Last season Thunder telecasts reached about 2.3 million homes, which included Little Rock and Fort Smith, Ark., said Dan Mahoney, Thunder vice president of corporate communications and community relations. The team's new five-state TV region of Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska will reach about 3.8 million homes. The team needed league approval for the expansion.

Last night the Heat continued where they left off, by dominating Derrick Rose and the BullsThis particular play, highlighted by Rob Mahoney, was particularly nasty, done to a former MVP and a man who has been waiting to get back at the Heat for a very long time.

Wait a second...the Lakers have a bench? How did this team go from having no bench and no athleticism a year ago having both against the prohibitive favorites in the West? Steve Perrin would like to know.

Ethan Strauss has some good observations about how James Harden has evolved as a player. In fact, he has evolved very little at all, but instead his production has scaled properly with his minutes. Compared to his fellow lefty Manu Ginobili:

I actually suspect that Harden will receive more renown than Manu ever did while never being quite as good as Manu was. This is amusing to consider when, just a year ago, Harden was being chided for ignoring legacy considerations. The framing was that, by leaving a contender, the league's best sixth man was consigning himself to a kind of ringless obscurity.

The Bosh-Bomb is back. Yeah, he's a weirdo, but he's the fun kind of weirdo.

***

Bring on the Jazz!

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