Preseason is almost coming to a close for most teams and the excitement of the regular season is in the air. This is going to be a fun and intriguing season for the Thunder. But until then, here are some links for you to read with your morning coffee.
Royce Young at Daily Thunder writes that Jeremy Lamb really showed us something against an elite defense last night:
I don’t think it was any coincidence that Lamb’s good game came after he scored a couple of easy ones early. That seems to have been the common theme in his rough shooting nights so far, that he’s started 1-3 or 1-4 every game, with the shot attempts mostly being forced jumpers or highly contested runners in the lane. Tonight, he saw the ball go through the hoop early, got a little rhythm, got a little confidence and got into the flow.
Darnell Mayberry at The Oklahoman writes that the loss in the Thunder's final exhibition is really an afterthought. There are plenty of things to take away from it, most notably how Bulls players can give the Thunder advice on learning to play without their superstar:
"They just have to figure out their sweet spots, try to get easy buckets...Go to whoever is hot. We always went with whoever was hot. Whatever play worked we ran it probably five times or more than that. We just tried to get buckets, rebound the ball and play strong defense. That was one of the main things that held us down all year."- Taj Gibson
Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney got together and predicted their picks for All-NBA teams at the end of the season and they selected Kevin Durant to finish on the first-team All-NBA.
The Thunder's 25-year-old forward appears eager to get back on the court following a summer that began earlier than expected. Time flies, and Durant is already entering his seventh season, having spent the last four years steadily climbing from "great scorer" to "elite player" to "the best on the planet not named LeBron James." Although he used the "James Harden vs. Dwyane Wade" debate as his foil, Durant's "pass the torch" message is really just an extension of his earlier "I'm sick of second" declaration: He's more than ready to live in an NBA world that isn't quite so Heat-centric. Without Russell Westbrook to start the season, Durant will get to flex his leadership and shooting muscles early on. Would that showcase period plus, say, a No. 1 seed in the Western Conference be enough to finally get Durant over the LBJ hump when it comes to the MVP voting?
If you like bold predictions, Jalen Rose is your type of guy. Rose predicted that Kevin Durant will leave Oklahoma City and sign with the Houston Rockets in 2016, during Grantland's season preview. He also had Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love teaming up out in the west coast.
Check out the entire video HERE
If the Thunder make their way back to the NBA finals, they'll be part of a new format. The league unanimously voted on changing the finals format from a 2-3-2 scenario back to the original 2-2-1-1-1 format and I love it. I think the three straight home games put an immense pressure on the home court team to win the first two games because if not, they could get closed out before even making it back home. OKC saw that first hand against the Miami Heat.
NBA Deputy Commisioner Adam Silver had this to say.
There certainly was a perception ... it was unfair to the team that had the better record, that it was then playing the pivotal Game 5 on the road. So this obviously moves that game back to giving home-court advantage to the team with the better record if it's a 2-2 series
Also, if you enjoy heartwarming stories, you'll enjoy Greg Oden playing last night in his first game of any kind since 2009. Not only that, but Oden dunked the ball the first time he touched the ball. If Oden can get back to a shadow of what he once was (you know, that guy who got picked before Durant) then the Heat will be even scarier than what they already are.
LeBron James knows the significance of what having a healthy "G.O." would do for that team.
Man I'm so happy for GO tonight! Couldn't imagine being away from the game for 3 years. Feel like a proud big brother! Determination wins— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 24, 2013
Courtesy Daily Thunder, KD doing the nasty:
Lastly, Durant and Adams help make a little man with a rare form of brain cancer have one of his dreams fulfilled.