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Daily Rumbles: Oklahoma City Thunder trending in right direction.

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Defense! Defense! Defense!

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Good day Thunder Nation!!

Though it feels more like 2 12 games, the Thunder are enjoying their first 3 game winning streak of the season. Apparently the early warnings from the Thunder’s camp about meshing three dynamic All-Stars taking time were spot on, but the wait is becoming as tedious as a long game of Clue or a mystery novel with too many chapters. PLEASE!! Who killed Professor Plum with the candlestick in the library already!?!

RECENT RUMBLINGS

Steven Adams misses 3rd straight game with calf injury.

According to Rotoworld, Steven Adams is improving, but his status for the Thunder’s first big test of the season on the road against the Spurs is still questionable.

This will be Adams' third straight game on the sidelines, but he was reportedly moving around well at shoot-around, so maybe he'll be able to get back out there for Friday's game in San Antonio. Dakari Johnson will earn another start tonight sans Adams and Jerami Grant should see an uptick in minutes. Nov 15 - 6:30 PM

Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

Thunder Game Notes list Adam’s status as “OUT” for Friday’s game.

Adams has enjoyed a great start at both ends of the floor this season and as any Thunder fan will tell you, they don’t come much tougher than the Funaki, if he is out, he is hurting.

The good news is the big Kiwi is up and moving well and in his absence the Thunder discovered that Dakari Johnson isn’t just another pretty face....

NBA: Preseason-Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

... the ex-Kentucky Wildcat has skills. It will be interesting watching how he adjusts as teams get more and more film on him, but his big body was just what the doctor ordered during Adam’s absence.

Pity the Rim!!

Russell Westbrook is clearly doing everything in his power to merge his new teammates into his world. Truthfully, and this is coming from me, the biggest Russ homer on the planet, the results have been hit and miss.

For this thing to work, Russ has to be Russ and we got a glimpse that may be happening in the first half against the Bulls:

EXPLOSIVE. Russ scores 17 in the 2nd quarter.

A post shared by Oklahoma City Thunder (@okcthunder) on

Few players exert the gravitational pull that Westbrook does on opposing defenses.

Four Bull players pulled into the paint. That leaves one lone cowboy to cover the rest of the floor. I think that is what they call.... space.

But it’s not just attacking the rim that makes Russ.... well.... Russ. Where oh where did the “cotton shot” go? Spectacular slam dunks will get you on ESPN Russ, but the cotton shot is what will put that NBA championship ring on your finger.

Call the Law, I’ve been robbed!!!

The Thunder are the number one team on the NBA’s larceny list.

Paul George tops the league with 33 steals while his partner in crime, Russell Westbrook, sits just two spots behind with 28 pinches of his own. As a whole, the Thunder are tops in the NBA averaging 10.4 steals while generating 19.0 opponent turnovers per game and sporting the second most efficient defense in the league.

Jerami Grant’s star is Rising

Dakari Johnson is not the only Thunder player getting positive reviews while picking up the slack in Adam’s absence. Jerami Grant, an early season trade acquisition for the Thunder last year, is getting his share of love from not only his teammates and coach, but from the national media as well:

In the last 3 games, Grant has averaged 10.3 pts and 7 rebounds per game, while accumulating 3 blocks, 2 steals, 5 assists and his first double-double in a Thunder uniform Wednesday night for good measure.

SI’s Thunderous Intentions’ Tony Heim gave Grant’s performance against the Bulls an A+ and added these comments:

It’s time I proclaim it for the world to see: Jerami Grant is ready to take over Andre Roberson’s spot in the starting lineup. Grant recorded his first double-double of the season (and his Thunder career), finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds. You love seeing him go 5/6 from the free throw line, but the real improvement is Grant’s defensive IQ. The once fake-friendly defender is bringing in the reigns, staying on his feet and waiting for his opponent to make the first move. I could go on and on about this. Don’t be surprised if you see a full article soon.

Perhaps someone should point out to Mr. Heim that Jerami and Robes play different positions before that full article comes out, but it’s nice to see Grant trending in the right direction. The new defensive scheme seems to suit him and Jerami is playing with more and more confidence with each passing game, however, much bigger tests lay ahead.

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Sounds of Thunder isn’t dead, just trying something new. I hope you enjoy it.
RK