Tag Archives: Oklahoma City Thunder

Can Carmelo Anthony rebuild in OKC? 

It just did not work in New York. Fun while it lasted I guess. Flashes of Kristaps Porzingis being great in the future, (Jeremy Lin) Lin-sanity, brief appearances in the playoffs after a long drought, but I think even Carmelo Anthony would admit this is not the legacy he wanted to leave in New York. I for one am excited on what is to come for “hoodie Melo”. He’s definitely has got some bulletin board material to motivate the next chapter of his career.

Last season Carmelo and other NBA stars see LeBron James went back and forth with then Knicks president Phil Jackson. Jackson at one point even saying Melo should probably continue elsewhere. The Knicks again had a terrible season in which they missed the playoffs and Carmelo had one of the worst statistical seasons of his career. Melo had one of the lowest outputs ever offensively which had some fans of the NBA questioning his value since scoring is his best attribute and felt he never expanded his game to involving his teammates and playing defense. He was also blatantly not on the Knicks radar for building for the future. Then ESPN drops its players ranking where he’s disrespectfully listed as the 64th best player in the NBA just behind rookie Lonzo Ball who hasn’t played a game yet and I’m a Laker fan but be serious. Have you seen the footage of him giving all the stars in the league work this summer all while wearing a hoodie?

Fast forward to this summer post Phil Jackson being fired and we see a whirlwind of trades happening throughout the NBA. Paul George setting up shop in Oklahoma, Chris Paul joining Harden in Houston and Jimmy Buckets (Butler) taking his talents to Minnesota. Stars all around the league changing the dynamic powers of the NBA. All except the one we thought would for sure be traded. Yesterday news broke that Carmelo added teams to a list he would accept a trade to. Last week we received confirmation he’ll be heading to Oklahoma to join Russell Westbrook and George creating another super team if those exist (see Cavs, Warriors finals back and forth lol). Let the fireworks begin.

Video: Russell Westbrook puts DeMarcus Cousins’ on a poster

While everybody is worrying about if Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talked during All-Star Weekend, Westbrook has still been playing some great basketball. The walking triple double sought out his latest victim in the great DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins. Westbrook brought the thunder (no pun intended) to Cousins, Sunday evening on his way to another triple double.

Check out the play if you haven’t seen it.

The decision LeBron made has created a clearer path for Kevin

I haven’t pinned much on the NBA lately, being busy with my Scout duties, #GoBearcats. I’ve seen a few things I wanted to talk about, but didn’t have the time to do good research to jot down my thoughts in an educated manner. Well today I felt like putting my two cents in on the Kevin Durant sweepstakes situation.

First to get what Kevin Durant is going through we need to rewind back to win LeBron James was a free agent back in 2010. I’ll never forget where I was at when LeBron took his talents to South Beach, I was visiting my auntie Karen in San Diego planning how I was going to propose to the love of my life. July 8, 2010 will never be forgotten by me for numerous reasons, for one it’s my wife’s birthday, it the decision date and it was the day I got engaged.

Now that I’m done with my backstory, Durant’s situation is a lot different from James’ situation in 2010 mainly because James was an adopted Cleveland kid, Akron is damn near like a Cleveland suburb no matter how you cut it, so his ties to the Cavs run deep at least to a fan and geographical aspect. For Durant he doesn’t have that tie to the Thunder, but it is a mid-market team like the Cavs. He also has Russell Westbrook who is a free agent after the 2016-17 season also and they have an organization that has done a better job at getting players around KD than the Cavs did with LBJ the first time around. Durant is a Maryland kid and thoughts were that the Wizards were trying to make a push, but that seems to be a pipe dream for Wiz fans.

The U.S. men's Olympic basketball team player Kevin Durant speaks to reporters during a news conference Monday, June 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team player Kevin Durant speaks to reporters during a news conference Monday, June 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

From the outside looking in it seems that the Warriors are major players, Spurs and of course the Thunder. I feel like the Thunder have the upper hand, with the recent trade for Victor Oladipo it makes them even more potent, but if KD knows Westbrook is leaving after the season is up then you have to think why not join the Warriors who have Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry locked up for years to come.

If Durant leaves will there be backlash? Yes, but it won’t be the same level experienced by James in 2010 so with that being said KD needs to call Bron in say thanks. No matter his decision I don’t think jerseys will be burned in OKC, but only time will tell what KD will do.

Finally, The NBA Playoffs Can Officially Begin

Finally we have big money on the line. No disrespect to the other teams who participated in the first couple rounds of the NBA playoffs, but we are about where we thought we would be when the season began. Four teams now remain, in the eastern conference we have the number one seed Cleveland vs. Toronto and in the western conference we have number one seed Golden State vs. Oklahoma.

The two best teams in the East and two of the top 3 out West as Oklahoma shocked many beating the San Antonio Spurs in six games. Oklahoma has been a contender for years, so it’s not crazy that a team with two top 5 players advanced to the conference finals.
Kyle Lowry has had an amazing season and DeRozan has taken his game to another level as well, but barring anything drastic like an injury the Cavs will have them seeing views of the six rather quickly. Of course I was going to work a Drake reference in there. Cleveland is undefeated so far in this years playoffs as LeBron is in self proclaimed “Zero dark thirty 23 activated” mode and they look like what we all thought the big 3 in Cleveland could be. If Toronto wins one game in this series it would come as a big surprise.
The real drama is going to take place some miles away from the north and Midwest out in California and Oklahoma. Three of the top 5 basketball players in the world will face off as back to back (Drake voice) MVP Steph Curry leads statistically the best regular season team ever vs. triple double threat Russell Westbrook and former MVP Kevin Durant.

The Warriors dominated all season going a record 73-9 while the Thunder at 55-27 were very good but struggled to close out teams in the fourth quarter. All of that means nothing now. We finally have Westbrook head to head with Curry.

Point guard 1a vs. 1b you pick the order. This has the potential to be one of the most exciting series in the history of the league. Don’t touch that dial.

Watch: OKC’s Steven Adams put back is a little too late

The beat up Dallas Mavericks shocked the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night 85-84 in OKC behind a double double from Ray Felton. Yeah, that isn’t a typo Ray Felton played like he was at North Carolina on Monday (lol). After getting a huge train ran on them on Saturday the Mavs bounced back to knot the series up at one a piece.

The Thunder had three chances to win and the third one went in by Steven Adams, but it was a fraction to late. If you follow me and my writing on Bearcat Insider you know I’ve seen a similar play within the last thirty days or so.

Don’t Forget to Pay Attention to Russell Westbrook

Stephen Curry is hitting half court shots off glass and Golden state is in rare form. Lebron and Kevin Love have Cleveland at the top of the east and Andre Drummond is grabbing every rebound on planet earth. With respect to all of those things have you seen what Mr. Westbrook is doing in Oklahoma? For some time I’ve heard critics say that Durant was the top dog on their team and that Russell’s play would at times hold the Thunder back. Are you absolutely sure Kevin Durant is the best player on their team?

Currently out again with an injury Kevin is posting a crazy 28ppg 7rebs and 3ast per game. Safe to say he is back. Russell Westbrook is averaging 25ppg a league leading 11ast and 9rebs. It was one thing to see him average a triple double the second half of last season with Kevin Durant out. He literally had to do it all because no other fire power was available for OKC. This season the Thunder have maybe the most talented team on paper in the NBA. They have a bench and a scoring threat down low in Enes Kanter, a healthy handyman in Serge Ibaka, and the usual suspects in Durant and Westbrook.

They fired Scotty Brooks and brought in Billy Donovan and his success remains to be seen.
The biggest difference in what I have seen in this early season is that Westbrook is now controlling with much more than his scoring. Donovan recently said he can dominate a game without taking a shot. He’s taking the other teams point guard out of the game defensively, grabbing more boards than your center and setting up his teammates! He’s finally being a traditional one like the critics have always said he isn’t. What exactly can be nitpicked about now? Maybe it’s time for us to reconsider who the top dog in OKC is? Pay attention.

Is Russell Westbrook a Legit MVP Candidate?

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been surging as of late as they are 9-1 in their last ten games. With them being out of playoff contention for most of the season, they are sitting comfortable in the 8th spot in the Western Conference seeding. Everyone knew that the Thunder would make a run for a playoff spot despite Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook being out due to injury at the beginning of the season. Now that one of two are healthy the Thunder are back in contention to make some noise in the playoffs.

It’s pretty safe to say that the reason for the improvement of the Thunder hinges on the play of Russell Westbrook.  For the season, Westbrook is averaging 26 ppg to go along with 8.0 apg and 6.5 rpg. Westbrook is putting up his normal numbers, but the way he has been doing it has been magnificent. In the month of February the Thunder are 10-1, and Westbrook is averaging 29.5ppg, 10.1 apg, and 8.2 rpg and will likely walk away as the Western Conference Player of the Month.

Without the strong play from Westbrook it’s safe to say that the Thunder would be on the outside of the playoff picture. Unlike the other MVP candidates such as Steph Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James, Westbrook has only played 43 games out of 57 games. Westbrook may have missed more games than the aforementioned names, but he should be in the discussion for the MVP award.

In the 14 games that Westbrook sat out, the Thunder were an abysmal 4-10. During that time Westbrook and KD were out, but with Durant battling injuries all season, Westbrook has been able to will the Thunder to a playoff berth.

Westbrook may be an enigma to some, but he is just a basketball player that is passionate about winning at all cost. Some say he’s cocky, but so what if he is. After winning the NBA All-Star game MVP, his confidence level is even higher, and he knows that he is one of the best players in the NBA. An already confident Russell Westbrook is already problem, but with a new found assurance it makes him even scarier.

Russell Westbrook may not walk away with the MVP award this season, but he should definitely be in the conversation.  After seeing Kevin Durant win the award he knows that he is more than capable of bringing the award home. Will Russell Westbrook be named this year’s MVP? As of now that answer is unknown, but one thing for certain is that he deserves to be considered for the award, regardless of how many games has missed.

Is Reggie Jackson Out of Line For His Trade Demands?

Rumors have been heating up as the NBA trade deadline gets closer. Year after year teams make moves that put them in position to make a playoff run or they dump contracts in attempt to prepare for free agency or the NBA Draft. With that said, Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder has recently demanded a trade to the Thunder front office.

Players normally demand trades when they are in a toxic playing environment or if they don’t receive the playing time that they think they deserve. In Jackson’s case it’s a little odd, because he has been a key cog for the Thunder since the departure of James Harden three seasons ago. It may be frustrating that GM Sam Presti hasn’t committed to Jackson and refused to offer him a contract, but Jackson has to realize that this is a business.

Despite having a solid season averaging 12.4 ppg to go along with 4.2 apg things have changed as of late for Jackson. Since the arrival of Dion Waiters, Jackson’s role has diminished, and he has had a drop in production. I honestly feel that Jackson can still flourish in his role off the bench, because as a team the Thunder only have a few people that can score outside of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

After starting off slow, the Thunder are gaining ground on a playoff position. Whether the Thunder gets in as a seventh or eighth seed they will have a great chance to play spoiler in the Western Conference. If I am Jackson I cherish this last season as a member of the Thunder, and wait to cash in during free agency. Reggie Jackson has the luxury to play alongside two All-NBA performers and possibly having a chance to compete for a title, but he’s is irate and wants out of town.

Maybe Reggie Jackson is forgetting that he is Reggie Jackson, but I think he needs to pump the breaks. It’s okay to be frustrated about the contract issues, but in five months that will no longer be an issue. The NBA is a point guard league, so Jackson has a case to get a hefty contract even if his play doesn’t match up to the dollar amount. I believe that if Continue reading Is Reggie Jackson Out of Line For His Trade Demands?