Conversations With The Enemy: Milwaukee


Conversations With The Enemy is a new Q and A series at Thunderous Intentions where the opposing team’s blog for any given night will ask TI writers questions about the Thunder, the matchup and more!

So read and enjoy!

Tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks brings Joe Dexter, the co-editor of Behind the Buck, to the Thunderdome.

Q: Is there any positive to the Durant and Westbrook injuries?
Yes, I would say there are several positives to the Durant and Westbrook injuries: Increased confidence for Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Andre Roberson (even with Jones and Roberson hurt), a more solidified offensive game for Jackson and overall just creating a great team mentality where every player is important. It’s also forced Scott Brooks to become a better coach as far as rotations and timeouts go. But both stars are still out and it will be an extremely steep hill to the playoffs until both return.

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  • Q: Some basketball fans seem to forget that the Thunder are actually a small market team that have built most of their roster through the draft. Could you see Milwaukee being as talented of an organization as the Thunder down the road?

    Many fans and sports analysts alike like to mention the “Thunder Model” when referring to young teams who have been built through the draft.What many fail to mention is that much of the Thunder’s success has come through shrewd front office work and a sprinkling of luck. Players such as Russell and Kevin don’t come around very often and acquiring both involved a good helping of luck.

    As for the rest of the equation, Sam Presti is arguably the best GM in the league. People might knock him for the Harden trade, but his selection of Serge Ibaka at 24 in the first round in 2008 as well as his trades that have built this young talented group around the two stars have been pure genius (including the Harden trade that brought both Lamb and Adams to the Thunder.  The Bucks following this “model” will involve both hard and smart work from John Hammond along with the hope that young players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Brandon Knight will develop into stars, or at least the players Milwaukee needs them to be.

    Q: Is this the year that Serge Ibaka wins Defensive Player of the Year? How much is his talent overshadowed by
    the two stars in OKC? 

    I would say that Serge Ibaka is not overshadowed whatsoever by the other two stars. He is the Thunder’s defensive star and his offense has taken great leaps. As far as defensive player of the year, I think Ibaka’s focus on expanding his offensive game and his movement will keep him from that moniker, at least for this year.

    More from Thunder News

    Q: With Kendrick Perkins’ contract expiring, do you think Mitch McGary and Steven Adams can be suitable big men in the OKC system?

    Adams and McGary are the frontcourt of the future for the Thunder for sure, but don’t count Perkins out just yet. He might not be back with $9 million contract next year, but with his weight loss and his stellar play, relative to how he has played, should keep him around for the next few years. However, Adams and McGary have the tenacity and athleticism to make an amazing frontcourt combination.

    Q: The big question everyone want’s answered is : Will the Thunder make the playoffs in the Western Conference if Durant and Westbrook are out until the middle of December?

    The month of November will go far in determining the Thunder’s fate this season. Their schedule for November has them playing against only four playoff teams from last year. Don’t get me wrong, it will be a struggle for the Thunder. But OKC looks to have Jones, Roberson and Anthony Morrow return in November. So it will all be up to how much effort the Thunder want to put towards this season.Q:Is Reggie Jackson the next star for the Thunder?I am very hesitant to name Jackson as the next Thunder star. His offensive game is out of this world some games, and then completely absent in others. Consistency will be the key word for Reggie this season. The Thunder will need him to be consistently solid this season if they want a chance at the playoffs.

    Q: There are always a lot of rumblings from fans around the league about Scott Brooks and how he manages the game.  Is he the right fit to lead OKC?

    If you had asked me about Scott Brooks at the beginning of the season, I would have told you that the Thunder might need to re-evaluate their dedication to Brooks as the coach of the future. With this string of injuries, however, Brooks has shown a part of himself that he has not used while at the head of the Thunder team. With solid rotations and a increasingly sharp mind for timeouts, Brooks has shown that he can make the moves necessary to put his team in a position to win every game. It remains to be seen if he can do the same when fully healthy and if he can resist the urge to overplay his stars.