OKC Thunder In the news for December 22 features topical news on your favorite players and team.
Inexplicably the OKC Thunder while still figuring out their cohesion have moved up to sixth place in a virtual tie for fifth with the Blazers. Both squads are in action this evening, so a loss by the Blazers coupled with a win by OKC over the Hawks would move the Thunder up to sole possession of fifth.
Ironically, the team currently seeded fourth is are the Timberwolves, who, if you recall won the opening game of the season series on a missed call. Looking ahead it will be very interesting if Minnesota finishes ahead of OKC by one point.
Recalling that game, it was Carmelo Anthony who hit what many thought was the game winning shot. Diving into today’s column the topical stories feature Anthony inadvertently outing LeBron James pending free agency plans, Paul George’s arm tightness and Russell Westbrook thoughts on PG13’s dunk.
With that, let’s get to In the news
Carmelo Anthony inadvertently outs LeBron James is already considering plans to leave Cleveland:
Last night the Cavaliers stopped the red hot Bulls seven game win streak. Pregame a mic’d up LeBron could be heard asking people who had candy for his daughter. Well, the King may not be in the mood to dispense much candy Melo’s way any time soon.
ESPN writer Ian Begley wrote a must read on the car wreck of the Jackson – Melo dynamic at the Mecca. Notably Begley offered what will surely set off the new narrative of LeBron James already definitively leaning toward leaving Cleveland again.
He’d been talking to friends about teaming up with Chris Paul and, eventually, LeBron James in Houston and how the Rockets could match up with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. He went as far as to detail individual matchups between that hypothetical Rockets team and the Warriors, surmising that he and the Rockets could take out the Warriors.
When Anthony spoke to SiriusXM radio outing the Houston deal was in place, but fell through he inadvertently opened the door for Begley’s article. The latter eludes to the fact the trio even discussed how they would match up versus the Warriors.
Writing on wall for James, Anthony to make banana splits in Houston summer 2018?
Presumably this Rockets alignment could still come to fruition since both Anthony and James will be free agents this summer. Since Begley offers the trio discussed how the banana boat crew and Harden/Capela would match up versus the Warriors we’re left to presume these were serious conversations.
Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time LeBron James set up his new team and roster prior to joining them. Case in point – the Miami Big 3 and the Kevin Love trade which Kyrie Irving confirmed he knew about long before it occurred.
Can you picture D’Antoni fast pace with this crew?
Before moving on from this article, let’s just consider this proposed lineup. Naturally, LeBron James will want to be the primary playmaker. So, in this scenario Paul, Anthony and Harden all become catch and shoot three point specialists with Clint Capela patrolling the paint? Hmmm – I’m not sure how feasible or even realistic this system would be.
Can you imagine Paul and Harden giving up a large portion of their ball handling and play making on top of what they’re already doing? Moreover, after witnessing Anthony in 31 games with OKC can you envision a version of him where he doesn’t dribble the air out of the ball?
Certainly I could be wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time), but whenever I think of CP3 running with pace my mind always centers on the facts. To wit, last season the Clippers ran the 17th ranked pace (98..22) and the D’Antoni Rockets ran the third ranked pace (102.54). This season the Rockets have dropped to eighth (101.53). Add Melo to that scenario and I’m not sure it’s feasible to consider the pace wouldn’t drop even further.
‘Dribble, dribble, dribble’ Big Baby Shade:
Although it’s an interview from June 2016 it’s fair to say Chris Paul probably doesn’t have Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis on his Christmas list. Go to 5:00 mark of the video below to catch Davis throwing “dribble, dribble, dribble” shade at CP3.
Speaking of shade apparently
Shaq should send PG13 some icy hot:
Paul George let reporters know his shot has been off because he’s been dealing with shoulder tightness all season. Though PG13 says there is no pain or specific ailment it is a little disconcerting to hear of this 30 games into the season:
Perhaps the big man (Shaq) should send PG13 some Icy Hot. Then again, Shaq didn’t seem to be in the giving mood last night as he wrapped up items from the NBA studio as gifts for his fellow TNT hosts.
George also noted he had to lose weight this season just to run at what he calls ‘Russ pace’
PG was also told of Westbrook’s response (jokingly) that it was about time he dunked. PG noted Russ has been on him all season to do more of that.
Match versus Hawks could have far reaching affects:
Heading into the game tonight make sure to check out Lawrence George’s game day analysis.
The OKC Thunder are rolling. After dismantling an undermanned Utah Jazz outfit 107-79 last time out, the Thunder’s confidence appears to be soaring. Russell Westbrook was at his wonderful best, pacing the Thunder with 24 points (8-11 FG, 4-4 FT), 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals in 27 minutes.
Russ was engaged right from the get-go, disrupting Utah’s offense and playing the passing lanes which resulted in a season high four steals.
That wraps up in the news for December 22. Make sure to check in with Thunderous Intentions daily as our talented team of scribes keeps you up to date and your favorite team and players.