OKC Thunder In the news: over-under advice, Brewer tests new team, playoff matchups

Corey Brewer, OKC Thunder(Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Corey Brewer, OKC Thunder(Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Win totals, 2019 playoffs and former OKC Thunder players are the focus of In the news for Thursday, September 6.

As the OKC Thunder inch closer to training camp pundits focus shifts to how teams will complete their squads and how they’ll perform in season as well as during the playoffs.

Metro bets the under on OKC win total:

When Vegas released their NBA win total over-under for the upcoming season they suggested the OKC Thunder would slightly improve to 50 wins this season. Last season the Thunder finished with a 48-34 record.

Writer Robert Criscola of Metro isn’t buying into the increased 2 game win total citing how the Thunder took time to mesh last season with Carmelo Anthony. Criscola surmises the squad will once again take time to come together and suggests taking the under.

"Oklahoma City plays in one of the league’s toughest divisions, with the Jazz, Nuggets Timberwolves and Trailblazers all expected to be competitive this year. Just as it took a long time for Westbrook, George and Anthony to develop chemistry (some would argue they never did) last year, it might happen again this year with Schroeder being added to the mix. A 50-win season, which would be a two-game improvement over last year, seems far too optimistic."

While there is precedent to take Criscola advice especially his point about the Northwest being the toughest division. I’m not sure the Dennis Schroder addition will be the issue other than if he plays in clutch time. More relevant might be the absence of Andre Roberson until December and the numerous youngsters on the squad.

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That said, there is an equal argument to be made for taking the over. Already a solid defensive squad this iteration of the thunder roster seems better suited to improve defensively.

Consider how successful the Spurs and Jazz have been by relying on top tier defenses the past few seasons. For that very reason it stands to reason the OKC Thunder could thrive.

Moreover, with one of the poorest performing benches the past few seasons this OKC group should take a massive step up. Injection of youth and talents like Dennis Schroder and Nerlens Noel provides Donovan with the deepest reserve unit he’s had during his tenure.

Corey Brewer in mix with Wolves:

Two articles from our sister site Dunking with Wolves offers some ties to the OKC Thunder. In the first the Minnesota Timberwolves fan site advises Corey Brewer is among three veterans the Wolves are working out to join the 2018-19 squad. The other two vets in the mix are Arron Afflalo and Nick Young.

Editor Ben Beecken examines the fit of the trio and which fits the Wolves squad the best. I won’t give the ending away, you’ll have to visit the article to discover who Beecken is most impressed by.

"TimberBulls jokes are finally getting old, but it’s hard to fault folks for thinking that things will end up with a lineup that looks more like the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals Bulls squad than any team that should be taking the floor in 2018. …. All that said, Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden are reportedly at least considering some fairly recognizable names."

Dunking with Wolves predict playoff matchups:

The second article examines a hypothetical situation of the Western Conference. In the series Dunking With Wolves predicts where teams will finish using last season’s win-loss totals and subsequent who the Wolves would line up with in the first round. In this portion of their series writer Trey Flynn dove into the OKC Thunder versus Wolves matchup.

"While the Thunder disappointed by losing to the Utah Jazz last postseason, a lot of it was an unhealthy PG13 who was infamously inconsistent when being defended by Joe Ingles and the defensive monster and Defensive MVP of the league in Rudy Gobert stopping Westbrook at the rim almost every transition play."

Like many on the TI writing team Flynn notes Paul George’s myriad of late season injuries playing a role in OKC’s early season playoff exit. And the fact Andre Roberson was out of the lineup for three out of four contests last season. And, hey there is that illegal Karl-Anthony Towns screen to recall — right? I joke, but don’t think Russell Westbrook won’t have remind his squad of that this season.

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That wraps up the OKC Thunder In the news for Thursday, September 6th. Enjoy your day and see you back here tomorrow.