OKC Thunder in the news examines Gallinari’s bid for a team effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, Westbrook’s small ball success and SGA’s tik tok dancing.
With the coronavirus forcing the NBA into suspension and affecting everyone worldwide, life is taking on a new reality. OKC Thunder players and their peers who typically have dedicated schedules and itineraries are finding new ways to fill their days.
In the news features one of the most knowledgeable NBA players on the matter Danilo Gallinari speaking out to help others while teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is finding amusing ways to entertain himself and his fans.
Gallinari spreads awareness and experience of homeland:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world, Italy the homeland of OKC Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari remains the second worst hit country behind China.
Gallo is keeping in contact with his family and friends in Italy who are being quarantined. He spoke with Marc Stein for the New York Times about the devastation his country is facing. Stein explains the magnitude of the diseases’ effect below:
Since March 9, before the N.B.A. and so many other U.S. sporting institutions shuttered, Italy officially went on lockdown as a country. Two days after sweeping travel restrictions were announced, restaurants, offices and shops were forced to close, with the exception of pharmacies, food stores and newsstands. Getting permission to go anywhere else in Italy requires a government-issued certificate that must be presented to police officers monitoring the streets.
Gallinari emphasizes that people in the United States should stay at home and make sure they are doing everything they can to stay healthy and safe and not waiting until it is too late.
The sharpshooter is using his platform to bring awareness of the disease and how we can all help to stop the spread of it no matter where we are across the globe.
Gallo shows that its truly more than just basketball and that if this season has proven anything, it’s that the players will always stick together. They will do their part to make sure that everything and everyone is great off the court as Gallinari explains:
I want to get back on the court, of course, for many reasons,” Gallinari said. “But right now this is not a simple and easy situation to solve. This is bigger than basketball, bigger than anything. It’s a worldwide problem. So I do want to play basketball, but at the same time I want to know everybody is safe.
Westbrook small ball success:
TI’s Tamberlyn Richardson put together an in-depth piece on how former OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, has benefited from the Houston Rockets’ small ball system.
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She points out that Westbrook’s efficiency has increased, he has more space to create his own plays and motor his way to the rim. Which highlights everything that the Brodie does best.
The numbers clearly show how much Westbrook is benefiting from the shift to the small ball system. The point guard’s overall production features core stats of 31.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists. Of note, his assists take a drop but that’s a natural shift given the open lanes he now has to drive the ball directly to the basket.
The biggest change is his shooting efficiencies. The number of shots falls in between the two tiers above with 23.8 attempts but his accuracy vaults to 54.6 percent. Likewise, he’s reduced his 3-point attempts to 2.4 per game and lo and behold he’s connecting above the league average (38.5 percent).
I agree with Tamberlyn that more than not the Rockets’ implementing of small ball has allowed Westbrook to play more of his own game. There are no restrictions with all the space on the floor. He doesn’t have to force his shot and now we see even more of his explosive, furious and jaw-dropping game which is good for any basketball fan.
OKC Thunder’s SGA is now on tik tok:
Players around the NBA are finding different things to do during the hiatus. Many are playing video games, searching up YouTube videos of themselves playing or like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander doing tik tok.
It looks like Darius Bazley’s pleasure in tik tok has rubbed off on SGA. The pair did one together over the weekend and SGA posted one on Sunday of him bringing back the Dougie dance move.
Not only can he shake and bake, go coast to coast, pass and shoot. The guy can dance too. If you’re on tik tok be sure to give him a follow. He’ll be dancing his way through the break with the videos we love and didn’t know we needed.
That wraps up ‘in the news’ for Monday, March 16th. For all updates, insight, and opinion be sure to check back with Thunderous Intentions as we’ve got you covered.