Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET

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Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#1 » by ducler » Tue Mar 3, 2020 12:01 pm

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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#2 » by 1bigfan13 » Wed Mar 4, 2020 2:14 am

It would be nice if the $25 million dollar starting center actually showed up to compete tonight.

Also, Terrance Ferguson is having his typical impactless night. This guy can't stay in front of anyone on the Clippers. And I've noticed on defense he's gotten into the bad habit of guessing on defense. He tries to jump screens early which usually lead to him being out of position.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#3 » by ThunderBolt » Wed Mar 4, 2020 3:24 am

1bigfan13 wrote:It would be nice if the $25 million dollar starting center actually showed up to compete tonight.

Also, Terrance Ferguson is having his typical impactless night. This guy can't stay in front of anyone on the Clippers. And I've noticed on defense he's gotten into the bad habit of guessing on defense. He tries to jump screens early which usually lead to him being out of position.

I’m kind of over Adams. Even if he were making $5 million a year, I think I would prefer a more modern center.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#4 » by Pillendreher » Wed Mar 4, 2020 10:56 am

ThunderBolt wrote:
1bigfan13 wrote:It would be nice if the $25 million dollar starting center actually showed up to compete tonight.

Also, Terrance Ferguson is having his typical impactless night. This guy can't stay in front of anyone on the Clippers. And I've noticed on defense he's gotten into the bad habit of guessing on defense. He tries to jump screens early which usually lead to him being out of position.

I’m kind of over Adams. Even if he were making $5 million a year, I think I would prefer a more modern center.


I just finished his autobiography. Now of course not everything in there is completely the truth, but I do get the sense that he is kind of content with having made it to the NBA. On one hand he talks about improving his game and working on stuff off the court relentlessly, yet at the same time he writes stuff like being bummed about Durant leaving for a day but then getting back to being in New Zealand. Or that he was glad that the Thunder asked him what he thought he was worth during contract negotiations and that they agreed that he was worth 100 million. Or that it was nice being able to go back to being a roleplayer once George and Anthony arrived.

I like Adams and I get that not every person is the same, especially when it comes to being ambitious when it comes to ones job, but this book kind of enforces the notion about him that he was never going to be worth that contract. And that's also a massive blunder by the Front Office. After three years, you should have a feel for a player.
"I don't know of any player that, when the shot goes up, he doesn't want it to go in," Donovan said
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#5 » by sleestak33 » Wed Mar 4, 2020 11:32 am

Can somebody, anybody explain why in the hell Ferguson played in this game or why they're still playing him at all? They weren't going to win this game anyway but good grief what in the hell are they seeing in this kid that literally nobody else is seeing? 17 minutes 0 points and he continually got scored on. I didn't think it was possible to find a worse version of Roberson but it appears as though they've found him. This is the type of game where OKC's poor wing rotation goes on full display. The Clippers simply have more guys that can shoot and score than the Thunder does and you're going to lose that battle almost every time. Adams disappearing act didn't help either.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#6 » by ThunderBolt » Wed Mar 4, 2020 12:25 pm

Pillendreher wrote:
ThunderBolt wrote:
1bigfan13 wrote:It would be nice if the $25 million dollar starting center actually showed up to compete tonight.

Also, Terrance Ferguson is having his typical impactless night. This guy can't stay in front of anyone on the Clippers. And I've noticed on defense he's gotten into the bad habit of guessing on defense. He tries to jump screens early which usually lead to him being out of position.

I’m kind of over Adams. Even if he were making $5 million a year, I think I would prefer a more modern center.


I just finished his autobiography. Now of course not everything in there is completely the truth, but I do get the sense that he is kind of content with having made it to the NBA. On one hand he talks about improving his game and working on stuff off the court relentlessly, yet at the same time he writes stuff like being bummed about Durant leaving for a day but then getting back to being in New Zealand. Or that he was glad that the Thunder asked him what he thought he was worth during contract negotiations and that they agreed that he was worth 100 million. Or that it was nice being able to go back to being a roleplayer once George and Anthony arrived.

I like Adams and I get that not every person is the same, especially when it comes to being ambitious when it comes to ones job, but this book kind of enforces the notion about him that he was never going to be worth that contract. And that's also a massive blunder by the Front Office. After three years, you should have a feel for a player.

Even if the game hadn’t changed to everyone shooting threes, his ceiling was elite role player. For teams to win championships those guys need to be on contracts like Covington ...and shoot threes nowadays.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#7 » by ThunderBolt » Wed Mar 4, 2020 12:51 pm

Tweaking lineups and shifting minutes between Nader, Ferguson, Diallo, Dort and Burton, as well as Adams and Noel doesn’t raise the ceiling of this team significantly. There is no way to compensate for lack of depth without multiple stars. The three pg lineup is effective but probably not enough to compensate for other issues. I get why people like this team but they are a stopgap team. The lack of interest despite their success shows that most fans know it.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#8 » by 1bigfan13 » Wed Mar 4, 2020 1:40 pm

Pillendreher wrote:
I just finished his autobiography. Now of course not everything in there is completely the truth, but I do get the sense that he is kind of content with having made it to the NBA. On one hand he talks about improving his game and working on stuff off the court relentlessly, yet at the same time he writes stuff like being bummed about Durant leaving for a day but then getting back to being in New Zealand. Or that he was glad that the Thunder asked him what he thought he was worth during contract negotiations and that they agreed that he was worth 100 million. Or that it was nice being able to go back to being a roleplayer once George and Anthony arrived.

I like Adams and I get that not every person is the same, especially when it comes to being ambitious when it comes to ones job, but this book kind of enforces the notion about him that he was never going to be worth that contract. And that's also a massive blunder by the Front Office. After three years, you should have a feel for a player.


Thanks for the insight.

It sounds like Adams has the same attitude that a lot of pro athletes have. They want the big contracts and salary increases but don't want the extra responsibility and expectations that come with the contract. Which is completely contradictory to what is the norm outside of the world of sports. When you or I get a promotion or significant pay raise, it almost always comes with additional responsibilities and expectations.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#9 » by Pillendreher » Wed Mar 4, 2020 1:46 pm

ThunderBolt wrote:Tweaking lineups and shifting minutes between Nader, Ferguson, Diallo, Dort and Burton, as well as Adams and Noel doesn’t raise the ceiling of this team significantly. There is no way to compensate for lack of depth without multiple stars. The three pg lineup is effective but probably not enough to compensate for other issues. I get why people like this team but they are a stopgap team. The lack of interest despite their success shows that most fans know it.


You can't expect to be relevant without having a single NBA level wing on the entire roster. I can't see them competing against teams with good wings. They don't have anything to throw at those guys. And at that point the three point guard lineup will have been scouted for the postseason and its returns on the court probably won't be close to its regular season performance.

If you remove the 3 PG lineup (as a 3 man lineup) from the season data, the team goes from 111.8|109.9|+1.9 NetRtG to 108.5|110.8|-2.3 NetRtG. And that 3-man-lineup is responsible for just ~15 % of the team's total possessions. This tells me that as soon as an opposing team manages to take that lineup away, it's game over.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#10 » by 1bigfan13 » Wed Mar 4, 2020 1:51 pm

ThunderBolt wrote:Tweaking lineups and shifting minutes between Nader, Ferguson, Diallo, Dort and Burton, as well as Adams and Noel doesn’t raise the ceiling of this team significantly. There is no way to compensate for lack of depth without multiple stars. The three pg lineup is effective but probably not enough to compensate for other issues. I get why people like this team but they are a stopgap team. The lack of interest despite their success shows that most fans know it.


This team will probably get knocked out in the first round again. This is how I probably playing out:

If they land in a matchup vs either of the LA teams, OKC will either be swept or lose 4-1. Those teams have too much length and athleticism for OKC.

I give them a puncher's chance against Houston or Denver because athletically speaking, OKC matches up pretty well with those teams. Those teams would probably beat OKC in 6 games but it wouldn't be incredibly shocking if OKC pulled off a first round upset vs either of those squads.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#11 » by Pillendreher » Wed Mar 4, 2020 2:04 pm

1bigfan13 wrote:
Pillendreher wrote:
I just finished his autobiography. Now of course not everything in there is completely the truth, but I do get the sense that he is kind of content with having made it to the NBA. On one hand he talks about improving his game and working on stuff off the court relentlessly, yet at the same time he writes stuff like being bummed about Durant leaving for a day but then getting back to being in New Zealand. Or that he was glad that the Thunder asked him what he thought he was worth during contract negotiations and that they agreed that he was worth 100 million. Or that it was nice being able to go back to being a roleplayer once George and Anthony arrived.

I like Adams and I get that not every person is the same, especially when it comes to being ambitious when it comes to ones job, but this book kind of enforces the notion about him that he was never going to be worth that contract. And that's also a massive blunder by the Front Office. After three years, you should have a feel for a player.


Thanks for the insight.

It sounds like Adams has the same attitude that a lot of pro athletes have. They want the big contracts and salary increases but don't want the extra responsibility and expectations that come with the contract. Which is completely contradictory to what is the norm outside of the world of sports. When you or I get a promotion or significant pay raise, it almost always comes with additional responsibilities and expectations.


When talking about the contract extension, he specifically said (and I quote, p. 236):

"When you sign a $ 100 million contract, people want to see $ 100 million plays immediately. My contract wouldn't begin till the next season, but that didn't matter. I was now the guy getting paid more than half the league's superstars (only because their contracts hadn't ended yet) and fans wanted me prove it somehow. All I knew how to do was to keep playing how I'd always played - tough".


This to me sounds like he didn't really understand the impact of that kind of a contract. He just signed on for the maximum a player of his experience could earn in the league. And he seems to find it amusing that fans demand a certain performance for that kind of salary.

I haven't seen him play this season, but averaging 11.0 PPG and 9.4 RPG while making $ 25.8 million this season does not seem like something you'd consider a reasonable return for that salary. And even if you're just a roleplayer: To be worth that kind of contract, you have to make sure that you're among the best roleplayers in the league. Instead, he had week long stretches where he just disappeared, especially defensively. Now that wasn't exclusively on him, but still...
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#12 » by 1bigfan13 » Wed Mar 4, 2020 2:06 pm

Pillendreher wrote:
You can't expect to be relevant without having a single NBA level wing on the entire roster. I can't see them competing against teams with good wings. They don't have anything to throw at those guys.

It's embarrassing and IMO the biggest black eye on Sam Presti's record....post-Harden trade of course.

Year after year he intentionally targeted players who had sub par basketball skills. He falls to in love with athletic measurables and doesn't put near as much value in actual TALENT. That's how you end up with guys like Roberson, Ferguson, and Josh Huestis.

Hell, I also question him for not moving up to get Booker in 2015. When Booker was still on the board at 11, Presti should have reached out to the Jazz and did whatever was necessary to get in front of Phoenix. It probably wouldn't have cost the Thunder much just to move up those 2 spots. Again...another example of Presti swinging and missing when it comes to finding young talent at the guard/wing positions.

I'll give him props for flipping all of our former core players for a king's ransom of draft picks, but his track record with draft picks outside the top 5 is very unimpressive. He's got to get it right going forward. No excuses.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#13 » by Pillendreher » Wed Mar 4, 2020 2:12 pm

1bigfan13 wrote:I'll give him props for flipping all of our former core players for a king's ransom of draft picks, but his track record with draft picks outside the top 5 is very unimpressive. He's got to get it right going forward. No excuses.


To me the only way those picks are anywhere close to as valuable as some fans think they are is if he trades them for proven players. With draft picks, you basically just have hope to sell. It's a vague possibility of hitting the jackpot. And like we've seen with Boston, the more concrete those picks get, the less valuable they become.

He can't afford to wait another 10 years for players drafted with said picks to develop. And since it is very possible for those picks to be meh, especially relative to fan expectations, the best thing he could do is to trade them for either proven talents or proven stars. At least in my opinion.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#14 » by 1bigfan13 » Wed Mar 4, 2020 2:14 pm

Pillendreher wrote:To be worth that kind of contract, you have to make sure that you're among the best roleplayers in the league. Instead, he had week long stretches where he just disappeared, especially defensively. Now that wasn't exclusively on him, but still...


I can't speak for others in the fan base but this is what frustrates me the most. The lack of consistency on defense.

Look, I get it if he's being abused by legit all-star caliber big men like Jokic, but there are far too many instances where some average schlub, like Zubac last night, completely out shines him.

I don't expect him to be a 17 ppg scorer but for $25 million I need you to at least shut down and win your matchups against the Zubac's of the league.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#15 » by mr570 » Wed Mar 4, 2020 10:13 pm

1bigfan13 wrote:I'll give him props for flipping all of our former core players for a king's ransom of draft picks, but his track record with draft picks outside the top 5 is very unimpressive. He's got to get it right going forward. No excuses.

Agree with everything else you said. I will say that Bazley looks like a step in the right direction. He's only going to get better imo the more he fills out. Ferguson looks like a lost cause at this point. And I think some of that is on OKC but some of it is on himself. Just has a lot going on personally and doesn't ever seem to have the shooting confidence (or even awareness!) he needs to be the 3 and D guy he was supposed to be.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#16 » by Kizz Fastfists » Wed Mar 4, 2020 10:49 pm

mr570 wrote:Agree with everything else you said. I will say that Bazley looks like a step in the right direction. He's only going to get better imo the more he fills out. Ferguson looks like a lost cause at this point. And I think some of that is on OKC but some of it is on himself. Just has a lot going on personally and doesn't ever seem to have the shooting confidence (or even awareness!) he needs to be the 3 and D guy he was supposed to be.


Bazely is the same as everyone else Presti has been drafting. Athletic and looks good on paper, but he can't shoot. Do you know which Presti draft pick, currently on the roster, has the best 3pt% this season? STEVEN ADAMS!!! Let that sink in. Yes, it is a sample size of 3, but that makes it even worse. Adams is shooting 1 for 3, or 33.3% from 3 and that is the best that Presti has drafted!!! Ferguson is second at 30.5%, which is a big disappointment. I can't call any of the others disappointing as they were never expected to be competent shooters.

Until Presti starts looking for basketball skill instead of athletic ability and length he will keep drafting guys like Diallo, Bazley, McGary, PJIII, Huestis, Roberson, Reggie, Russ, Semaj, etc. The only pick I can think of where I would argue Presti was aiming for basketball skill over athletic ability is Sabonis. I would argue that Sabonis is the best draft pick Presti has made in the last decade and he got traded after his rookie season.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#17 » by ThunderBolt » Wed Mar 4, 2020 10:58 pm

Just wait until we draft Scottie Lewis this year.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#18 » by mr570 » Thu Mar 5, 2020 12:25 am

Kizz Fastfists wrote:
mr570 wrote:Agree with everything else you said. I will say that Bazley looks like a step in the right direction. He's only going to get better imo the more he fills out. Ferguson looks like a lost cause at this point. And I think some of that is on OKC but some of it is on himself. Just has a lot going on personally and doesn't ever seem to have the shooting confidence (or even awareness!) he needs to be the 3 and D guy he was supposed to be.


Bazely is the same as everyone else Presti has been drafting. Athletic and looks good on paper, but he can't shoot. Do you know which Presti draft pick, currently on the roster, has the best 3pt% this season? STEVEN ADAMS!!! Let that sink in. Yes, it is a sample size of 3, but that makes it even worse. Adams is shooting 1 for 3, or 33.3% from 3 and that is the best that Presti has drafted!!! Ferguson is second at 30.5%, which is a big disappointment. I can't call any of the others disappointing as they were never expected to be competent shooters.

Until Presti starts looking for basketball skill instead of athletic ability and length he will keep drafting guys like Diallo, Bazley, McGary, PJIII, Huestis, Roberson, Reggie, Russ, Semaj, etc. The only pick I can think of where I would argue Presti was aiming for basketball skill over athletic ability is Sabonis. I would argue that Sabonis is the best draft pick Presti has made in the last decade and he got traded after his rookie season.

Bazley HAS basketball skill. It's just not - to this point - specifically shooting.

He's a fantastic passer. He shows great awareness both offensively and defensively for a rookie. His basketball IQ is very good.

Look you all need to cede some things every once in a while. Not everyone is going to be Klay Thompson but instead will offer other things. Do I think Presti has done a poor job evaluating shooting as a skill in the NBA? Yes absolutely. But that isn't the only skill you evaluate.

In the case of Bazley specifically, who was a better fit there? And do you think he's been BAD this year? I certainly don't.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#19 » by Kizz Fastfists » Thu Mar 5, 2020 1:07 am

mr570 wrote:In the case of Bazley specifically, who was a better fit there? And do you think he's been BAD this year? I certainly don't.


Kevin Porter Jr. I was high on him during the whole process and posted about him here several times. Cleveland had a great draft in large part because they were able to move up to #30 and steal Porter Jr. He had an unimpressive season at USC, although he shot solid at 41% from 3, and while he showed off his talent he was inconsistent. Porter Jr. can play 1-3 and will end up a very good player, especially for pick #30. When you are a team that is desperate for wings, like OKC, especially ones that can handle the ball and shoot passing on Porter Jr for Bazley was a mistake.

I don't see a long-term role for Bazley. He's not a good enough ball handler to run the offense. He's not a scorer. He might be Roberson 2.0, because his defense is good. That isn't someone you pick when you are starting a rebuild. You swing for the fences and hope you hit it out of the park. Sticking only with players I mentioned before the draft Porter Jr or Kabengale would have been better picks then Bazely. Presti also had the option to not trade down and select Brandon Clarke, which several on the board were high on, but he's just a better basketball player then Bazley and not a better athlete.
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Re: Game 61: Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (41-19) - 8:00 PM ET 

Post#20 » by mr570 » Fri Mar 6, 2020 7:18 pm

Kizz Fastfists wrote:
mr570 wrote:That isn't someone you pick when you are starting a rebuild..

OKC wasn't starting a rebuild as of the 2019 NBA draft. You have a point about Kevin Porter Jr re: lack of a quality wing. I think you're wrong about Bazley's potential.

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