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  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Well I'm not as excited about it as you.. I mean Utah only won 2 road games coming into tonight so i would have hoped we won.. But.. I'll say this..

    I agree with PG13 assessment he was terrible in the 1st half and played very strong in the 2nd half. He's a 50/50 guy right now. Is that the all star we expected? I just think if he wants to be an all star there should be a higher standard..

    I am not nearly as positive on Melo as you.. I think he was no better than Huestis would have been off the bench. I know exactly which post up you are talking about.. Think there was a couple of them and 1 of them only went in by luck the ball was partially blocked and the 2nd one didn't go in but Adams tipped it in so good that Adams bailed him out. I just think Melo is playing like anything but a higher level player right now. I'd probably take him off the starting line up at this point. Maybe not yet but he really needs to step up.

    Andre has played very well and I am one of his biggest critics. They just need to continue to hammer the notion that he simply does NOT need to sit still in that corner.. move move move should be Andre's mantra on offense. Don't give his defender any time to even think about how he's going to help out on defense and make him chase Andre around or else Andre has an easy layup but Andre has been stellar on defense and he's been stellar lately at finishing at the rim for a change.

    As I said before and again.. They aren't going anywhere without Russ playing well that much is clear he is leaps and bounds above anyone else on this team the only guy even close to him is PG13 when he's playing well. Russ is trying so so hard to get the guys involved like literally too hard at times but i think he's starting to migrate towards the "I don't care what the hell i'm going to win this game" kind of mentality and that's really what he needs to do along with figuring out how to consistently play defense his biggest weakness but he should make the defense second guess his intentions not the other way around and then he can easily find open guys when the defense tries to stop HIM from scoring. Right now i think teams see that he's trying too hard to pass so they are trying to dare him to shoot almost.. He just needs to go off and score until they adjust then he'll find that open Adams or player on the 3pt line a lot easier.

    I still think the coaching is a big problem. Rotations are bad and experimentation at this point is not a good idea. I did notice that he didn't follow the script int he 2nd half and kept PG13 on the floor longer and not much of Russ + Felton at the same time and look at what they did in the 4th.. Not that Utah is a big road team by all means but i just think the coaching has issues..

    Good win glad they got it.. just not taking anything out of this.. they won 3 games in a row.. yippee that's the best win streak of the season LOL sorry if i don't get too excited over this home win streak.. If they do that on the road against quality teams then i'll be dancing a happy tune..

  3. #3
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    They're certainly trying some new things. That's nice to see. It seems like the emphasis on Adams' play is what's made the real difference. Our young kiwi may be the key to making this offense (and the big 3) work.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamTurpin View Post
    They're certainly trying some new things. That's nice to see. It seems like the emphasis on Adams' play is what's made the real difference. Our young kiwi may be the key to making this offense (and the big 3) work.
    And like Donovan said, Adamsí emergence is almost totally attributable to Melo and PG. Itís not like Adams is out there dropping skyhooks. He is getting the ball three feet and in and finishing easily. He is very athletic and a hard worker. Then the presence of the other two is forcing teams to choose and he is getting easy looks. Maybe at some point teams will adjustó and thatís when PG and Melo will need to make them pay.

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    gt— you missed one. Thunder went to Melo in post three times down the stretch. They scored each time. Once was the shot you mentioned and the other was the Adams put back on the miss. There was also a spin and lay up that Melo completed. If you think they could have done the same thing with Huestis out there then you are watching a different Huestis than I am.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleese View Post
    gt— you missed one. Thunder went to Melo in post three times down the stretch. They scored each time. Once was the shot you mentioned and the other was the Adams put back on the miss. There was also a spin and lay up that Melo completed. If you think they could have done the same thing with Huestis out there then you are watching a different Huestis than I am.
    He missed a layup (adams tip in), nearly got blocked (lucky ball went in off the tip) and then you say he spin and made a good layup.. ok.. That separates him in what way from a typical NBA post up player?? LOL Melo has had some good moments this year but i didn't see last night as a particularly good one.. He went 0-5 from 3. I'm not saying he is a bad player.. just not an all star anymore that's for sure.. He's a typical role player in the NBA right now.. I still think he's a legit starter just not anything special over other starting NBA PF's. I think he still has potential and hopefully if we make playoffs time that comes out.. I saw it some in the GSW game he got an extra kick in his step.. I do like his leadership however at times trying to settle Russ down I do think that's a big positive.

    I'm glad we won but this is not some scientific break through they had last night that will lead to the title.. They were able to execute and finish a game in the 4th.. that IS a break through and better 4th qtr play but that's something they should have been doing for a long time now and against a terrible terrible road team known for doing what they did last night.. Utah missed a LOT of shots in the 4th only 14 pts.. Like i said they are as bad as we are on the road at only 2 wins this year.. I wouldn't call the win at home against them a big deal.. If we can go on the road and start winning some games against quality opponents as they SHOULD.. Start really beating teams they SHOULD beat easily on the road.. then i'll be happier. Lets's at least get over .500 before we start saying they made a turn for the better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gthunder View Post
    He missed a layup (adams tip in), nearly got blocked (lucky ball went in off the tip) and then you say he spin and made a good layup.. ok.. That separates him in what way from a typical NBA post up player?? LOL Melo has had some good moments this year but i didn't see last night as a particularly good one.. He went 0-5 from 3. I'm not saying he is a bad player.. just not an all star anymore that's for sure.. He's a typical role player in the NBA right now.. I still think he's a legit starter just not anything special over other starting NBA PF's. I think he still has potential and hopefully if we make playoffs time that comes out.. I saw it some in the GSW game he got an extra kick in his step.. I do like his leadership however at times trying to settle Russ down I do think that's a big positive.

    I'm glad we won but this is not some scientific break through they had last night that will lead to the title.. They were able to execute and finish a game in the 4th.. that IS a break through and better 4th qtr play but that's something they should have been doing for a long time now and against a terrible terrible road team known for doing what they did last night.. Utah missed a LOT of shots in the 4th only 14 pts.. Like i said they are as bad as we are on the road at only 2 wins this year.. I wouldn't call the win at home against them a big deal.. If we can go on the road and start winning some games against quality opponents as they SHOULD.. Start really beating teams they SHOULD beat easily on the road.. then i'll be happier. Lets's at least get over .500 before we start saying they made a turn for the better.
    Melo hasn't been a legit all-star for about 2-3 years now. He isn't on that level now either and I didn't think we were getting an all-star when we traded for him. It's only a "big 3" in name. He may very well only be the 4th best player on this team. I also don't think he's one of the top 25-30 players in the league anymore.

    However, what sets him apart from your typical NBA rotational player is that he can close. Bottom line, they posted him up three times in a close game over the final 5:00 minutes. Most typical role players don't even get those opportunities. Melo is still an excellent iso player and he can do it facing up or posting up. We scored all three times in those situations-- the one you keep mentioning wasn't blocked in-- it was a jump shot that bounced off the rim and then fell. Fortunate bounce for sure, but if you are going to count that against him then you need to be consistent and count any shot that goes in and out as a make. The Adams put back was a straight miss, but the fact that we can iso Melo and he can draw two defenders like he did on that play allows for more opportunities like that.

    Melo is a guy that you don't ALWAYS need. And sometimes when his shot is off he may very well be a weakness. But he provides an offensive upside and punch that not a lot of teams have. Not a lot of teams can go to their third or fourth best player and legitimately ask him to take them home in a close game. That IS something Melo has done well his entire career and it's an advantage now for the Thunder.

    I don't think anyone is doing cartwheels over that win or the three game streak. But you and others have been looking for improvement and that's what we've seen the past three games. The defense is really, really good. This is one reason I don't have much of an issue with coaching. It's hard to be as good defensively as the Thunder are if they players aren't buying in and working hard. There is data to back this up as well-- Thunder are near the top in almost all defensive metrics. So they have 50% of the game more or less figured out.

    All along I knew we'd need to be patient with the offense. Russ isn't the type of player where you plug and play people around him and it's all rainbows and unicorns immediately. Now, admittedly, what we saw against Dallas and Orlando was just garbage-- I did not expect it to be THAT bad and I don't think that is an acceptable level of play. However, after those two terrible outings they have bounced back. The offense is sort of a rollercoaster right now-- high highs and low lows-- but I can live with that if they are finding ways to scratch out wins. I think we will continue to see baby steps on that end of the floor where hopefully the sustain the highs for longer periods and start to eliminate the length of the lows. We for sure saw these past three games a major change in simply HOW they are running the offense. They are still struggling to make open jump shots-- that will likely come around soon. Too much sample size over their careers for that not to improve. But they are now showing real signs of being more aggressive, getting to the line, and moving without the ball.

    There were strides made the past three games and obviously going 3-0 is a good thing. I don't think this means they are suddenly ready for the NBA Finals now; my guess is that we still see some clunkers in the coming weeks. Maybe another few bad losses. But if they are sandwiching those around good performances and win streaks, they will be far easier to accept.

  8. #8
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    At this stage of the season I think its OK to be disappointed with where we at & how we are playing but be really REALLY happy we won that game (and the last 3)... we have a good chance and being 12-12 after the next game and with a lot of basketball to play in the season and I think 4W count would as momentum - even if the wins are ugly as... :-)
    There are a real positives - the play of Adams has got to make you smile... the focus and effort of Andre, the play of Grant....
    Plus I don't think Melo and PJ have checked out (yet) and they must know if they (&RW) perform just at their typical standard they are one of the toughest teams to beat in 7 game series :-)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleese View Post
    Melo hasn't been a legit all-star for about 2-3 years now. He isn't on that level now either and I didn't think we were getting an all-star when we traded for him. It's only a "big 3" in name. He may very well only be the 4th best player on this team. I also don't think he's one of the top 25-30 players in the league anymore.

    However, what sets him apart from your typical NBA rotational player is that he can close. Bottom line, they posted him up three times in a close game over the final 5:00 minutes. Most typical role players don't even get those opportunities. Melo is still an excellent iso player and he can do it facing up or posting up. We scored all three times in those situations-- the one you keep mentioning wasn't blocked in-- it was a jump shot that bounced off the rim and then fell. Fortunate bounce for sure, but if you are going to count that against him then you need to be consistent and count any shot that goes in and out as a make. The Adams put back was a straight miss, but the fact that we can iso Melo and he can draw two defenders like he did on that play allows for more opportunities like that.

    Melo is a guy that you don't ALWAYS need. And sometimes when his shot is off he may very well be a weakness. But he provides an offensive upside and punch that not a lot of teams have. Not a lot of teams can go to their third or fourth best player and legitimately ask him to take them home in a close game. That IS something Melo has done well his entire career and it's an advantage now for the Thunder.

    I don't think anyone is doing cartwheels over that win or the three game streak. But you and others have been looking for improvement and that's what we've seen the past three games. The defense is really, really good. This is one reason I don't have much of an issue with coaching. It's hard to be as good defensively as the Thunder are if they players aren't buying in and working hard. There is data to back this up as well-- Thunder are near the top in almost all defensive metrics. So they have 50% of the game more or less figured out.

    All along I knew we'd need to be patient with the offense. Russ isn't the type of player where you plug and play people around him and it's all rainbows and unicorns immediately. Now, admittedly, what we saw against Dallas and Orlando was just garbage-- I did not expect it to be THAT bad and I don't think that is an acceptable level of play. However, after those two terrible outings they have bounced back. The offense is sort of a rollercoaster right now-- high highs and low lows-- but I can live with that if they are finding ways to scratch out wins. I think we will continue to see baby steps on that end of the floor where hopefully the sustain the highs for longer periods and start to eliminate the length of the lows. We for sure saw these past three games a major change in simply HOW they are running the offense. They are still struggling to make open jump shots-- that will likely come around soon. Too much sample size over their careers for that not to improve. But they are now showing real signs of being more aggressive, getting to the line, and moving without the ball.

    There were strides made the past three games and obviously going 3-0 is a good thing. I don't think this means they are suddenly ready for the NBA Finals now; my guess is that we still see some clunkers in the coming weeks. Maybe another few bad losses. But if they are sandwiching those around good performances and win streaks, they will be far easier to accept.
    Your talking about strides in winning 3 home games in bad performances. The only one that I would agree with as a ever so slight improvement is the 4th qtr against Utah.. and that's ever so slight because of how bad Utah is on the road. I think your grasping at anything to be a positive right now that's what i've been arguing..

    The last 3 games.. All at HOME and that is a BIG DEAL.. If these were road games it'd of been 3 straight losses no question in my mind at all about that..

    T-wolves they beat them 1st half but lost the 2nd half but we managed to hold them off.. barely.. almost blew double digit lead..
    Spurs bench team that shouldn't beat anyone with all their guys out and we nearly gave that one away.. Again lose in the 2nd half but we somehow manage to hold on.
    Utah team we FINALLY beat another team in the 4th qtr this was like a role reversal we lost the 1st half and won the 2nd half but at least we won in the 4th.

    That to me is not much improvement that's borderline terrible. I think your law of averages is helping out in these instances against teams that outside of T wolves we should have blown away and rest starters in the 4th. That's how far back we are IMO. Maybe it is a "baby" step but if that's the case we have one really really long way to go.. Once we are over .500 then maybe I'll agree they are improving. Until then they are not very good IMO.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rad_kiwi_atl View Post
    At this stage of the season I think its OK to be disappointed with where we at & how we are playing but be really REALLY happy we won that game (and the last 3)... we have a good chance and being 12-12 after the next game and with a lot of basketball to play in the season and I think 4W count would as momentum - even if the wins are ugly as... :-)
    There are a real positives - the play of Adams has got to make you smile... the focus and effort of Andre, the play of Grant....
    Plus I don't think Melo and PJ have checked out (yet) and they must know if they (&RW) perform just at their typical standard they are one of the toughest teams to beat in 7 game series :-)
    I agree with the positives of Adams, Andre and Grant no question those guys are giving it all. I need to see some quality wins and quality road wins before i'd say they have any momentum. Tonight against Nets might well test them.. Nets are not a great team at all but they are not a bottom feeder team either.. Without PG13 and Grant it will be a test.

  11. #11
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    Melo sure as hell didn't close tonight against Nets. smh

    I don't know what they do at this point all i know is the only thing they CAN do is replace the coach get new staff in and shake things up and see if that will wake up the players..

    Again.. How many bad performances does it take to decide you need to do something??? Presti is letting this get too far down the rabbit hole IMO might not be a way out anymore.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gthunder View Post
    Melo sure as hell didn't close tonight against Nets. smh

    I don't know what they do at this point all i know is the only thing they CAN do is replace the coach get new staff in and shake things up and see if that will wake up the players..

    Again.. How many bad performances does it take to decide you need to do something??? Presti is letting this get too far down the rabbit hole IMO might not be a way out anymore.
    As long as there are games on the schedule there will be a way out. As long as they show peaks there will be hope. It’s maddening that they flash an almost perfect fourth quarter and then the next game flash basically the exact opposite. But showing those peaks shows the upside. If it gets to a point where it’s deep into the year and the Thunder are scratching just to make the playoffs, that’s when you can start worrying about running out of time.

    And I keep bringing it up to you— there is no staff out there man. Mid season coach firings are 99% replaced with interim guys already on the staff. It is very, very rare for a staff to be let go and another staff from the outside brought in. As a matter of fact I don’t know if I can ever recall that. The only one I can think of is George Karl with the Kings but I think he kept the rest of the staff and that whole thing turned out to be a disaster. Both teams this year that have fired head coaches named interims and kept the rest of the staff. So if you want Donovan gone, that’s fine. But you need to start saying you want Mo Cheeks or Adrian Griffin to take over because that’s what it would be. If you fire a coach mid season it’s because you think he is toxic and needs to be removed ASAP in order for the team to begin the moving on process.

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