The 2014 Oklahoma City Thunder appeared to have had all of it with two hungry superstars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and a robust assortment of defenders. The staff appeared to be not off course, and so they had a ton of hype to their title.
Unfortunately for them, they didn’t make an NBA Finals and didn’t equal their success in 2012. But that they had fairly an fascinating beginning lineup that was very productive. Alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, they construct their roster round two large males and a defensive swingman to place strain on opposing offended and stifle scoring means. Interestingly sufficient, we’re capable of re-create the Thunder’s beginning lineup from 2014 with present NBA gamers.
Using a mixture of present NBA gamers who possess nearly precise skillsets, right here is the recreated model of the 2014 Oklahoma City Thunder lineup led by Durant and Westbrook.
Point Guard: Ja Morant for Russell Westbrook
OKC Westbrook was a scary participant to look at. He was tremendous athletic and performed with pure aggression and rage. Russ was additionally an important playmaker regardless of claims of his selfishness, as he averages 8.Three APG for his profession. Russ couldn’t be defended, as a result of he was glorious at scoring inside and will help the ball to his teammates at a really excessive clip.
The re-created model of him is Ja Morant. Morant has a love for the sport like Russ and can be a incredible playmaker. Morant steals the headlines so much very similar to Russ, and their influence on the ground may be very comparable. Morant can’t actually be defended as a result of he can rating inside or discover the open man with ease. Morant is averaging 6.9 APG in his rookie season.
If there’s a participant that the majority resembles the 2014- Westbrook proper now, it’s Ja Morant.
Shooting Guard: Matisse Thybulle for Andre Roberson
Andre Roberson took a whole lot of flack for not with the ability to shoot the ball effectively sufficient. He is a profession 25.7% 3-point shooter which is putrid for a wing participant. But that isn’t the place his worth lied for the Thunder. Roberson was among the finest on-ball defensive gamers within the league and he had lengthy suffocating arms to assist him cease the ball. Roberson additionally did all of the soiled work and primarily based his sport off of hustle. He was actually a priceless piece to the Thunder in 2014.
The participant closest to him proper now’s Mattias Thybulle. The participant is an efficient defender who does the soiled work for his staff, with out having a lot of an offensive sport. Thybulle has seen his inventory enhance within the league this season as a result of his laborious work on the courtroom and defensive duties are spectacular to look at.
He additionally isn’t a lot of a scorer and is averaging 4.7 PPG so this comparability is sort of spot-on.
Small Forward: Brandon Ingram for Kevin Durant
(by way of USATODAY.com)
KD was a phenomenon with the Thunder. He was so lengthy, so athletic, and an important shooter from anyplace on the courtroom. KD gained an MVP Awards with the Thunder and Four scoring titles, so clearly he’s one in all their finest ever gamers. His lengthy and lanky body was iconic, and seeing him destroy defenses together with his scoring means is one thing Oklahoma City followers cherish to at the present time (after they aren’t booing him for leaving).
The closest comparability needs to be Brandon Ingram. Ingram is constructed precisely like Kevin Durant, and have very comparable skillsets. Ingram can shoot, dribble, and in addition strikes like KD on the courtroom. While Ingram has a protracted method to go to equal Durant’s influence on the league, he very carefully resembles the way in which the latter performs the sport. Ingram grew to become an All-Star after averaging 24.2 PPG this yr so time will inform if he can dominate the league as KD has.
Power Forward: Jaren Jackson Jr. For Serge Ibaka
(by way of Forbes)
Serge Ibaka gained an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors, however he could have had his finest years with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was the shot-blocking energy ahead who may stretch the ground together with his mid-range capturing. Ibaka was a key defensive participant for the Thunder and was additionally one of many fan favorites of the franchise. He performed laborious each evening and had a toughness to him which was very spectacular to see.
Jackson Jr. additionally possesses a few of Ibaka’s qualities together with shot-blocking means and in addition the skillset to shoot the jumper. Jackson Jr. is a fan-favorite for the Memphis Grizzlies and one in all their cornerstones of the franchise proper now. They are each constructed the identical method, with lengthy arms and a robust body, and appear to method the sport in the identical method.
Center: Clint Capela for Steven Adams
Steven Adams earned his method to the beginning lineup for the Thunder in 2014 as a result of he proved that he may put his massive body to good use. Adams was, and nonetheless is, one of the highly effective gamers within the league, and his power was of nice use to OKC. He additionally had a mushy contact across the rim and was an important rebounder for the staff. Standing 7 toes tall, Adams was the enforcer of the 2014 Thunder.
Clint Capela involves thoughts once you consider a 7-foot enforcer who does his injury within the paint. Capela is a defensive specialist who rebounds the ball at a excessive price, utilizing his top and measurement to influence the sport. Capela, like Adams, is restricted offensively though he has a feathery contact across the rim. Capela could have been traded from the Rockets however he has proven the flexibility to influence the sport defensively and be a constructing block for a title-contending staff.
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“I’m Just Going To Stick To The Opinions Of The People Closest To Me And My Team, And Just Go From There.” – Fadeaway World
Zion Williamson is a particular expertise. There’s no denying that and it was clear because the very first time we noticed him play. Even so, there re plenty of doubts and considerations relating to his sturdiness. Ironically, one of many many issues that make him stand out may additionally condemn him.
Williamson is among the most athletic gamers we’ve seen. His capability to take off defies nature and the legal guidelines of gravity. His 285 kilos are simply an excessive amount of for a 6’6” participant along with his sport, and, understandingly, the New Orleans Pelicans have eased him into the sport.
That’s why analysts and followers have voiced their considerations about Zion’s weight. He regarded gradual and off form at occasions in the course of the Orlando bubble and his proneness to get harm raised some query marks about his potential to interrupt out within the league. Zion, nevertheless, doesn’t thoughts what individuals say:
“Everybody is entitled to their very own opinion. I’m simply going to stay to the opinions of the individuals closest to me and my group, and simply go from there,” the previous 1st general decide mentioned, as quoted by Will Guillory of The Athletic.
Zion after I requested him about individuals making his measurement and weight a difficulty:
“Everybody is entitled to their very own opinion. I’m simply going to stay to the opinions of the individuals closest to me and my group, and simply go from there.”
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) August 13, 2020
Zion averaged 22.5 factors, 6.Three rebounds, and a pair of.1 assists per sport on 58.3% taking pictures via 24 video games in his rookie season. He additionally regarded able to dominating NBA defenders and there’s little question that he can find yourself being a perennial MVP candidate very quickly.
Even so, the rook has plenty of work to do that offseason. It’s not about making enjoyable or shaming him however to hope he and the Pelicans discover the best way to maintain him on the court docket. He’s the cornerstone of their mission and all of us need him to succeed.
Skip Bayless Responds To Damian Lillard: ‘He Sometimes Speaks As If He’s Lebron James’
Damian Lillard and FOX Sports analyst Skip Bayless headline the newest “participant vs. media” rivalry. Dating again weeks, every part began when Skip questioned what made Damian Lillard certified to talk as if he was on the identical stage as a few of the NBA’s greatest names (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and many others.)
Needless to say, Dame took it to coronary heart and when Skip continued to criticize him throughout this Orlando bubble stretch, he fired again by citing a dialog he had through which he claims Skip was “backpedaling.”
I’ve by no means been shopping for nothing about you fam. You a joke. And after our non-public convo stuffed with again pedaling you’ll by no means have my respect https://t.co/do0yxFgUju
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 10, 2020
Skip has since responded again to Dame, seemingly doubling-down on his take that he shouldn’t converse a although he’s one of many NBA’s premier gamers.
View this put up on Instagram
“He’s received nothing.” – Skip Bayless
While Dame isn’t on the extent of LeBron, and doesn’t have practically the identical stage of affect, he’s acquired the fitting to talk his thoughts similar to another participant.
Unlike numerous gamers, although, he’s often in a position to again up his phrases together with his efficiency on the court docket. And though his resume is missing in championships, he has definitely proved he is ready to step up when it counts most and that’s acquired to rely for one thing.
The Spurs’ 22-Year Playoff Streak Has Officially Come To An End – Fadeaway World
(by way of NY Daily News)
After wins by the Grizzlies and Suns, it’s official: the San Antonio Spurs have been eradicated from postseason competition.
After many years of glory and success, their 22-playoff streak has come to an finish, and reactions surfaced from all around the web.
The Spurs’ 22-year playoff streak will finish in 2020.
Unreal. What a run.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) August 13, 2020
This is Gregg Popovich’s first non-playoff season since 1996-97. Salute to Pop on an incredible run ✊ pic.twitter.com/nbv4uCdt0r
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 13, 2020
— J23 (@legit2Take) August 13, 2020
The final time the Spurs didn’t make the playoffs, it was throughout the 1996-97 season. It’s actually unbelievable.
The final time the Spurs missed the playoffs, the official web site of the NBA appeared like this: pic.twitter.com/1CRBxApw0z
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) August 13, 2020
90% of the individuals commenting on this, together with me wasn’t alive the final time they missed the playoffs
— Kyle (@Kyle8005882300) August 13, 2020
Obviously, the lass marks the tip of an period for the Spurs. And, with no clear path for his or her future, no person actually is aware of what is going to occur to them within the weeks and months to come back.
Is this the tip of Popovich’s teaching profession? Will San Antonio commerce their veterans and provoke a rebuild? Things are going to vary for the Spurs and this might be the beginning of a clear slate for them.
Regardless, we shouldn’t be fast to overlook what they’ve been capable of accomplish all these years.
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