FLANNERY: Like everyone else, we undersold the Blazers last season. I don't feel bad about that because no one this side of Damian Lillard thought they were going to be a second-round playoff team last season. But now I get the sense that people are overrating the Rip City crew just a tad.
The Golden State Warriors had the best regular season in league history last year. They also failed to win the title, in no small part because Stephen Curry suffered a playoff injury and they couldn't close out the Cleveland Cavaliers after going up 3-1 in the series.
Golden State is asking Durant to do more work off the ball than he ever did in Oklahoma City. So far, so good.
We’re all waiting to see how Kevin Durant adjusts to playing a different style of basketball now that he's with the Warriors. Based on early preseason returns, it won’t take long for him to fit in.
Now that the Wizards have locked up the third overall pick from the 2012 draft to a big contract, they have to think ahead to locking up the third overall from the 2013 draft, Otto Porter, to a deal as well.
With Labor Day coming and going, summer is officially over. Summer ending is always a bit sad as the constant warm weather will soon shift to autumn hues and then winter in various parts of the country. Despite the seasonal change, the end of summer also signals that the NBA season is just around the corner.
After a meh first half, the Warriors found their mojo in the third quarter to secure the win against the Timberwolves, 121-107.
One day before Steve Kerr infamously sat Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green (as well as the injured Kevin Durant) against the San Antonio Spurs, the Warriors lost a hard-fought game against the Timberwolves in Minneapolis. The young team, led by rising star Karl-Anthony Towns, seems well-equipped to handle the Warriors’ elite shooting and defensive versatility now and in coming years.
We must appreciate the genius of this delivery.
You often see “no-look passes” that aren’t really no-look passes. This is a real no-look pass by James Harden.
In real time, this made me fall out of my chair. Slow it down, and it gets better. This is a master craftsman at work.
We’re going streaking!
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Chicago Bulls 99-98 to give the Mavericks their first three game winning streak of the 2016-17 season. Harrison Barnes scored 20 points while old war horse Dirk Nowitzki posted a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls in defeat with a near triple double: 24 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.
Thunder 3rd year power forward Mitch McGary has been suspended for a second time in the 2016-17 NBA season that has yet to even begin, according to league sources.
“I wanted to breathe smoke”
The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Sacramento Kings on the road, 122-118. Behind the 20th triple-double on the season by Russell Westbrook (36-11-10, 4 steals, 7 TOs), the Thunder got back in the win column and moved 8 games over .500 once again.
The Thunder looked weary and battered and fell again to a likely lottery team.
The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Sacramento Kings on the road, 116-101. On the second night of a back-to-back, the Thunder looked as weary as they did in their first back-to-back in their underwhelming loss to the Pistons. Once again, OKC fell behind early by double digits, used several runs to make the game competitive, but by the time the end of the 3rd quarter came around, looked as if all of their energy and focus was gone.
The Thunder dominated majority in New Orleans and held on for the road win.
The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 114-105. Marking their second consecutive road win in a row, the Thunder used a bruising inside game behind Steven Adams (20-11-3 with 4 blocks) and Russell Westbrook’s triple-double (27-12-10) to hold the Pelicans at arm’s length for most of the night. The win brings the Thunder back to 8 games over .500 and an even 6-6 in their toughest month of the season with 3 games to go.
They still have Pop, Kawhi, LaMarcus and Parker. They'll be a threat to win the title. Again.
FLANNERY: I started working in newspapers full-time in the fall of 1997. That was also Tim Duncan's rookie year. (I also skipped my grad school graduation ceremony to watch the lottery, but that's another story). The dude has been playing for literally my entire working life. Now, he's gone and I'm feeling old.
The greatest power forward who ever lived is calling it a career.
San Antonio Spurs stalwart Tim Duncan announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday after 19 seasons, ending weeks of speculation about his future. Duncan had a player option on the two-year contract he signed last summer for $5.6 million.
Timothy John McConnell plays hero for the Sixers against the Knicks.
Wednesday night’s matchup between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers attracted a lot of national attention, as many hoped to feast their eyes on the first of many battles between Joel Embiid and Kristaps Porzingis.
But in the Sixers 98-97 victory over the Knicks, it was one Timothy John McConnell who ended up stealing the show.
Tracy McGrady made headlines during the season when he said Steph Curry’s unanimous MVP was a product of a watered-down NBA. He’s back at it with criticism of the NBA’s most-talked about offseason signing: Kevin Durant.
As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue their preseason, they won’t have Tristan Thompson. available for the next two games.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Thompson is dealing with a sore foot and will miss the Cavs’ next two preseason games with a sore left foot. Per Haynes’ report, it’s a precautionary measure.
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will rematch Stephen Thompson at UFC 209 on March 4th.
Forget about Tyron Woodley fighting Michael Bisping, or Nick Diaz, or Demian Maia, because the UFC’s current welterweight champion isn’t facing any of those three next. On The Morning Wood Show (hosted by Woodley and Din Thomas), Woodley confirmed that he’ll be rematching Stephen Thompson at UFC 209 in March.
To the shock of no one, Masai Ujiri has agreed to a multi-year contract extension to stay on as President of the Toronto Raptors. In related news, Jeff Weltman will be promoted to General Manager, and Bobby Webster will step up as Assistant General Manager/Vice-President Basketball Strategy (by far the coolest title).
It was still too close for comfort, but the United States flashed just enough firepower offensively to overcome another poor defensive effort in a 100-97 win over France on Sunday in the final game of group play. This was in large part due to Klay Thompson’s best game of the tournament.
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