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Back in September, I wrote a little something something that conveys my thoughts and feelings regarding this Oklahoma City squad. Click HERE for satisfying clickbait.

2016 record: 47-35

Key acquisitions:

Key losses:

Outlook:

I’m a believer. Barring health issues, I think this squad can challenge for one of the top four spots in the West. The offense is going to be devastating, while the defense will be better than most expect. Depth is a concern, though, but there will always be at least one player that will be able to create offense at all times. ALL YOU CAN EAT, BABY!!!

PG – I’m convinced that Russell Westbrook is not from this planet. Or he’s a cyborg. Dude is just on another level both physically and mentally. Westbrook did have a PRP injection on his right knee back in September, which I take to mean that some screws needed to be tightened and oil needed to be greased on some nuts and bolts on his cyborg frame. When Kobe Bryant says that Westbrook “reminds him most of himself,” you know he’s on a different plane. Now, last season was a total FU tour for Westbrook. Why did Bruce Banner turn into the Hulk? Emotional stress, which led to destructive rampages. It wasn’t really about winning last year for the Thunder. It was letting Westbrook be Hulk. I love the Thunder organization for allowing it to happen. Now, things are different this year. There are team aspirations and goals. Westbrook is still going to get his, but the 41.7% usage rate is coming down. The 31.6 ppg will also come down, although I can see the rebounds and assists being close to 10 per game. As a byproduct of lower usage and more weapons surrounding him, the 5.4 turnovers per game should come down into the four-range. Backing up Westbrook will be Raymond Felton. Felton is a solid veteran, but he doesn’t shoot the three-ball particularly well or contribute much in any category. He’s there to give Westbrook a rest and provide the Thunder with someone that has experience in the league. Basically a, “Don’t-be-a-hero, Don’t-fuck-things-up” player.

SGAndre Roberson could be the key for the Thunder this season. We know he’s a great defender (1 steal/1 block) and will help out on the glass (5 boards). Offense is where the questions arise. Who else are teams going to help off of? Defenses are going to try and funnel the offense to Roberson. Can he make them pay when it happens? He shot 24% from three-land last season. If he can make the open J, watch out. Alex Abrines will be the backup. Abrines is basically everything Roberson is not. Conversely, he can’t do anything Roberson can. Abrines shot 38% from three-land last season. I love the athleticism of Terrance Ferguson, but he’s probably going to be in the G-League.

SFPaul George seems to be a perfect complement to Russell Westbrook. It kind of reminds me of the Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen dynamic. Both are long, athletic, can score, and play excellent defense. Jordan had a really intense personality and Russell Westbrook seems to be of the same mold. Pippen and George are both competitive, but they seem to be fine playing the Robin role. I don’t need to delve deeper into George, as he will contribute in every category except for blocks. Kyle Singler and Josh Huestis are listed behind George on the depth chart. Remember when I talked about the lack of depth? Will George be the first player to average 48 mpg? There’s plenty of rest time between quarters.

PF – Will the NBA allow hoodie Melo? If so, the Thunder are going all the way. I’ve never been the biggest Melo fan because he’s been a black hole most of his career. With that said, I always remember a quote that Kobe said a long time ago. I tried to find the exact quote on the internet, but I couldn’t. If someone can, please share. Anyways, I believe it was during the Smush Parker days, when he’d shoot over three defenders instead of passing it to the open man. He would say that he felt that he had a better chance of making a shot against three defenders than a Smush Parker draining an open J. An asshole quote, no doubt, but a revealing one for many of these superstars. How does this relate to Melo? I’ve seen him make the proper play on the Olympic teams. When he has respect for his teammates and believes in them, he’ll dish the ball to them. Now, he will still jack up his shots, but he’s more willing to make the correct play when he’s surrounded by players that are “on his level.”

Patrick Patterson will back up Melo. Unfortunately, he’s recovering from a knee scope procedure from back in August, so it will take some time to get back into the groove. When healthy, he’s a nice piece for the Thunder as he can spread the floor (37% from three-land).

CSteven Adams is the starter. I think he’s going to have a fantastic season. He’s a double-dub threat (points and rebounds) and will steal and block around one per game. With Enes Kanter gone, Adams could see a slight uptick in minutes. In addition, since we are past the FU Westbrook Tour, Adams could be a little more involved. Nick Collison is the backup. He’s talked about retiring after playing 14 years in the league. Kids, grow up and be tall. That is the path to success. Dakari Johnson was the 48th pick in the 2015 draft. He is 22 years old, 7′ 0″ 255 pounds and played college ball at the University of Kentucky. He balled out in the Summer League and could carve out a little niche for himself.

  1. Son!

    I’m a bit screwed. I have an auction draft tonight that I can not make. I have done no research this year because I am dumb.

    Can you throw me a couple names I should put on the auto draft do not draft list? Guys that if autopick picked, all the rest of the league would lol?

    Thanks!

      • @Son: So I actually ended up making the draft. Threw this team together. Pretty happy with it.

        What you think? (K = keeper)

        PG Jeremy Lin, Bkn PG
        SG K-Gordon Hayward, Bos SG, SF
        SF Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mil SF, PF
        PF K-Draymond Green, GS SF, PF
        C Willy Hernangomez, NY C
        C Pau Gasol, SA PF, C DTD
        G Elfrid Payton, Orl PG
        F K-Jae Crowder, Cle SF
        UTIL Kyle Kuzma, LAL PF
        UTIL Brandon Ingram, LAL PF, SF
        UTIL Taurean Prince, Atl SF
        Bench Buddy Hield, Sac SG
        Bench Josh Richardson, Mia SG, SF

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Only position I don’t like is C

          • @Son: Yeah, people were bidding so high on C’s… I said F-it and figured I will hunt one down in FA.

            • Son

              Son says:
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              Bruce Lee would be very happy

  2. Dante Green says:
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    I just realized that I haven’t given Lamb much thought. Drop Jaylen for him or nah?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Dante Green: Rather have Jaylen

      • Dante Green says:
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        @Son:

        Your thoughts on Ulis? I’m reevaluating my team. Though I am not considering Richaun and Seth’s injuries a ‘blow’ to my team, it still has effect in a way.

        9-cat, 18-team

        PG1 Rubio
        PG2 Collison
        SG1 Butler
        SG2 Crabbe
        SG3 Brown
        SF1 Leonard
        PF1 Gordon
        PF2 Johnson
        C1 Capela
        IR1 Curry
        IR2 Holmes

        Just placed Richaun on IR2 so I’m still short of one player. I placed a bid on Swanigan and Richardson, the former being the top priority.

        My threes and blocks surely weakened with the injuries to Seth and Richaun. That is why now I’m leaning towards having a 3-PG lineup for the dimes. My 3rd point guard could be Ulis, I’m thinking of dropping Jaylen for him though with a healthy Bledsoe I’m not so sure. F these injuries. I need help, Son. Hah

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Dante Green: Ha! Richardson looks like he may be a beast in blocks this season. I’d probably prioritize him first.

          As for Ulis, I like him, but he’s not going to get significant run until later in the season. I wouldn’t drop Jaylen for him.

          • Dante Green says:
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            @Son:

            Ugh, I hate these injuries. Thanks bud

            • Son

              Son says:
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              @Dante Green: Likewise. Anytime Dante

  3. Eddie says:
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    Hey Son — thanks for all you’ve done with the rankings and previews man!

    I’m drafting this week with the 8th pick. I was dead-set on taking Kawhi there for a while, but the quad injury scares me. Not a huge fan of taking Jokic or LeBron there, which looks pretty common. With the scarcity of bigs this year I’m thinking of reaching for Gobert and hoping a Lillard, Kyrie, or CP3 falls to me at 17. Whatcha think?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Eddie: Thanks Eddie! Yeah, Kawhi scares me as well. Well, you know I love Jokic, so I’d take him there. Wall is there no? I have no problem with Gobert there. Lot of different ways to go at 8.

  4. Justin says:
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    9 cat h2h. Here is my team: giannis, cp3, jokic, draymond, millsap, Teague, Deangelo russ, Covington, Noel, Jamal Murray, Dennis smith, Aaron Gordon, Jrue Holiday.

    Waiver wire has: Willy Hernangomez, kuzma, favors. Should I make any changes?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Damn. That team is stacked. How did you manage that?

      Naw, you good. I’d keep an eye on Kuz, though.

      • Justin says:
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        @Son: haha it’s a 8 person league. That’s why.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Justin: Still good for an 8-team league

  5. Chris says:
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    Thanks Son!

    I’m in two h2h category leagues. I usually try to draft really well rounded team but it hasn’t been working for me so this year in baseball I went with trying to dominate 6 categories and it worked. I’m thinking about doing it again for basketball. I haven’t placed in the $ for two years, I think I need to change up the way I’m drafting. Does this make sense to you?

    Try to dominate-pts-reb-blocks-FG%TO and 3 pointers

    I would pretty much be punting assists steals and FT %. Who knows I might get lucky a few weeks on those. This never made sense to me I’ve always wanted the most well rounded but this seems to be working for a lot people.

    If you have any other strategic advice I’m all ears!

    Thanks,
    Thanks

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Chris: I’m not a big punt guy, so punting 3 categories seems like a strategy ISIS would employ. With that said, I’m all for trying new things because that is how you accumulate knowledge.

  6. Chris says:
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    Thanks! I couldn’t believe I did it in baseball this year I went all pitching and steals. I won the league! I didn’t think I would have the discipline to not draft for HR’s and RBI’s but it I did.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Chris: Nice! Gotta ask…first time at Razzball?

  7. Jake says:
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    Would you trade Gorgui and J. Lin for Aaron Gordon in a 9 Cat h2h league? Get Dieng and J Lin in rounds 10 and 11

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Yea

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Ha! Good stuff Shahed

  8. Lasandro says:
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    Read the comments above about JRich.. surely this dude has to vault up your rankings now, right? I’m in a shallow (10 team) roto and Lamb was my last pick following batums injury, but both JRich and Murray are chilling on the wire and I have no idea who to go for. If Rich does indeed play 30+ mins per, I don’t see how he can’t hit top 60 value at least. He’s been a stud in preseason. Murray is interesting because Malone is YET to reveal his starting PG.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Agreed. I’ve moved JRich up. I’ve always had Murray ranked high, so…

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