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Tag: Patrick Patterson

Andrew Schlecht: Thunder Have No Offensive Identity Yet

With the addition of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook is “really trying to adjust his game,” according to our guest, Andrew Schlecht (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

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The Oklahoma City Thunder turned heads around the NBA this offseason when they added stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. So far, though, integrating them into the team hasn’t been a smooth process. Before back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks, they had been riding a four-game losing streak and were winless against the Western Conference. Andrew Schlecht, host of the Down to Dunk and OKC Dream Team podcasts and contributor to Daily Thunder, joined us to try to diagnose what exactly has gone wrong and whether or not the Thunder should be worried. See what we’re rumbling about in these electric excerpts below (all time stamps approximate):

5:00-5:40: “Overall, there doesn’t seem to be any worry or panic within the team at all. They’re still pretty casual about everything. And then as a fan and somebody who’s watching them, you just have to wait. Even a team with some continuity will evolve over a season. So, there’s not a lot of worry. The team has a ton of talent, they’ve got talent on both sides of the ball, so you’d think they’re going to put it together. Luckily, really besides the Warriors and Rockets, there’s nobody that’s so far ahead of them in the Western Conference that the four or three seed are out of reach. So, they have that on their side.”

9:00-9:40: “They’ve relied heavily on isolation in all of their losses. I think that they can look at all those and say, ‘Wow, that did not work.’ The ball did not move. Basically, if you could not create your own shot, or if your name wasn’t Steven Adams, you weren’t going to touch the ball for any meaningful time. Continue reading

Holly Mackenzie: Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan’s “Been Crazy at Driving to the Basket”

Holly Mackenzie (right) interviewing Raptor's shooting guard DeMar DeRozan after a USA Basketball practice. (@stackmack/Instagram)

Holly Mackenzie interviews Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who is leading the league in drives to the basket this season (@stackmack/Instagram).

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Toronto will be hosting the NBA’s All-Star Weekend this season, and the timing could not be better. Just a tad more than 20 years since NBA basketball came to Toronto, the Raptors find themselves in second place in a competitive Eastern Conference. DeMar DeRozan is playing the most efficient basketball of his career, while his BFF, Kyle Lowry, is similarly turning in an All-Star-caliber season. We have the pleasure of being joined by the talented Holly MacKenzie, who expertly explains why life is so good in Toronto these days. Holly writes for Raptors.com, among many other outlets.

Some scintillating excerpts can be found below:

9:35-10:50: “Everything starts with [Kyle Lowry]. He does so much for them and the way that he plays, he’s such a competitive guy, it’s hard to not feed off of that… It’s cool to see his growth as a player, but also as a leader from when he came here to now. Seeing him know his teammates and learn how each guy can be motivated, watching him learn how to do that has been really cool to watch because you see the impact on the floor and you also see it within the locker room.”

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