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Tag: Victor Oladipo

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

Zach Oliver: The Magic “Just Lock Up” in Close Games Down the Stretch

Zach Oliver (left) helping former Magic player Glen Davis (right) with his tie, earning the nickname "Bowtie Killa."

Zach Oliver (left) helping former Magic player Glen Davis (right) with his tie, earning the nickname “Bowtie Killa.”

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After a promising 19-13 start under new head coach Scott Skiles, the Orlando Magic have fallen on very hard times this calendar year, dropping 11 of 12 contests. A stagnant offense has especially plagued this incredibly young team. Amid such horrible January struggles, Zach Oliver of SB Nation’s Orlando Pinstriped Post drops by to help explain the Magic’s current woes as well as to provide insight on the team’s wealth of young talent.

Sexy sound bites can be found excerpted below:

4:30-4:45: “A lot of people were a little bit lower on the Skiles hiring than I was because, you know, Skiles is going to come in, he’s going to coach them for a couple years, he’s going to whip them into shape, but then he’s going to lose the locker room and they’ll have to make a change. But at the same time, that’s exactly what this team needed.”

5:33-6:23: “The thing that troubles me the most… is that they just lock up. They move the ball exceptionally well in the first two and a half, three quarters, getting quality looks, and then in the fourth quarter, guys just tense up and try to do it all on their own. To be honest, they really don’t have that guy that they can give the ball to in iso and say, ‘Here, we need a bucket go score.’ So that’s the biggest issue with them. Their defense is still an issue, especially late in games. Nik Vucevic, whom I think has done a better job in certain areas, still can’t protect the rim and the Magic guards have been unable to keep anybody in front of them.”

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