It hasn’t been the season that many expected for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who made drastic improvements to their roster during the offseason.
The Thunder have been hovering at or below .500 for stretches of this season and their latest loss has the team’s frustrations at a boiling point.
“For the talent that we have, obviously this is not where we want to be,” Thunder forward Paul George said.
“But we’re going to remain optimistic, though, about the future and what we can do. Once we can find a way to really do it night in and night out, it’s no panic mode, but we have to start playing better. It’s getting to a point where we can’t allow ourselves to be at this point. We can say we’re going to figure it out, we can say all that. But at some point it’s gotta stop.”
The Thunder again saw a game get out of hand, this time against the Charlotte Hornets in a loss on Monday night.
“As crazy as this may sound, I was really, really, really excited with the way we played offense tonight. I really was,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said.
“I thought we generated really good shots tonight. It wasn’t a great shooting night for us, but I think the guys’ intentions of trying to do the things we’ve asked them to do — in terms of ball movement — I thought they really stayed with it for 48 minutes. I was really encouraged by that part of it.”
“It’s up to us, honestly,” Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said about the team turning things around for the better.
“Just gotta figure it out and play the same way every night.”
“We’re not getting off to a great start and it’s just playing its way all the way through to when we get late in games, and for whatever reason we try to turn it on,” George said. “It just seems we’re a completely different team that last four or five minutes, and that’s the way we’ve got to battle for 48 minutes.”
“I think sometimes people look at players, or look at a team, and they kind of say what they’re forecasting for it not even knowing all the dynamics it takes to even be a good team,” Donovan said.
“And I think when you’ve got half the roster that’s different, these guys have done a really good job sacrificing, they’ve done a really good job building relationships and communicating, they’ve done a really good job working, and they’re trying to get to know each other on the court.”
“Everybody’s giving up something of themselves for the benefit of the team, and I think at some point that will pay dividends for us,” Donovan said.
Thunder’s Russell Westbrook Has Knee Surgery, May Miss Games
The Oklahoma City Thunder may be without All-Pro guard Russell Westbrook for the start of the 2018-2019 regular season after Westbrook underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Royce Young.
Westbrook, who will be re-evaluated in four weeks, could miss the first few games of the regular season.
Thunder Waive Kyle Singler
The Oklahoma City Thunder are waiving forward Kyle Singler, who will be waived using the stretch provision to help reduce the cost of this year’s roster for the Thunder, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Singler will become an unrestricted free agent once he officially clears waivers.
Singler is owed $4,996,000 for the 2018-2019 season aand $5,333,500 for 2019-2020, but his second-year salary is non-guaranteed leaving Oklahoma City responsible for only his salary for this season.
It also gives the Thunder the ability to stretch the cap hit across five seasons.
Singler averaged 1.9 points per game over 12 games last season for Oklahoma City.
Thunder Sign Donte Grantham
Grantham’s new deal is a non-guaranteed training camp contract, and he will bring depth to the Thunder’s forward position.
Grantham was averaging 14.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game during his senior season with the Tigers before suffering a torn ACL during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish back in January.
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