While the chemistry in Oklahoma City is seemingly a work in progress, Anthony’s role seems to be ever-changing.
For a player brought in for his scoring ability, Monday night was not a good example of a team utilizing a proven scorer.
During the Thunder’s win over the Denver Nuggets, Anthony took 6 shots, his lowest total since 2013, and scored 4 points, the fewest he has scored in a game since 2012.
The shots were clearly unbalanced with Russell Westbrook hoisting up 28 shots and Paul George launching 13 of his own.
Anthony remained calm despite the lack of shots.
“I’m good with that, if we win. I’m cool with that, man,” Anthony said (h/t ESPN).
“[Russell Westbrook] had it going, and any time he has it going, we just gotta space it out, play off of him, let him work. The ball will find us. As far as the shots go, there’s going to be nights like that. I think that’s something we have to accept. It’s different, but we have to accept that. But tonight, he had it going, and we followed his lead.”
“He led us tonight,” Anthony said. “He led us to this victory. Especially offensively. Put the team on his back offensively.”
Anthony has stressed “sacrifice” as he has shifted from primary scoring option to a complimentary role with his new team.
“A lot of times, my man is not leaving me,” Anthony said.
“Opposing teams, coaches’ defensive schemes is telling them to always keep a body on me. … As a result of that, me being a decoy opens it up for a lot of people.”
Anthony also discussed the long stretches he goes, at times, without taking a shot in the game.
“Those are the most challenging ones,” Anthony said of getting a shot when he hasn’t taken one in a while. “I think in order for us to be successful, you have to be ready for those moments. Because just don’t know when those opportunities are going to come. You have to mentally stay in the game, and you have to prepare yourself for when those times come.”
“If any one of us has the hot hand, they gotta keep going,” George said. “Russ definitely had the hot hand and we were fine, we were fine with him taking the game over. He had the hot hand, and we were confident in the shots, and he was getting great looks. You can’t really be mad about the looks he got. Wide-open looks and layups. We’re livin’ and we’re on his back with that.”
“The good thing about it is, there’s hot hands over here and there’s guys that can put the ball in the hole,” George said. “That’s a difference in my career of not having that pressure.”
“The ball has gotta move, and we have to generate better shots,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “We can’t iso our way to being a great team offensively.”
Thunder Exercise Option on Terrance Ferguson
The Oklahoma City Thunder have exercised the third-year option on the contract of Terrance Ferguson.
Ferguson is a former 1st round pick of Oklahoma City back in the 2017 NBA draft, and with increased playing time this season, he is averaging 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.6 steals per game for the Thunder.
Thunder announces it has exercised the third-year option on Terrance Ferguson for 2019-20.
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) October 29, 2018
Thunder’s Paul George Talks About Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George had an interesting take on his MVP teammate, point guard Russell Westbrook, saying that the point guard is a bit of an “a**hole” but saying that it is fine to be one.
“You’ve got guys in the league that have that — I would say ‘a–hole’ in them that people think Russ has,” George said, according to Royce Young of ESPN. “And that’s fine. That’s fine to be an a–hole. You should be an a–hole at some point.”
In case you think that by George labeling Westbrook in such a derogatory way is a slight, George explained that it was a good thing.
“The difference is, you’ve got guys that are a–holes that don’t care to be your teammate. Russ is going to be there, regardless if he’s getting on you, if he’s chewing you out,” George explained. “If it’s something he feels he needs to address with you, he’s going to do it. But he’s going to be your teammate at the end of the day. He’s going to have your back, he’s going to stand his ground and he’s going to go to war with you. After, he’s going to laugh, he’s going to joke — that’s Russ. He’s a different type of teammate.”
Thunder’s Andre Roberson to be Re-Evaluated in Two Months
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Andre Roberson has suffered an unfortunate setback in his rehabilitation from left patellar knee surgery that will set him back an additional two months in his recovery, according to ESPN’s Royce Young.
The setback required Roberson undergo surgery on Thursday, according to a team spokesperson. Roberson’s recovery has not been without it’s hurdles as he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee over the summer to relieve inflammation that developed during his rehab.
Roberson, 25, will be re-evaluated in two months but he will need even more time to prepare for a return to action this upcoming season.
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