Thursday, January 26, 2017

Kanter Injures Wrist As Thunder Take Down Depleted Mavs

In the second quarter of tonight's game against the Mavericks, Enes Kanter came to the bench furious, slamming his hand on a chair in frustration. Kanter immediately knew something was wrong as he glanced at his wrist. According to Billy Donovan, Kanter suffered a right forearm fracture.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports the Thunder center will be out 6-8 weeks.

This would deal a tremendous blow to the Thunder lineup. The team heavily relies on Kanter to lead the second unit, which lacks any potent scorers besides himself. Kanter, an already serious threat on offense, has shown an improved passing game this season, especially out of double teams--a flaw that was shown in the last year's Warriors series.

As a team with a shortage of offensive playmakers, Kanter was an extremely reliable player off the bench, leading some to believe Kanter would be the 6th Man of the Year.

This has far more consequences than what meets the eye. Not only does it hurt the team in terms of wins and losses, but any significant move the Thunder planned to make at the trade deadline almost certainly had to involve Kanter. The 24 year old center was impressing teams around the league with his improved playmaking, increasing his trade value significantly. The Thunder just recently signed Oladipo and Adams to major contracts and don't plan on moving the duo anytime soon, unless a godlike offer arouse.

While a significant trade was unlikely, the Thunder now have no real shot at moving the needle anymore.

The Thunder have already dealt with a wrist injury earlier this season with Victor Oladipo, though the  guards injury was not as severe as Kanter's. With Oladipo out, the bench began to find a rhythm, with Kanter being the conductor.

While the injury caused a hole in the Thunder offense in the second half, the team rallied behind Westbrook's 45 points on an efficient 16-29 on field goals to beat the Dirk-less Mavericks. The team also received contributions from Victor Oladipo (17 points) and Steven Adams (15 points).

The Thunder will be in Cleveland this Sunday to take on the Cavaliers with a 2:30 tip-off.

Video of the incident:

Thunder Pummel Pelicans

A cutting Enes Kanter received a sharp pass from Russell Westbrook. With the paint surrounded by shot blockers, Anthony Davis and Omer Asik, the best option looked to be a pass back to the top of the key. Kanter, however had different thoughts. The 6'10 brute drove to the basket, escalating over the towering defense to slam home a monstrous dunk.

Kanter finished with 17 points to go along with 11 rebounds in a 114-105 victory over the Pelicans.

With Anthony Davis leaving the game early due to a right quad injury, the Thunder had an opportunity to blow past the Pelicans.

The Thunder lead did not stretch out at first, but the team had a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter because of some solid bench production. However, the Pelicans did come racing back to cut a once 21 point game to nine.

Westbrook would push the Thunder to their 27th win, while also earning his 23rd triple double of the season. To put that number into perspective Vince Carter, a future Hall of Famer, has five triple doubles in his entire career. Carter has played 1,314 games while Westbrook beat his triple double mark in a span of seven games.

While Westbrook's shooting numbers have not been great, he is the heart and soul of this Thunder team, single handedly leading them to victory night in and night out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Thunder Silence Jazz in their Best Victory of the New Year

Russell Westbrook pulls up over the back peddling Rudy Gobert for the game winning shot. Courtesy of
The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Jazz 97-95, in what was their best win of the new year. The Jazz came into the game with a six game winning streak, but a last second shot from Russell Westbrook would end their run.

This was a game of ups and downs. In the first quarter, Westbrook torched Dante Exum every chance he could get, helping the Thunder gain an early 27-26 at the end of the first.

The Thunder started to hit their stride in the second quarter, but then fell apart to let the Jazz come within three going into halftime.

Coming out of halftime the Thunder looked extremely sluggish. After a great first half, Westbrook struggled to find his shot, missing 13 straight at one point. The Thunder scored a lousy 11 points in the third quarter as the Jazz came storming back to take the lead entering the fourth.

The fourth quarter saw Westbrook and the team at their finest. With under a minute to go Westbrook hit a three to put the Thunder on the high side (kudos to Brian Davis). Off a blocked shot, Westbrook led the fast break with Steven Adams as Russell dished out his 10th assist, giving him his 22nd triple double of the season. With a solid defensive outing on the next play the Thunder looked like they were going to win the game.

Coming out of a timeout the Jazz drew up a play that set up a wide open three from Gordon Hayward with the help of some porous defense from the Thunder. Oklahoma City then called timeout to draw up a play of their own.

I thought I knew what was coming: a contested three from Westbrook. But I was wrong. Following the timeout, Billy Donovan elected not to advance the ball, giving Westbrook more room to operate. As Westbrook crossed the half court line, a screen came from Adams as the Jazz defense looked standstill. Grant Hill tried his best to recover from Adams' screen, but it was already too late. Westbrook pulled a midrange jump shot in front of the back peddling Rudy Gobert to win the game.

Westbrook continues to strengthen his case for MVP and looks to take the All-Star snub as even more motivation.

On another note, Russell Westbrook almost ended Rudy Gobert's career.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blog Introduction

Thunder Rumblings is your daily source for all things Thunder basketball. This blog will contain game recaps, rumors, weekly roundups, and analysis of certain players and plays throughout the season. With drama in every game, a historic triple-double season bout, there is plenty to talk about this Thunder season and you can expect to see it all unfold here. When the NBA season comes to a close you can still expect frequent content following the NBA Draft, free agency, and summer league basketball.