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Can OKC Thunder Compete for a Championship?

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Can Okc Thunder Compete For A Championship

Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard that Kevin Durant jumped ship to tag on the Warriors’ “Golden” squad.

And, thus began the rumbling noise that Golden State was already NBA champions, and we should just skip 2016-17 NBA season altogether. However, in the midst of Durant’s departure, and the preparations for the Summer Olympics in Rio, Russell Westbrook made headlines.

The fiercest competitive force of nature in the NBA was described as “ticked off”, and he’s “eager for the season to start,” says Anthony Slater for The Oklahoman.

So, despite feeling betrayed by his long-time running mate, presumably because of his playing style, Russell Westbrook is ready for blood, figuratively speaking.

“Westbrook has given the Thunder no indication that he currently wants out,” says Slater in his piece for The Oklahoman, which should not surprise fans because that attitude is precisely why so many people love Russ. In a situation, where arguably the best basketball player on the planet leaves your team to join the greatest team of all-time, most players, superstars included, would have left, but not Russ.

So, with Russ in attack mode, Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, a promising young coach in Billy Donovan, great leadership provided by Maurice Cheeks and Monty Williams, and the newly acquired Victor Oladipo, can the Thunder compete out west?

The Thunder as presently constructed is a legitimate playoff calibre team, but can they compete against Golden State, San Antonio, and the Los Angeles Clippers? They can, but they would be the underdog in any of these hypothetical series.

Since Durant’s departure, Oklahoma City has fallen from possibly being the team to beat in the West, to the second-tier teams, but it is not crazy to imagine the Thunder making a deep playoff run.

After the three teams aforementioned, who is left? The Mavericks, Rockets, Grizzlies, and Trail Blazers are legitimate playoff calibre teams. The Suns, Jazz, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Kings, and Nuggets all can play the dark horse, but they have too many questions to be considered legitimate playoff calibre teams.

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The 2016-17 Oklahoma City Thunder team can compete against those teams on a nightly basis, and, even, eliminate them in the playoffs.

Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder might have been the best thing that has happened to Russ, because Russ will wreak havoc on the league, and he will show us why he is one of the best players in the game.

For the first time in his career, Russ won’t have to hear about how he needs to understand that it is not his team, or that the offence flows better when someone else runs the show.

Russ will have the greenest light he’s ever had, and the NBA is about to witness his wrath, especially when the Warriors visit Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Russ will be a triple-double machine while shutting down the opposing team’s point guard.

A few days prior to Durant’s decision, Oklahoma City traded Serge Ibaka to Orlando for Victor Oladipo and the newly drafted Domantas Sabonis.

Victor Oladipo will fill a void that has been a problem in Oklahoma City for years, a good two-way shooting guard player. A year ago, Oladipo averaged 16 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists for the Orlando Magic. He brings a key element to the game of basketball that the Thunder have not had since James Harden was in town.

And, in the deal, OKC also received Domantas Sabonis, a 6-foot-11 inches tall power forward from Gonzaga University who averaged 17.6 points, and 11.8 rebounds per game, last year. Sabonis brings size and an inside presence that Ibaka used to bring to the table.

Everyone is jumping off the Thunder’s bandwagon, but this team is good enough to make the playoffs and compete out west, but ultimately they will go as far as Russ can carry them. It’s his team now, something he’s always wanted.

It’s his time to show the world, he can shoulder the load…

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NBA

Jared Dudley Is The Lakers Unsung Hero

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jared dudley is the lakers unsung hero
No Dud...

There’s a hero that could save us in Hollywood right now.

And I ain’t talking about The King.

Or the Brow to ‘Bron in A.D. and his best since Shaq and Kobe dynamic duo combining for 70 like one off Elgin Baylor’s career high.

I ain’t talking about Kuz. Canada’s champ Danny Green from downtown purple and gold. Or the redemption reunion of Superman returns Dwight Howard in the hash-tag “Washed King’s” revenge season.

I ain’t even talking about the bald identity of my hero the Alex Caruso show this time.

I’m talking about Jared Dudley people.

Wait…what the?!

Yeah I said it!

Not the same Jared that got replaced by Joaquin as The Joker. Not the same Dudley that got nut checked by Shaquille O’Neal on the Knicks before lamely quarterback pitch throwing the ball after him on the inbound technical (we didn’t think centers apart from Shaq could pass like that). Or the same J.D. that like going with Coke welcomed us to Atlanta with Ludacris. But just Jared.

Yeah right…”just”.

You may think the former Brooklyn boy fan favourite owns the last roster spot that should have gone to a blazing Carmelo. Or still a free agent Jamal Crawford (even a J.R. Smith?!). A spot reserved for Andre Igudola once he gets out of contract hell. Or even a South Bay call-up for legendary names in young Lakers like Antetokounmpo, Stockton and Payton II. And let’s not forget the one Ingram they didn’t trade in the Grey Mamba ‘dre.

And with that headband over his shaved dome you may think the guy who Balenciaga bigger than Basketball looks the part in the players only catwalk runway to the stadium for his fashion fit drip looks like he’ll definitely be in ‘Bron’s ‘Space Jam’ sequel too. That’s all for your insults folks (“baldy?!”). But with that number ten to go with the head check he kind of looks like a less ripped version of a former King that used to kill the Lakers…and that’s no insult to J.D. Have you see Mike Bibby these days? He really is a unit.

But to me he looks like one of those bench energy guys who lifts the whole team in the mould of a Rony Turiaf or ‘Mad Dog’ Mark Madsen. Even if his time on the pine is more than on the hardwood. He still has his Laker legend like that photoshopped number 10 next to James and Davis for the new big three, tongue in cheek.

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And speaking of that number ten you just may see that jersey in the seats of STAPLES almost as much as the King’s 23. Why you ask. Are fans waiting until A.D. adds a King’s 2 to his 3 as LeBron carries the 6? Was there a sale? An in-game giveaway like that Shaq City Edition being on everyones seats pregame for its debut in L.A.?

No!

It’s because Dudley has literally been gifting his number ten signature to almost everyone (hello!) whose asked this season on Twitter and it isn’t even Christmas yet. What a statement. And if you thought that was a grand gesture then half of these people in the stands in tens are there because Jared has personally left comp tickets waiting for them for games at will call (the other half probably just in thanks). Not just at STAPLES…but on the road too. Now how’s that for player power? Reaching out to fans in precarious positions, with problems when it comes to getting to games, or even those whose lifelong dream was just to see Hollywood’s Lakers live and in living colour one time.

He’s done it countless. More times than the 23 and 2 team to start their best season since the year 2000 have won.

Now how about that? You love to see it. Right now no one does more for the fans than the people’s champ Jared Dudley.

When he gets his ring it won’t be from riding coattails, but giving his all, everything.

And let’s not forget the heart and hustle he puts down on the floor every night his box score doesn’t read DNP-CD for a second, or minute of time.

Let’s see more from Dudley.

The Lake Show are the Hollywood story of the season. But we all know when it comes to the script from the Basketball God’s you need your character actors as much as the academy of award winners. And if Jared Dudley really is the Lakers unsung hero in L.A. like Denis Irwin was for Manchester United (know your history) it’s time to hit the high notes and shoot our shot like he does his.

Now is this enough for me to get a jersey Jared?

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DO Call It A Carmelo Comeback. Anthony Is Guaranteed For Years

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carmelo anthony signs guarantee contract with portland trail blazers
Back From The Dead In RIP City...

Three fingers like “what’s your poison” and shots to the dome like LL Cool J’s comeback. I’m calling it…

La La said knock you out.

They say there are no guarantees in this life, or league. But now after almost crossing off an entire calender, Carmelo Anthony has one in this league of X and O’s.

You best believe every team that slept on him has woke up now.

O.K. Thunder? Like old New York. No ‘Melo in Lakers yellow, or Houston’s problem.

And let’s not talk about that ATL jersey Atlanta tried to hawk.

The Nugget type of fellow that Nelly rapped about like ‘Na-Nana-Na’, with the heart of a champion sweat until he was no longer in a suit and part of the Sportscenter theme again. After waiting longer to align with The King in Hollywood for this Game Of Thrones than another Anthony (Davis), Carmelo ended up coming up roses in the RIP City of Portland. And boy has he blazed a trail. Voltron forming arguably a big three with the best backcourt in the league not in this nation’s capital with C.J. McCollum and Dame ‘Time’ Lillard with the look like the OK3 of Russell Westbrook and PG3 and not the Beard and the Brow.

And now he’s exceeded everyone’s greatest expectations. As one of the G.O.A.T.’s has polished his path to the Hall with a comeback even better than the return of Superman Dwight Howard with the Lakers…which could have had a Hollywood sequel with Carmelo’s comeback.

But the Lakers loss is the PDX’s blazing gain.

What more would you expect from a guy who still put up competent averages in the soaring Rockets cosmos, despite being grounded by little court acclaim? The problems in Houston could have actually been attributed to another guy who ended up ousted and in an Oklahoma home too. Despite the trolls who are now trading in hot takes like they never simulated 2K videos of him building a Commodore house with his shot selection. Or the analysts who are changing their discussion like a report rewrite.

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Carmelo ain’t calming down. Anthony is taking everyone back to school.

Class has been in session.

And how about the report card? Eight games. 16.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Big shots. Western Conference Player of the Week. All Star legend spot? He belongs like the Carushow in the Slam Dunk Contest. He’s unstoppable like LeBron James’ Eurostep, spin-cycle lay-up that is like a runaway freight…word to Denzel Washington. Or his Kareem sky-hook. Tokyo 2020 Team USA bid for the best in five rings Olympic legend in his golden age? Big shots from the double 0 like seven. From nothing twice?! This is no time to die Mr. Bond.

He’s gone toe-to-shot with the MVP. Showed he was more than a most imported or Sixth Man, but still a star. More than the name, but the actual game. And now he’s guaranteed to be around for a while longer like he never left, but is here to stay. As the Blazers changed the trail on the end of the signature of his contract before the ink even dried for this guy’s with the wet jumper like staying outside in the snow with your ugly NBA sweater this Christmas.

This tax is more than a luxury. It’s about to cap off a classic career with one compelling closing chapter.

Even when he bit career highs at the core of his career in the Big Apple, the ever humble hero Carmelo was a walking and dribbling, “I just take it one game (or day) at a time” postgame soundbite like he has been in his comeback off court to on it. Well now the Blazers can guarantee him 365…or at least 82 or however far he takes them.

From the headband to the hoodie, stay ‘Melo. Anthony is here to stay.

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