The Oklahoma City Thunder Should Target Michael Beasley At The NBA Trade Deadline

Throughout this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder have implemented an offensive system that is centered around the pick and roll and post-ups for the second unit. For instance, the point guard would bring the ball up to the three-point line and then a big man would set a screen. Once the pick was set the point guard would pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, the point guard would go over it and take the wide-open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, the point guard would go over it as well and drive towards the basket where he would score or pass the ball to the player next to him or to the perimeter depending on whether he was double teamed or not.

However, there are occasions when the Oklahoma City Thunder will send a big man in the low block to post up. For instance, the point guard will bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes it to a big man in the low post area. Once that happens, the big man will attempt to back down the defender with one of his shoulders to get within comfortable range to shoot a jump hook. Another example of this is when the point guard will bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes it to another perimeter player. The second perimeter will either dump the ball into the post or give it to a third perimeter player, and he will throw it into the low to mid-block to start the process of attempting to get a jump hook. Unfortunately, the second unit for the Thunder is struggling to score points as they’re currently 28th in the league in bench scoring averaging 24.9 points per game.

As a result of this, the team should target a Michael Beasley trade at the NBA trade deadline. This is because Beasley has been primarily known for his ability to score the basketball in various ways like post-ups. For instance, when Michael Beasley receives the ball in the mid to low post he likes to shoot a turn around jumper, face up to shoot over the defender or face up to drive to the basket and shoot a layup. Not only can Beasley score in the post but he has also shown the ability to score as the screen in the pick and roll.  For instance, if his defender decides to come up and defend the point guard, Mike will roll to the basket to shoot a layup or dunk the ball.  On the other hand, if his defender decides to stay back he will pop out to the three-point line to act like he is going to shoot, but once the ball is in his hands, he drives.

In conclusion,  Michael Beasley’s skill set is a perfect fit with the Thunder’s system which can immediately help the team’s bench scoring. As a result, Billy Donovan can afford to give his superstars more rest because he won’t have to worry about the bench, not scoring points. Furthermore, the team does not have to worry about being in a long-term commitment with Beasley as he is on a one-year deal.

Kevin Durant Will Pursue A Reunion With The Oklahoma City Thunder Before Retirement 

Over the past year and a half, Kevin Durant has been on a mission to prove that he made the right decision in leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors. For instance, Durant has repeatedly engaged in conversations with NBA fans that ask him for a reasonable explanation as to why he left the Thunder. According to SI.com, Kevin responded to a Twitter user who stated that he respected Durant but needed “one legitimate reason for” him “leaving okc other than getting a championship.” Kevin answered the question by saying that “he didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and russ”. Although Kevin Durant gave a legitimate reason for leaving the Thunder, he continues to talk about the topic instead of letting it go.

Therefore, one can argue that Kevin Durant is like a person who is in a relationship, but they can’t stop thinking and talking about their previous partner. A person in this situation will continuously compare the characteristics of their current partner to their last partner and debate which one is better. For example, Durant interviewed with Michael Lee from the Vertical, and he was asked: “how do you feel it has played out for your game, in terms of maybe shots coming easier?”. Kevin responded to the question by saying “obviously, when you’ve got a better, when you’ve got a deeper team, you’ve got guys that can handle the ball, you’ve got shooters, you’ve got guys that can finish at the rim, it just opens it up for everybody”. Even though,  Kevin Durant gave an honest answer; it came off as a person acknowledging that their current partner has all the characteristics that their former partner was lacking.

Eventually, the constant acknowledgment of the Oklahoma City Thunder will create some friction between  Kevin Durant and the Warriors; because they know he isn’t fully committed to the relationship. As a result, there will be a time where the Warriors are going to pull him aside to tell him to stop mentioning his former team. The request should irritate Kevin Durant, and he will begin to design an exit strategy. Due to this, I believe he will pursue a reunion with the Thunder before retiring in an attempt to find happiness and get back in the good graces of fans.

Carmelo Anthony’s Mindset Should Be The Most Important Aspect To The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Season

Earlier today, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported that the New York Knicks agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder; for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and Chicago’s 2018 second-round draft pick. Although Carmelo joining the team seems like a move that would help them; reach the conference finals to compete with the Warriors, that is not necessarily the case as it depends on what mindset he brings to Oklahoma City.

Throughout last season the Thunder implemented an offensive system that is centered around the post up as well as the pick and roll. For instance, Russell Westbrook would bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes the ball to one of the big men in the low post. If the big man only sees one defender guarding him, he would attempt to back down the defender with one of his shoulders until he reaches a spot where he would try a jump hook, layup or dunk. However, if there is more than one defender on him, he would pass it back out to the perimeter which is what the other team wants. This is because the Thunder are one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league thus opposing teams will put themselves under the three-point line which encourages them to shoot.

Occasionally Billy Donovan would tell the team to run a pick and roll where Russell Westbrook brings the ball up to the three-point line and then a big man setting a screen. Once the screen is established Russell Westbrook would pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, Russell Westbrook would go over the pick and take the wide open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, Russell Westbrook would go over the screen as well and drive towards the basket where he would score or pass the ball to the player next to him or to the perimeter depending on whether he was double teamed or not. However, in most instances, the defender will go underneath the screen because the opposing team is aware that the Thunder are one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league. As a result, Russell is forced to make a difficult decision on whether to shoot a three that he is most likely going to miss or take a heavily contested shot near the basket.

As a result of this, the mindset of Carmelo Anthony should determine how successful the Thunder’s season will be. If he refuses to change his style of play, the team would be in a similar predicament to last season. This is because Carmelo likes to receive the ball in the mid to low block and proceed to shoot a turnaround jumper, or he faces the defender to shoot over him. Although on occasion he will back down the defender onto the edge of the paint and perform a spin move to create space for a layup. However, the post up would restrict the movement of the ball handler. For instance, if the ball handler got past the screen, the defense wouldn’t have to collapse on him because Carmelo’s defender can easily rotate over to him. As a result, the ball handler would have to take a mid-range jumper or hope that the defender can’t get back to Carmelo before a pass gets to him.

Therefore it would behoove the team to convince him into becoming a spot-up shooter that is in charge of making wide open shots when his defender is collapsing on the ball handler. If he is successful, the defender will have to stay close to him which gives the ball handler more open space to attack the basket and score. However, if he is unhappy or unable to be effective in the role, the team will most likely transition him into a sixth man role where he will be the primary scoring option for the second unit thus he can shoot whenever he wants while the starters are resting.