Who becomes the man off the bench?
For years, the Thunder had James Harden anchor their second unit. He won Sixth Man of the Year, the team went to the Finals, realized they couldn't afford him, sold him for some beans and are here now.
Last season, the prolific scorer off the pine was Kevin Martin, who came over in the Harden trade with the Houston Rockets. He averaged a respectable 14.0 ppg in his reserve role.
Martin bolted to the Minnesota Timberwolves via free agency, so that scorer's role off the bench is open. And needed. Scott Brooks starts Thabo Sefalohsa at the shooting guard for his defense, so someone needs to put the ball in the hoop for the second squad.
Plus, that person will see crunch-time minutes and, with Russell Westbrook sidelined 4-6 weeks to start the regular season, another scorer to go with Kevin Durant is vital.
The player most likely to give the role a shot is Jeremy Lamb. The second-year man from UConn, who also came to OKC via the Rockets in the Harden trade, averaged 6.4 minutes per game in his rookie season. That's a lot to ask someone to go from non-factor to humongous factor.
There's no easy solution to this one. It's going to plague Oklahoma City early and maybe all season.
- I can't envision caring less about who Michael Jordan beat one-on-one at a camp, nor do I give a rat's petunia about who he thinks he could beat in his or their prime.
- The Westbrook injury will hurt the Thunder early obviously, but he'll be fresher for the playoffs with the possible two-month layoff, and that's a good thing. The Thunder don't need the No. 1 seed to win the Western Conference. As long as everyone is healthy in the postseason, OKC can beat anyone, anywhere. Durant is going to put massive numbers in Westbrook's absence. We're talking bigger than large.
- I like that the New York Knicks picked up Woodson's option for next season. There is once again upheaval in the front office, but Woodson has been great for a team with a lot of talent and a lot of personalities. He's always thoughtful (full of thought, not gooey) when answering questions and is someone who adapts to his guys and their strengths.
- Having a hard time deciding on who I like for Most Improved Player this season. After successfully tabbing Paul George last season, I feel pressure. There are eight names on my board.
- Movie moment - Interesting read on what movies Pope Francis loves. To my massive surprise, we would disagree about what to see.
- TV moment - I'm never going to watch Robin Williams in a TV show. Let me guess - he'll act crazy, do some weird voices, have a sweet moment with someone? Did I get it right?