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NWGonzaga
10-03-2016, 01:53 PM
I know everybody is anticipating the start of college basketball season, but NBA preseaon has started with a couple zags already playing. Kyle Wiltjer had 10 points in 9 minutes of play. Domantas Sabonis got the start and played an impressive 29 minutes with a full stat line of 7 points and 5 rebounds 4 assists.

sittingon50
10-03-2016, 02:03 PM
I know everybody is anticipating the start of college basketball season, but NBA preseaon has started with a couple zags already playing. Kyle Wiltjer had 10 points in 9 minutes of play. Domantas Sabonis got the start and played an impressive 29 minutes with a full stat line of 7 points and 5 rebounds 4 assists.

And 6 fouls.

(sorry; referencing Domas)

zag buddy
10-03-2016, 02:10 PM
Kyle also had 3 rebounds. He appears to have bulked up a bunch. The announcers were very positive he would make the team.

TexasZagFan
10-04-2016, 05:06 AM
http://www.espn.com/blog/okc-thunder/post/_/id/1862/only-preseason-but-post-durant-drama-already-has-begun-for-thunder



The Thunder went with Westbrook, Oladipo, Roberson, rookie Domantas Sabonis and Adams as their starting five. Perhaps Sabonis got the nod because his legendary father, Arvydas, played for Real Madrid, but it's more likely the Thunder are looking hard at using the rookie at the starting power forward spot. The organization is extremely high on the No. 11 overall pick, and with Sabonis flashing range out to the 3 (he went 1-of-2 on Monday), there's a feeling that pairing him with Adams makes the most sense.

Zags_Fanatic
10-04-2016, 10:46 PM
Nice line for Wiltjer today against the Knicks. 9 points 1 rebound and 1 block on 3/4 shooting in just 8 minutes. Keep it up, Wiltj!

Zagdawg
10-05-2016, 06:51 AM
Game day!
Thunder at FC Barcelona.
⌚️ 1:30CT 8:30 in Spain.
�� @NBATV
�� @sportsanimal Thunder Net
�� stats: http://okcthunder.com & app

Bogozags
10-12-2016, 08:35 AM
15 points in 24 minutes...

So far 13 for 24 from the field and 7 for 13 3pt shooting...

He seems to be doing well...averaging 11pts in 14 minutes of playing...

LongIslandZagFan
10-12-2016, 08:56 AM
15 points in 24 minutes...

So far 13 for 24 from the field and 7 for 13 3pt shooting...

He seems to be doing well...averaging 11pts in 14 minutes of playing...

Who... Sabonis or Kyle?

Bogozags
10-12-2016, 09:14 AM
Who... Sabonis or Kyle?

I'm sorry, that was for Kyle...

jazzdelmar
10-12-2016, 09:30 AM
I'm sorry, that was for Kyle...

Awesome. What a great kid.....

LongIslandZagFan
10-12-2016, 10:39 AM
I'm sorry, that was for Kyle...

Cool... really hoping he makes the roster.

krii
10-16-2016, 02:10 AM
Kyle is having a great pre-season. Two weeks ago I've been asking a couple of Houston fans if he has a shot to make a roster, however at this time they were unsure whether it's possible. Two weeks later Kyle is averaging 15 mpg with 10.5 pts and 3.3 rbs on .552 / .500 / 1. . He started quite slow with two 8/9 minutes games in which he had 10/3 and 9/1 but his last two games were outstanding - he played 20 and 25 minutes and went for 15/5 and 8/4 on impressive efficiency.

In those 4 games Kyle had only 3 TO (in one game though) and fouled 4 times in total.

Same guys who were unsure about him now want to have Kyle on the roster. He is winning it and - I'm sure about that - he'll earn some minutes in the league. I'd love to see Kyle going for 6th man/offensive gun role in Rockets. Oh man ... I can't wait to see that ^^

jazzdelmar
10-16-2016, 03:03 AM
Dreaming of both DS and KW on the all rookie team at the ASG.

Bogozags
10-16-2016, 05:03 AM
Dreaming of both DS and KW on the all rookie team at the ASG.

I wonder how Kyle is doing on defence as I was never concerned about his offence. His ability or lack of ability to play defence in the League will determine if he can make it. It is important that he isn't a liability on the defensive side of the ball.

With DS, must also become more comfortable on defence as he a knack of picking up quick fouls...that was also an issue playing in the Olympics. If memory serves he had the same issue as a frosh...in time he will learn and will fit in nicely...IMO

ZagMan in Philly
10-18-2016, 04:08 PM
I think KW will make the roster. They know how good of a shooter he is, and as long as he continues to make those bombs with good percentage, they will keep him around.
D.S. will probably start for the Thunder, and make all rookie team.

One other i am following is Olynyk, he is trying to comeback from the shoulder surgery, and this will be a very important year for him to prove that he belongs. Celtics will be one of the favorites in the East, so I hope Kelly is up to the task.
http://www.celticsblog.com/2016/9/13/12878534/nba-boston-celtics-year-kelly-olynyk

Jstock12
10-20-2016, 07:44 AM
Some comments on KW from the Rockets message board:


We should really keep him. Shooting at the top of the top-middle of the rotation is suspect. Have the kid contribute as he's been doing.


He's ready to contribute. When the team needs a shooter on the floor, he can come in to shoot some 3s, then sit back down. No need to send specialist role players like him to the D-League.


Kid can shoot, he's gotta make the team or another team will pick him up in a heartbeat. He's probably not ready to be more than a victory cigar type player, but he's got potential.


Gotta find a way to keep him. He's too good to let walk. With that said I dont think he will get much NBA pt this season unless there are injuries. But let him develop his body with the vipers this year.


Keep him and no to sending him to the valley. He needs a spot in the rotation. I also agree that there needs to be a trade made to clear some room up. Not exactly sure what and for who, but Wiltjer needs to be given some tick and time to grow.


He has a wet shot. We need that in rotation. Tyler Ennis and Bobby Brown aren't cutting it.


All in. Buy buy buy. I guarantee you will never hear Clyde chide Kyle to give up on his 3 pt shot like he did relentlessly with D-Mo. Kyle is the truth from 3. Kentucky and Gonzaga. Dude is a stud. What a pick.

Mantua
10-20-2016, 12:53 PM
I think KW will make the roster. They know how good of a shooter he is, and as long as he continues to make those bombs with good percentage, they will keep him around.
D.S. will probably start for the Thunder, and make all rookie team.

One other i am following is Olynyk, he is trying to comeback from the shoulder surgery, and this will be a very important year for him to prove that he belongs. Celtics will be one of the favorites in the East, so I hope Kelly is up to the task.
http://www.celticsblog.com/2016/9/13/12878534/nba-boston-celtics-year-kelly-olynyk

Kelly might have some great opportunities with Sullinger out of the picture.

DixieZag
10-20-2016, 11:47 PM
All these guys making some noise in the NBA might as well be a billboard outside the Mac to recruits: "Come Here"

Of course, UW has one of those signs, too.

Maybe ours should say "Come Here, and Win, too - while on your way."

JAGzag
10-21-2016, 09:39 AM
All these guys making some noise in the NBA might as well be a billboard outside the Mac to recruits: "Come Here"

Of course, UW has one of those signs, too.

Maybe ours should say "Come Here, and Win, too - while on your way."

Dixie, difference is UW gets NBA players, we develop ours and win in the process!

maynard g krebs
10-21-2016, 01:03 PM
Dixie, difference is UW gets NBA players, we develop ours and win in the process!

Not really true. Guys like Robinson, Thomas were 3 star kids. Most of the rest that made the pros were mid/lower end of the top 100. Last year's two were 40-50ish in their class. Roy was laughed at when he tried to go pro out of hs with a 40ish ranking. Hawes was top 10, Wroten top 20, as was Brockman but he was considered a 4 year guy.

WallaWallaZag
10-22-2016, 04:03 PM
Not really true. Guys like Robinson, Thomas were 3 star kids. Most of the rest that made the pros were mid/lower end of the top 100. Last year's two were 40-50ish in their class. Roy was laughed at when he tried to go pro out of hs with a 40ish ranking. Hawes was top 10, Wroten top 20, as was Brockman but he was considered a 4 year guy.

agreed, a case of perception rather than reality...i guess that means you can diss romar for the losing, but not for the development of his players. i will say though they do tend to get NBA-level athletes even if they aren't 5 star guys coming out of high school.

zagamatic
10-22-2016, 09:31 PM
Saw on a ticker at the bottom of the screen during football today that Olynyk has been cleared for contact. Not quite ready to play, but cleared.

amaronizag
10-23-2016, 03:49 AM
Great news about Olynyk!! Now he needs to get back to starting form and prove himself so they renew his contract!!

Birddog
10-23-2016, 11:31 AM
Nice article about Sabonis.


On Wednesday, the 6-foot-11 Sabonis – now an NBA rookie – figures to be in the starting lineup for the Thunder when it opens the season at Philadelphia. He'll fill the spot last held by Serge Ibaka, the player the Thunder traded to Orlando in a deal that landed Sabonis.

It's a significant step for Sabonis, and for the franchise, which hasn't started a rookie on opening night since Kevin Durant in 2007, when it still was the Seattle SuperSonics. Russell Westbrook was the last Thunder rookie to start more than 20 games in a season

http://newsok.com/how-domantas-sabonis-basketball-education-prepared-him-for-a-prominent-role-as-a-thunder-rookie/article/5523709

ZagNative
10-23-2016, 11:52 AM
Is today the day we find out whether or not Wiltjer makes the Rockets' roster?

ZagNative
10-23-2016, 12:00 PM
Nice article about Sabonis.



http://newsok.com/how-domantas-sabonis-basketball-education-prepared-him-for-a-prominent-role-as-a-thunder-rookie/article/5523709
Wow! That really is a great article!

But the kid advanced quickly. He rose a rank every year in Unicaja. By 16 he was playing for what he called the club's equivalent of an NBA Development League team, and at 17 he joined the first team as an amateur playing among pros.

The benefits were apparent by the time Mark Few first saw him.

COLLEGE TRY

Few, who would coach Sabonis for two collegiate seasons at Gonzaga, first saw him at age 15 and was drawn immediately to what he called the kid's “ferociousness, for lack of a better word.”

The EuroLeague is more physical in the paint than even the NBA, American coaches will tell you, and early on it was apparent to Few that there was “nothing soft about” Sabonis.

Playing European basketball, Few said, had made Sabonis comfortable in the pick-and-roll game so prevalent in the NBA. He was strong and skilled in the post, an excellent passer and an aggressive if foul-prone defender.

But Sabonis had a lot to learn about American basketball. The rules were different. The athletes were better. And there was the small matter that “when he got to us he couldn't shoot outside of four feet,” Few said.

And so every night – “literally every night,” Few and Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd both stress – Sabonis would spend extra time in the gym. He'd do an hour of skill work outside of practice, then work on his jumper, starting at four feet and working his way out, sometimes well into the night.

That work, Few said, was Sabonis' daily priority. He went from a non-shooter to a comfortable face-up player. In his sophomore season at Gonzaga, he made five 3-pointers.

“We basically should take him around to every little traveling AAU team and have him give a seminar,” Few said. “You want somebody who should be entitled? His dad's one of the greatest players in the history of basketball. They come from money. He's really good, he's an All-American and all that. But he doesn't have one ounce of entitlement to him.”

That approach has made an impression in his new home.

sittingon50
10-23-2016, 03:47 PM
Thanks, Bird.

ZagNative
10-23-2016, 07:19 PM
Nice piece about Wiltjer and his chances for signing in the Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/sports/rockets/article/Kyle-Wiltjer-s-shooting-could-help-him-land-10153110.php#photo-11437988):

ockets rookie Kyle Wiltjer took a dribble handoff and moved toward a screen as a buzz began to fill the arena. The crowd in Toyota Center for a Sunday Fan Fest and public scrimmage might not have known the second line of a scouting report on Wiltjer, but it knew what comes first and immediately expected him to launch a 3.

Wiltjer did not disappoint. Less certain is whether he will be back.

The Rockets will take their final roster cuts to the deadline, needing to trim four players from the roster to get down to the maximum of 15.

The first two of those cuts are clear, with P.J. Hairston and Le'Bryan Nash signed for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets' NBA Development League Affiliate. after that, the decisions will be challenging.

Wiltjer would be the lone big man left, with a strength as a range-shooting four that would fit with Mike D'Antoni's offense. He also could benefit by the ongoing impasse with restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas.

If Wiltjer makes the roster, that could leave the decision between guards Bobby Brown, Tyler Ennis and Gary Payton II -- barring any roster move to bring in help with guard Pat Beverley out. Ennis has played by far the most significant minutes, potentially indicating his place in the Rockets' plans. But Brown has come on well lately.

"Those last two cuts are a very gray area," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's not easily done and somebody is going to get the short end of the stick. I hate it, but that's the business we're in."

Wiltjer has already turned heads, hitting 41.7 percent of his 3-pointers and 47.5 percent of his shots overall.

"He has two NBA skills," D'Antoni said. "One is shooting which is off the charts and is not just an NBA skill, but a top-level NBA skill. He can be a great shooter. The second thing is he really knows how to play offensively. He has a great feel for the game.

"On defense, he's always in the right position. He lacks a little strength. He lacks a little mobility. They'll work on and he'll get better. He'll get stronger physically. But if you watch his whole game and watch film on him, he's a very high-level player. I think he's an NBA player."

If the Rockets decide to make that official – Wiltjer's draft-night decision, when he chose the Rockets to sign as an undrafted free agent to play in D'Antoni's offense – will have paid off.

"My agent (Mark Bartelstein) said, "Coach D'Antoni really helped reinvent Steve Novak with the system as a big who could shoot,'" Wiltjer said. "I looked at a couple teams that wanted me, but I thought with Coach D'Antoni and the system he runs, it would really fit the way I play.

"I was very fortunate to get this situation because a big emphasis with the Rockets for this year has been shooting and I thought I could really help."

"A lot of times it has nothing to do with beating out the other guy," D'Antoni said. "They're all NBA players. They're all really good players. They all played great in college. They all have something to offer. What needs we have, we need to satisfy. Some guys are better at it than others. We have to determine that."

The Rockets are just about out of time to make that determination, with Wiltjer hoping to keep launching 3s the Toyota Center crowd sees coming.

"I'll be fine, but I really, really hope it's in Houston," Wiltjer said. "The minute I stepped in Houston I fell in love with the city. I would love for it to be here, but I think I have some good options. I have to be ready for that next step. Hopefully, it's here."

northsidezagfan
10-23-2016, 07:36 PM
Thanks Bird and ZN, great reads

willandi
10-23-2016, 08:58 PM
Last game, he had an off shooting night. I think he was 1/6 and 0/5 from 3. I hope that isn't the deciding factor.

Jstock12
10-23-2016, 09:42 PM
Last game, he had an off shooting night. I think he was 1/6 and 0/5 from 3. I hope that isn't the deciding factor.

He was 10/19 (52.6%) from three in the whole preseason before that game though. MDA is an offensive minded coach and my guess is he puts some extra value on these types of players who can heat up quick, and score a bunch of points in limited minutes. Kyle also fits Rockets GM's (Daryl Morey) basketball philosophy.

krii
10-24-2016, 12:15 AM
He was 10/19 (52.6%) from three in the whole preseason before that game though. MDA is an offensive minded coach and my guess is he puts some extra value on these types of players who can heat up quick, and score a bunch of points in limited minutes. Kyle also fits Rockets GM's (Daryl Morey) basketball philosophy.

Plus one off night doesn't indicate he can't shoot. Everybody knows he has skills but even the GOAT had bad nights.

willandi
10-24-2016, 07:34 AM
I certainly wasn't dissing Wiltjer...just pointing out that the last game he had, the last chance to make an impression, he showed that he can have an off night. We saw that at Gonzaga. I think he has a place on an NBA team. I was just pointing out the off night.

Jstock12
10-24-2016, 08:24 AM
I certainly wasn't dissing Wiltjer...just pointing out that the last game he had, the last chance to make an impression, he showed that he can have an off night. We saw that at Gonzaga. I think he has a place on an NBA team. I was just pointing out the off night.

I wasn't implying you are dissing him! :-) Just wanted to share some stats from before that bad game. I mean, the same Ryan Anderson who is getting paid 20M per season by the Rockets had an off night recently where he shot 0/4 from beyond the arc. It happens to the best of them. I don't think that such an analytical mind like Daryl Morey would pay any attention to a 1-game sample of Kyle missing shots. That's just some short-term variance.

STIETZ543
10-24-2016, 10:46 AM
Thinking he's almost a lock to make the team now!

Calvin Watkins
ESPN Staff Writer
Rockets waived forward PJ Hairston, forward Le'Bryan Nash and guard Gary Payton II. The Rockets took a cap hit of $543,471 with the release of Payton.

Bogozags
10-24-2016, 11:07 AM
Thinking he's almost a lock to make the team now!

Calvin Watkins
ESPN Staff Writer
Rockets waived forward PJ Hairston, forward Le'Bryan Nash and guard Gary Payton II. The Rockets took a cap hit of $543,471 with the release of Payton.

I read that but couldn't find anything on the final Rocket roster...

My fingers are crossed for him...he is such a great kid...better to be on the home club than on D-League...he will learn more and more...maybe turn out like Battier from Duke!

Birddog
10-24-2016, 03:13 PM
A lot of teams chauffeur their end of the bench players back and forth to the D League to keep them sharp. They remain on the NBA teams roster while doing this.