Although the Oklahoma City Thunder are deploying more than their fair share of new members, the locker room does not, apparently, bear resemblance to a team trying to feel itself out.
On the contrary, Paul George says everyone already feels like family, per ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon:
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 3, 2017
Maybe this surprises some of you, but the vast majority of us should just be nodding in agreement.
Carmelo Anthony and George are at the center of the Thunder’s additions, and they’re seasoned pros. They know Russell Westbrook. Anthony and the point guard are both under the Jordan brand umbrella. George squared off against Anthony more than a few times in the Eastern Conference. George and Westbrook recruited Anthony to join them.
When that type of synergy exists from the outside, as opponents, it isn’t hard to forge immediate chemistry when you’re on the same side. Everyone else tends to fall in line behind the stars, and Westbrook has always been touted as a good teammate, while Anthony played an understated role in relating to the New York Knicks’ youngsters the past couple of seasons, even amid all the losing.
What remains to be seen is whether this troika’s good vibes will translate to instant success on the court. All three finished in the top 12 of isolation usage last season, according to NBA.com. Are they all willing to work more as off-ball shooters and cutters? Will there be an extensive grace period before they coalesce into a real force? Will they even reach their full potential by season’s end?
Those questions aren’t going away, but for now, it seems the Thunder’s new Big Three is off to a great start.