Northwest Notes: SGA, Vonleh, MPJ, Gallinari

New Thunder point guard Chris Paul has changed the way the team’s other new point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, thinks about defense, Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman relays. “Everybody’s always talking about offense, offense, offense,” Paul said in November, “but the biggest thing I’m talking to him about is defense.”

Gilgeous-Alexander told Lee that before Paul, no one had “really sat me down and shown me how to read (an opposing team’s) offense the same way you read a defense on the opposite end.” Paul is a nine-time All-Defensive Team selection. The Thunder are currently 11-12, good for the No. 7 seed in a top-heavy Western Conference.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Wolves center Noah Vonleh has been relegated to the bench a lot lately, tallying eight healthy scratches in the last 10 games heading into tonight’s contest against the Jazz (he has yet to play tonight, too). Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune details Vonleh’s plight. The forward signed a one-year, $2MM contract with Minnesota expecting an opportunity to play, but thus far has seen sparse playing time.
  • In Denver, Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr. is struggling to carve out a bench role for himself, and seeking clarity on his usage in coach Mike Malone‘s system.. The No. 14 draft pick in 2018, Porter got some meaningful spot minutes during the first half of last night’s 97-92 loss to the Sixers. But he was passed over in the third quarter in favor of fellow small forwards Torrey Craig and Juan Hernangomez“Yeah, I need to talk to coach again,” Porter told The Denver Post’s Mike Singer. “When we’re more mentally prepared about when we’re coming in, what he’s thinking for certain games.”
  • With most summer contracts eligible to be traded come December 15th, Thunder power forward Danilo Gallinari and his expiring $22.6MM contract have been the talk of the NBA town. One possible suitor, the Trail Blazers, could use Gallinari as their starting four in a 2020 playoff push. HoopsHype’s Bryan Kalbrosky details the versatile scorer’s potential fit in Portland.
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2 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: SGA, Vonleh, MPJ, Gallinari

  1. MPJ needs to be getting more regular minutes. He averages 9 mins per night with 4.5 points, 3 rebounds and 0.5 assists. He’s shooting a respectable 44% from the floor and 33% from deep.

    He’s super talented and needs minutes to continue his development. I think those shooting marks would be higher if given more minutes to pick his shots better. At this stage he gets exactly half as many points he gets minutes on 44% shooting meaning he shoots nearly once a minute, making it easier to guard him also. Give him more minutes, he won’t shoot as often cause he knows he’s got time to take better shots and he will pass it more making his assist numbers better also.

    Nuggets have a strong starting 5 and loads of good role players a lot of them young. At right now at 14-8 the nuggets have been abit disappointing. Maybe they should look to swap out quantity for more quality.

    Gary Harris, MPJ a first and 2 seconds for Jrue Holiday would be a good start.
    Makes the Nuggets a lot better defensively and Jrue is kinda clutch. Pelicans get to continue the rebuild with a first some seconds and MPJ who would hopefully pair well with Zion Williamson.

  2. x%sure

    Denver has been playing a player collection game, creating problems with PT and affecting teamwork. They should make trades so that dealing with these problems does not define the players and make them individualized.

    Unfortunately there’s been little GM-talk of trades. Finding a GM enamored of MPG would be a start.

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