Despite praising rookie forward Brandon Ingram for his playmaking and versatility, Walton said “we’re not going to throw him into the starting lineup right away” out of concern how he handles a grueling 82-game schedule.
“You develop the young core by rewarding them when they play well,” Walton said. “If there’s 10 games left in the season and out of the playoffs and there’s some vets that played long minutes all season, maybe you play all your young guys to finish out the season. But when you’re going through the season, you’re not doing anyone any favors just by playing young guys so they can play if they’re not out there playing the right way.”
Westbrook Notches Triple-Double as OKC Gets Win
It appeared a fitting beginning to Carmelo Anthony’s next chapter, a 3-pointer on his first possession with the Thunder, playing against his former team. Then he missed his next seven shots.
Like the rest of the Thunder, it was a slow burn as Anthony revved up in the second quarter and into the third, scoring 22 on 8-of-20 shooting in a 105-84 win over the Knicks on opening night. In their first regular-season game, there were some rough patches for the Thunder’s new big three, with Paul George missing a number of open looks and Anthony going cold at times, but in the end, talent prevailed. George finished with 28 on 9-of-23 shooting, and Russell Westbrook picked right up where he left off in his historic MVP season notching the first triple-double of this season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.
Source: Royce Young of ESPN
LeBron Vows to Improve his Conditioning
LeBron James says his left ankle feels strong enough to play in Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s the rest of his body that needs work.
“I just want to get to where I should be,” James said after participating in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice Thursday. “The ankle and the foot injury just kind of kept me out and set me back further than I would like, but I got some time now along the course of these games that we got. We got two back-to-backs coming up, so that’s going to help and we have some opportunity to get some practice time in as well.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN