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Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both will play in the 2015 All-Star Game. Keep reading »
The Thunder won four straight games earlier this month and, all things considered (see what I did there?), the team looked pretty good. The Bogut and Iguodala-less Warriors got smacked around in the ‘Peake. The Magic were annihilated on the road. Back-to-back road wins against Miami and Washington weren’t too shabby.
Then the Thunder somewhat understandably lost a pair of road games against very good east teams (which is kind of like picking out the best smelling sewage treatment plant), KD injured a toe and the team has driven off a cliff, “Thelma & Louise”-style. With KD out, the team struggled to beat the 7-36 Timberwolves at home. The giant cherry on top of the dung pile came last night, losing on the road to the 8-37 Knicks. Keep Reading…
I found this interesting from Kevin Arnovitz in writing about the Grizzlies: “The arrival of Jeff Green from Boston has been a catalyst for this current self-examination. When a group has been together as long as the Grizzlies’ core has, staleness can seep into the practice gym. What more can we learn about each other? After nearly five seasons, is there really any magic to getting Z-Bo the ball on the right block or finding driving lanes for Conley from the left slot? At a certain point, preparation becomes rote and a team can resemble an old married couple.”
Sean Deveney of Sporting News on Josh Huestis: “In 20 games, he is averaging 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds. Offensively, he has been focused on getting comfortable making NBA-length 3-pointers, and though he is still inconsistent with that (33.1 percent), he has improved. He is putting up 5.5 3-point attempts per game, and just 4.0 shots from inside the arc. Most important, he is making the transition on the defensive end, from power forward to small forward. The Thunder are under no illusions that Huestis will be a star, but the goal is to maximize him as a role player—again, think Sefolosha. Huestis has a 7-1 wingspan, and if he can make open threes and be a shutdown perimeter defender, he will have a place in Oklahoma City’s rotation.” Keep Reading…
Despite a .500 record and being missing for almost half a season, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been selected as Western All-Star reserves, according to multiple reports.
For Durant, this is his sixth selection and for Westbrook, his fourth.
Despite being the reigning MVP, Durant placed fifth in Western Conference frontcourt fan voting. Durant has gone to the All-Star Game once as a reserve — his first one, in 2010 in Dallas.
Durant has only appeared in 21 of the Thunder’s 46 games, but is averaging 25.6 points on 51.9 percent shooting with 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists with a PER of 28.7. Westbrook has played in 32 games this season, averaging 25.2 points on 42.5 percent shooting with 5.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists plus a PER of 27.6.
I had this real official Reggie Jackson piece all typed up. It was about the inevitably of him leaving. How he would be traded, and that it probably wouldn’t be at all a bad thing. It was about how he mopes. How he’s looked like the human personification of Eeyore. How, when the camera moves in on him, his eyes seem empty.
Then I realized, thanks to Royce, that Town of Love existed. This is really and truly next level. This website is enough to make Westboro Baptist Church raise an eyebrow and say, “Yo, check out THIS guy.” If you have somehow not read this, it is Charles Hubbard’s contention — and Charles Hubbard has guns blazing here…dude is even going after David Green who, you know, you’d think he’d be super down with — that had Kevin Durant done the good, Christian thing, and signed with Under Armour, rather than Nike, the Thunder, and he, would be having a much more successful season. He feels that Durant is betraying Jesus Christ by signing with Nike. Again, he thinks that if Durant had signed with a company that is not Nike, that he would be doing well. It is his affiliation with Nike that is the cause of his and the team’s troubles. He thinks all of this because he feels that Nike is evil. He feels this so much that there is an entire sub-heading of his website dedicated to that fact. Keep Reading…
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News with some #rumors: “The Knicks have expressed interest in Jackson, but for what it’s worth, the word coming out of the Thunder locker room is that Durant is not a big fan of the free-agent-to-be guard. And depending on whom you talk to, there are also whispers that Durant is growing increasingly frustrated with Westbrook, one of the league’s most dynamic players and whose style is shoot first, ask questions later. The question for Presti and coach Scott Brooks will eventually be: continue to build around Durant and Westbrook, or trade Westbrook for a point guard more to Durant’s liking.”
Matt D’Anna of Nylon Calculus: “Simply put: during the past 1.5 seasons, when Kevin Durant is on the court with Russell Westbrook, he is scoring from only a fraction of his preferred shot locations. As I mentioned at the onset, this is not an indictment on Russell Westbrook or Scott Brooks. KD has been hurt and working his way back into regularity, which may help stabilize these Hunting Grounds. Also, there is not necessarily a 1:1 relationship with increased court space and points scored. From a predictability standpoint, however, Durant appears to lose some of his offensive spontaneity. Less spontaneity potentially means (relatively) greater opportunities for the defense to succeed.” Keep Reading…
I don’t know. I just don’t even know.
I was going to start this recap out trollin’ talking about how the Knicks are hot right now and Kevin Durant was out and that the Thunder might be tired from their road trip and that there’s still 36 games left and that they just missed shots and how they got some bad breaks and that sometimes you have bad nights in the NBA and how you can’t lose your mind after one bad loss and that the Thunder are still a really good team and that they’ll be fine.
But nah, I don’t have that in me tonight. I don’t even want to try and have fun with this. I feel like Bane just suplexed me. The Thunder might’ve even broken me. This is the official low point of the season. This is rock bottom. It’s probably only going to get worse on Saturday as they travel to Memphis where there’s a strong likelihood they drop back under .500, but if the Thunder end up missing the postseason, this is the night I’m going to remember where it all unraveled. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 104.6 (18th), Knicks – 102.0 (24th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.3 (8th), Knicks – 110.8 (28th)
We’re through 45 games and the Thunder is just a game over .500. For reference here’s the team’s record at this points the last 4 seasons:
Michael Lee of the Washington Post: “While addressing one problem, the Thunder might have created another. Oklahoma City outscores opponents by 2.3 points per 100 possessions when Waiters shares the court with Reggie Jackson. But Jackson, who averaged 20.2 points in 13 games without Westbrook, has seen his playing time and production take a dramatic decline, averaging just 9.6 points in 20.1 minutes, since Waiters’ arrival. The Thunder’s success continues to hinge heavily on whether or not Durant or Westbrook hits shots. Oklahoma outscores opponents by 6.4 points per 100 possessions with Durant and Westbrook on the floor together and they have accounted for 46.4 percent (1032 of 2220) of the team’s scoring in their 21 games together.”
Marc Stein of ESPN.com picking All-Stars: “As for Mr. Durant … your protests are futile. I know he’s missed 24 games thanks to his various foot ailments, but I also know that’s not a high enough number to dissuade West coaches from finding a spot for the game’s reigning MVP. KD will be at MSG. Trust me.” Keep Reading…