The Thunder don't defend and waste big nights from Kanter, Westbrook and Morrow, as the hopes of the 7-seed dissolve. Keep reading »
Kevin Durant: "I'm one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career." Keep reading »
The box score says the Mavericks missed 35 shots. It says Enes Kanter had 16 rebounds, 11 of them defensive. Russell Westbrook had 11, eight being defensive.
That’s what the box score says. I just don’t remember them happening, because I don’t remember the Thunder ever getting 35 stops.
“Both teams made some shots,” Russell Westbrook said. “One team decided to play more defense than the other.”
The Thunder scored 131 points. They got another triple-double from Russell Westbrook (29-11-11, his 10th). They got a career-high 30 (and 16 rebounds) from Enes Kanter. They got a season-high 32 from Anthony Morrow (on 11-16 shooting). They got 19 from Dion Waiters (on 7-15 shooting). They hit 14 3s. They only turned the ball over 11 times. They played the kind of game that should’ve been a 131-110 win.
And yet they lost. Because they couldn’t put together more than two stops (unofficially) in a row. Keep Reading…
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Offensive Rating: Thunder – 107.2 (11th), Mavs – 109.0 (5th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 104.6 (12th), Mavs – 105.6 (17th)
On March 16 the Thunder bounced back from a miserable start to play on of its most complete stretches of basketball since losing Serge Ibaka. The defense was swarming, and the offense had too many options to be stopped. It looked like an inevitable win over a Dallas team that had been sputtering, but Chandler Parsons and the gang had other plans.
It looked like the possibility of climbing to the 7 seed ended that night, but again, Chandler Parsons and the gang had other plans. Dallas has lost 4 of its last 5 games keeping the Thunder within striking distance to jump them in the standings with a win at home tonight. Keep Reading…
On Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Enes Kanter put his hand up to his ear when hearing his name announced in the pregame introductions to encourage the Utah faithful as they booed the former Jazz player in his return to Salt Lake City.
Kanter said before the game that even though he might miss the mountains in Utah, he likes playing in the Sooner State better and his play since joining the Thunder has backed that up.
In Oklahoma City, he’s been a center that both rebounds and scores at a high rate. That’s a normal thing for most teams in the NBA, but it’s something Thunder fans haven’t seen since the team came to OKC.
Kanter is averaging a double double on 56 percent shooting as the big man for the Thunder, and all of his stats are up since being sent away from Utah. Keep Reading…
Eric Freeman of BDL: “The point here is not that Kevin Durant is hiding his true emotions under a veil of positivity, but that any one statement in a free-agent process must be taken in the context of all the others. As we learned with LeBron James last year (and then in 2010 before that), a free agent’s mind can change quickly and ultimately depend on factors that are not even well publicized until after he makes his decision. It’s fair to pay attention to everything Durant says — he’s a very important player heading into a virtually unprecedented situation — but it’s wrong to jump to conclusions. Nothing will be settled until KD signs his next contract.”
Andrew Gilman of Fox Sports Southwest on Westbrook an MVP: “The Thunder haven’t just lost Durant for the regular season, they’re down their best defensive player, too in Serge Ibaka. The Thunder also traded away sixth man Reggie Jackson and no one on the roster has played every game this season. That’s injuries to Nick Collison and Anthony Morrow. Injuries to Mitch McGary as well as new additions Enes Kanter and even Steve Novak. Nothing has been constant for the Thunder except for Westbrook. A lost season, by all accounts, is having the reigning MVP play just 27 games in a season where the Thunder should have been competing for the top seed in the West. A lost season is struggling for eighth when this team should have been talking title. But this season has not been lost because Westbrook has saved it. You’ve seen it. It’s not like you can look away.” Keep Reading…
Kevin Durant recently talked with Revolt, covering a whole bunch of topics including his top players, toughest to guard, music, the media and… free agency.
The interview took place back in February, so no done-for-the-season questions, but Durant did talk about his frustrations dealing with injuries. And he gave maybe his most direct comment about his future free agency:
“I love it here, man. I love my teammates, I love the city, I don’t really think about anywhere else. I hear it all the time, don’t get me wrong, and once you hear it you’re kind of like [looks up]. But for me, I love staying in the moment and I’m one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career.
“Kobe, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki type of guys. That’s awesome. But you never know what the future holds sometimes and how teams may feel about you after a while, but I love it here and I would love to get my jersey retired here.”
Go ahead and print that off, frame it, and hang it over your bed.
So that was kind of meh.
The Thunder dropped two games out of three on the road last week. It started off with the Spurs butchering the Thunder in San Antonio, handing the team its worst lost since the inaugural season in Oklahoma City. Then, the Thunder followed up the San Antonio Slaughter (I just named it) by getting hoodwinked by the Jazz in Utah. Even the wins last week weren’t much to get excited about–the Thunder beat a bottom-feeding Lakers team and the flailing Phoenix Suns.
But those losses… it’s hard not to get a little discouraged (even though the team was without Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, Andre Roberson, and Nick Collison). To add insult to injury (or maybe to add injury to insult?), Durant is officially sidelined for the season due to a third surgery on his Jones-fractured foot. Keep Reading…
Steve McPherson of Grantland, A Wolf Among Wolves, Rolling Stone and many other outlets joins the podcast to discuss the following topics:
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Sam Amick of USA Today: “The MVP award almost always goes to the best player on one of the top teams – 54 of the 59 MVPs in league history led their team to a top four record, and 50 of those teams had a top two record. It may not make it right or just, but voters have a long track record of rewarding that success. Meanwhile, Westbrook’s Thunder – who lost 13 of their first 18 games when their dynamic duo was sidelined – currently have the 12th best record of the league’s 30 teams (42-32). Were Westbrook to somehow win the award this season, his Thunder – at their current pace – would have the fourth-worst winning percentage (.567) of the 59 teams that had the MVP (and the worst since the 1981-82 campaign).”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider says CP3 over Russ: “Other replacement-level stats tell a similar story. ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM) gives Westbrook a small per-minute edge over Paul, who dominates in terms of RPM WAR, with 13.9 (third in the league) to Westbrook’s 11.0 (ninth). Even PER, which is more favorable to Westbrook because it gives more credit to players with high usage rates, has Paul slightly ahead of Westbrook (18.1 to 18.0) when replacement is factored into estimated wins added. Only one common all-in-one stat that incorporates replacement level has Westbrook ahead. He’s No. 1 in the league by a mile in box plus-minus, and third in the wins over replacement player stat calculated from it (6.6), ahead of Paul (5.7).” Keep Reading…