This stupid thing called “the playoffs” is kind of going on now, so everybody is distracted and not writing as much “Watch out for the Thunder next year!” articles. I mean, come on! Sixers vs. Magic or Kevin Durant’s offseason workout regimen? Give the people what they want!
BallerBlogger’s final grades: “Thunder: C-After firing the dunce P.J. Carlesimo, and hiring Scott Brooks, the Thunder actually started to resemble a basketball team. Kevin Durant’s shooting stroke is golden, and Jeff Green is a lengthy, athletic sidekick. If Russell Westbrook ever develops, the Thunder will have quite an impressive threesome. Finding a defensive-minded shooting guard is a necessity, as is losing the notion that Robert Swift is a reliable NBA center. There’s certainly more growing pains to go through, but give the Thunder a couple more seasons and they’ll begin taking the West by storm.”
Again, Paul Woolpert out as 66ers head coach: “Woolpert arrived in Tulsa after winning three CBA championships with the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA, where he finished as the fifth winningest coach in CBA history. The 66ers are owned by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and as such, I’d assume Woolpert wasn’t in charge of many basketball decisions other than coaching. If that is indeed the case, this would seemingly be a personality conflict, as Woolpert’s known to be a bit of a hot head – ejection from his first D-League game included.”
The Painted Area’s awards: “Russell Westbrook would have been on this list for much of the season, but from March 22 on, he averaged a putrid 12.4 ppg on .346 FG% shooting, as OKC stumbled home to a 4-9 record after showing some promise midseason.”
HoopsWorld award ballots: “Durant’s numbers were up in virtually every meaningful statistical category. Perhaps most important, Durant’s efficiency was much improved. He shot nearly five percent higher from the field and 14 percent higher from three-point land. – Travis Heath Crazy increases across the stat board, including finishing 6th in scoring up from 27th last year… all while dealing with a city change, coaching change and a revolving door of teammates. – Susan Bible
The Thunder checks out – lots of offseason info: “Everybody who asks me back home, ‘How’s Oklahoma City?’ I tell them it’s a great place to live. This is where I want to be. I love that it’s small and it’s quiet. Of course, the fans were great. My neighbors are like family to me. I’m laid back and quiet. This kind of fi ts my personality … It was tough waking up not knowing how it would be like outside. One day it might be 80, the next day it might snow.”
Mr. P from WTLC has some postseason evaluations: “On the flip side, [Westbrook’s] defense is a big reason why he was drafted as high as he was. During his rookie season he’s shown flashes of brilliance, but also signs that he is, indeed, still a rookie. His defense was definitely better than opening day starter Earl Watson, but I think everyone can agree, that’s not saying much. Truth be told, I didn’t think he had as good a season defensively as I thought he’d have based on his defensive hype level going into the season. At the same time, you have to consider that playing defense against a point guard is quite a bit different than playing defense against a shooting guard, and he is still learning the position of point guard both offensively and defensively. By no means did he have a bad year defensively, but definitely has some room to progress along with the rest of his game.”
Not Thunder related nor even basketball related, but ESPN’s Mock Draft for the Ages is pretty darn cool: “What if we could hop in a time machine and bring back all the best prospects in history for this year’s draft? Of course, professional accomplishments don’t count. This exercise is based strictly on the scouting reports at the conclusion of college careers. Our big board is an amalgam of only the most ballyhooed prospects. With a few exceptions, these are players who were drafted in the top five overall. Players such as Joe Montana and Tom Brady, who were seen as too physically limited by many evaluators, need not apply.”