Blake Griffin will hold a press conference today at 2:30 to announce his intentions to either go pro or come back for his junior season. Last year, he held a press conference as well and announced he was coming back. Don’t expect that this year.
Kevin Durant is most like Chris Mullin? Here’s to KD growing a sweet flattop: “Five boards, two steals, an efficient 22 points without a ton of 3s from a swing man … that’s what Chris Mullin did in the 1991-92 season. And that’s a lot like Kevin Durant, which is why the highest score in this whole similarity exercise comes from the Thunder’s Kevin Durant. The next time someone tells Durant he plays like Chris Mullin will certainly be the first, won’t it? That’s why I love these comparisons.” Also, you’ll see also KD is similar to Bernard King which is a guy he’s been compared to a lot.
Kevin Durant featured in new “G” commercial: You want to be a sports marketer? Old school clips combined with a gravelly voiceover and a light piano tune capped with three powerful words and you’ve got me sold. I fall for those every time.
FreeDarko on Russell Westbrook with some very cool graphs included: “That is, until about a week ago. That’s when the Thunder signed Shaun Livingston, I remembered they had Thabo, and I started to wonder, what becometh of Russell Westbrook? You want to talk about Rondo as a PG lacking in jump shot? Westbrook is the point equivalent of a dirty bomb. He’s so unpredictable, and riotously imperfect, that you really have to wonder how teams scouting him managed to keep any stable future hologram in front of them while taking their notes. It’s not just that he lacks position, but that he undermines, even threatens, the stability of those around him.”
Scott Brooks has taken OKC’s last two losses personally and why shouldn’t he? After the Indiana game he said, “I definitely take it personal. It hangs over me,” Brooks said. “We have to bring enthusiasm. We have to bring energy. Every game, I want guys to play with effort and my job is to find that effort. If a guy doesn’t have it I have to find somebody that can bring it and spark us by bringing that energy.” His job is on the line here. He’s all but got it locked up but if the team plays like poo-poo these last couple, it might leave a bad taste in Sam Presti’s mouth.
The Oklahoma Daily has an awesome feature about Blake Griffin and Sam Bradfordwinning player of the year award together while growing up just five miles apart from each other. Be sure to watch the video too. It’s good: “I knew he’d work, and that’s the thing that impressed me most about him,” Capel said. “Obviously his talent, but when you have that talent and then you have something inside you – you’re driven like he is – that’s what makes a guy special.”
Marc Stein’s power rankings: “Last week’s W in San Antonio was an even bigger surprise than you think, because the gutty OKCs — truth be told — really haven’t been their pesky selves lately. The losing margin in their last L’s: 18, 16, 19, 35 and 18.”
SI’s power rankings: “Is Shaun Livingston finally healthy? Livingston, who has bounced around since suffering a gruesome knee injury in 2007, has landed in Oklahoma City. And he looked pretty good in his Thunder debut, notching 10 points and three rebounds in a loss to the Blazers. “It’s like coming into the league again as a rookie,” Livingston said. “I’ve got to prove to myself I can still play.”
HoopsWorld rookie rankings: “This spot should’ve belonged to Memphis’s O.J. Mayo, but he just couldn’t keep it up. Westbrook started off the season slowly but in many ways developed as productive a game as Rose’s. Mayo started off strong and got weaker, but Westbrook started off weak and got stronger. That mattersto voters, and that’s why RW’s at #2 instead of Mayo.”
Darnell Mayberry is voting KD for Most Improved: “New Jersey point guard Devin Harris has all but accepted the trophy. But he won’t get my first-place vote. Durant will sit atop my three-man ballot even if he has no shot at victory. That’s because no player has improved across the board like Durant, who’s gone from solid as a rookie to spectacular as a sophomore. His maturation, however, has become the untold story of the Thunder’s dismal inaugural season in Oklahoma City.”
HoopsWorld’s Jason Fleming has been impressed by Sam Presti: “Presti won’t win Executive of the Year this season, but just check out the moves he has made: replaced P.J. Carlesimo with Scotty Brooks, who should keep the head coaching job; signed big man Nenad Krstic who came back from Europe; drafted Russell Westbrook in a choice that surprised many; obtained Sefolosha for almost nothing; and now signed Livingston. The guy knows what he’s going. Add another couple first round picks to this team and perhaps a nice veteran or two to fill in the bench, perhaps move Earl Watson, and this team could be set for the next five years.”
The All D-League teams were announced and the 66ers didn’t have a single player on the first, second, third or honorable mention team. Woo! But a former Thunder-er made it: “Two members of the Bakersfield Jam, guard Trey Johnson and forward Derrick Byars, earned spots on the GATORADE All-NBA D-League Second Team. The duo from Bakersfield is joined by Colorado forward Josh Davis, Fort Wayne center Chris Hunter and Anaheim guard James White, who is playing for the NBA’s Houston Rockets.”
An updated list of early NBA Draft entrants. Toss Chase Buddinger in as he recently declared. Plenty more to come in the next few weeks.