Nick Collison is a little bothered by his ankle injury: “I haven’t even practiced, yet, so I’m definitely going to be behind,” Collison said. “Yeah, I’m concerned. I’ll be fine eventually. You never want to be behind. But you also want to be 100 percent. I’m doing pretty good with the pain. It’s the explosiveness is what I don’t have.”
HoopsVine has a Thunder preview: “Sorry Thunder faithful, no playoffs this year but the franchise is heading in the right direction. Point guard is cause for concern with an explosive, but erratic youngster calling the shots. The team is relying on Livingston to be the primary backup and that statement by itself tells you all that’s needed to know. Durant is dynamic enough to lead this team to 30-33 wins and Oklahoma City will upset numerous opponents throughout the season.”
Kevin Durant, breaking faces:
James Harden didn’t play last night. Scott Brooks said he was just playing other guys and that nothing is wrong with Harden: “It’s just part of the rotation,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “I wanted to get a look at Shaun (Livingston) and Kyle (Weaver). James has had three good games with good minutes. I wanted to give him a rest tonight. And he had a great workout this afternoon.”
Dime has KD as the second best fantasy small forward: “There is a ton of hype surrounding Durant in fantasy circles this year, and with good reason. The kid had a fantastic season last year and with an improved, more developed roster this year it seems that the table is set for the 21-year-old phenomenon to assert himself further as one of the league’s elite players. If he continues to improve his overall game, Durant could easily finish the season as a top-5 fantasy player.”
I would just like to say that I really enjoy the new warmups. I think they look really good.
More on the Durant plus/minus situation: “For Winston to honestly state that he would not want a player like Durant on his team is insane and asinine. But it is also a fool who completely ignores the stats. What should happen is that a team takes the data, which the Thunder better be doing by now if they weren’t, and figures out how to improve the team and Durant. You figure out how to improve aspects of Durant’s game that make him a better all-around contributor to the team. But you also acknowledge the strides he’s made in his short time in the league. You figure out how to improve the players around Durant to be better compliments to him, so the team is a cohesive unit when Durant is on the floor. But you also figure out what the other players are doing well so that you’re team experiences less of a dropoff when he comes out of the game.”
Be sure to read Clark’s newest PL&T. It’s right underneath this post, but since I know what extreme Internet laziness is like, here’s the link.
And remember, this Friday at 1:30 CDT (I just recently found out the difference between CDT and CST; I’m kind of slow), I’ll be chatting on ESPN.com about the upcoming season. Join us, won’t you?