From Both Teams Played Hard: “Thunder players made more charity/community-motivated appearances last year than those of any other team aside from LAL.”
If you can handle some Oklahoma City ribbing, Deadspin picked up the KD slap video: ”Because I’ve had my fill of hate mail recently, and because OKC fans have already made their feelings known when I dared to suggest that the wind is the defining feature of their city, I’m going to refrain from pointing out that if KD played in New York or L.A., there are actually clubs and bars that are open on Thursdays. But I will say there’s a certain segment of our audience, perhaps from a certain Pacific Northwest city, that’s not exactly rooting against the Thunder’s franchise player going down with a career-ending slap-related injury.”
Bill Simmons, in an interview with OregonLive: “I was a huge Durant guy in that draft and I think people in Portland think that I’m biased for Durant. I love Durant. He’s maybe my biggest man crush of the decade, sports-wise. It’s good for basketball if Oden’s good … I remember reading the story about it and thinking, wow, Pritchard might actually have the balls to take Durant here because I just think you cant just pass up a can’t miss superstar. Oden to me was not a can’t miss superstar. He was definitely a franchise center if he could stay healthy, but Durant to me was just can’t miss. You just can’t pass those guys up.
ClipperBlog: “If those shots by Baron and Camby don’t fall, there’s an entirely different outlook on this game. Dunleavy’s head is called for, Baron’s leadership qualities are questioned, and the ESPN trade machine is fired up with all sorts of scenarios to get rid of the Butlers and Thorntons of the world. The fact that the Clippers allowed 18 offensive rebounds is likely pored over. The stat that shows the Clippers have shot better from the field than their opponents in 7 out of 11 games this season, yet still have a losing record, is dissected. Winning can sometimes be the ultimate concealer.”
Basketbawful: “Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this straight. One night after a big win over the Spurs, the Thunder returned home for the second game of back-to-backs and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers?! The same Clippers who had lost three straight and had choked away leads of nine and 22-points in their last two defeats?! The same Clippers who lost to the Thunder at home four days earlier?! How could that happen? I mean, Kevin Durant scored a season-high 40 points on 14-for-25 shooting, and the Clippers gave up an incredible 25 points on only 12 turnovers. Oklahoma City even snared 18 offensive rebounds. I don’t get it. Hey, I wonder if it has anything to do with that whole “second night of back-to-backs” thing? Nah. That’s just an excuse…”
ClipsNation: “For a change, it was nice to see a team other than the Clippers seemingly forget what had been good to them. Kevin Durant scored 33 points through the first three quarters, and had 38 with well over 8 minutes left to play. But he scored only two more points down the stretch, and took only three more shots, one of those a meaningless three point attempt after the game was decided. Should we credit the defense of the much-maligned Al Thornton? Should we blame the Thunder for simply forgetting about their go to scorer (that seems unlikely)? Or did Durant, who played over 44 minutes in the game and never came out in the second half, this after playing 42 minutes in San Antonio the night before, simply wear down?”
Kevin Durant, after the game: ”This was a bad loss for us but we’re going to learn from it.”
Darnell Mayberry: “The Thunder is one of the youngest teams in the league and plays like it. Sunday’s loss, on the heels of a big win at San Antonio, characterized the ups and downs the Thunder is likely to display throughout the final 72 games. It was the second time the Thunder has followed up a momentum-building win with a disappointing loss, losing at Sacramento two days after beating Orlando.”
Berry Tramel: ”When it’s close, and the offense is stagnant, the Thunder must commit to getting Durant the ball. Durant must commit to demanding the ball. “I consider myself a scorer,” Durant said. “I can find the ball and I can find the basket.” So go do it. Against the Clippers, the Thunder played fundamentally sound down the stretch. Shared the ball, which is what Brooks stresses. “Everybody was finding the open guy,” Westbrook said. “Just making the right basketball play.” But sometimes, the right play is getting the ball into the hands of the guy who can’t miss.