Darnell Mayberry’s thoughts on last night’s game: “Sunday’s shot selection was particularly alarming. Alarming because Durant continued to settle for jumpers. Good looks, no doubt, but not as good as layups. Alarming because this, his third season, is the one he was supposed to come back with an even more refined game. But he looked like strictly a jump shooter Sunday. There were occasions when he manufactured points and attempted to take it to the rack. His 14 free throw attempts were a good indicator that it wasn’t all long-range heaves.”
Some guy wrote something in the Daily Dime about the Thunder.
Kevin Durant is Dime’s starting small forward if it could create a team: “It’s kind of cheating since we all know he’ll be an All-Star in February, but for now it counts. Pure scorer on the wing, and a shooter who can spread the floor and open things up for Roy and Duncan.”
From the Weekend Dime, Marc Stein looks at next summer’s cap room players: “Still wondering why we’re always saying that the Thunder, for all the cracks about unfashionable Oklahoma City, are the envy of countless teams? On top of the wildly promising four-man core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and James Harden and the good crowds, OKC is poised to make its first significant foray into free agency. The Thunder still have to convince skeptics they can lure a big-name signing to their humble outpost and prove they’re willing to pull the trigger on big spending — it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they merely seek a quality piece or two and save some of the money to pay all the kids — but sunglasses are definitely required with an outlook this bright.”
Get your OKC Thunder specialized license plate. (h/t Craig)
Nick Collison was on fire with the Halloween tweets over the weekend: “Trick or treating with my lil girl tonight..looking online to find highest income/neighborhood in area to get the best candy … so many people have hit me with different neighborhoods…maybe we will get her extra costumes so we can hit the best houses multiple times … As my dog Mort looks at me with sad dead eyes while dressed as hotdog I quietly explain it wasnt my call & some battles arent worth fighting.”
Blazersedge recap of the game: “The Blazers continue to have trouble with individual defensive matchups and then trouble again covering. Turnovers aside, Russell Westbrook was doing some NSFW things to his defenders tonight. That would be Not Safe For Watching, at least if you’re a Portland fan. Had Kevin Durant had any kind of offensive evening (and he was brutal for most of it) Westbrook would have killed us and we likely would have lost. We have problems defensively at point guard still. We have problems covering for point guards. We have trouble when Greg Oden gets drawn into screen situations with a point guard. Back in the day opponents could break us down with half a move and any good pass. Nowadays it has to be a good move and it usually takes two passes, but we still get broken way too much.”
Oregon Live’s recap: ”At the heart of the Blazers’ success was their effort against Kevin Durant, the Thunder’s star forward who entered the night averaging 25.0 points. Durant finished with 16 points, but was dreadful from the field, making 3 of 21 shots. Martell Webster, who checked Durant most of the game, was the catalyst. Webster brought a physical presence and made it a point to harass Durant on every play, forcing him to take contested or fadeaway jumpers. One night after playing just 16 seconds in the fourth quarter because of defensive woes, Webster finished with four steals, five rebounds, one blocked shot — and praise from teammates.”
It’s interesting to me the perspective that comes from each side after every game. Oklahoma City fans see Durant’s night as an off night. Just a bad shooting performance. Portland fans see it as awesome defense by Martell Webster. I’m sure it’s a combination of both, but that always strikes me as interesting.
Berry Tramel with great stuff on KD’s bad shooting night: ”Don’t laugh. You might see an 82-0 season before you see a superstar go 3-for-21 again. The last NBA player to take at least 20 shots and shoot worse than 14.3 percent was Detroit’s Rip Hamilton, who was 3-of-22 (against Portland) in December 2004. Tossing the ball through the hoop from every corner of Oklahoma County seems to come natural for Durant, but Sunday night he couldn’t have hit a Del Rancho chicken fry if you’d have spotted him the gravy. “It got to the point where I would shoot the ball, it would look like it was going in and bounce right out,” Durant said. “Seven or eight times in a row. Never happened to me before.” Never? “Nope,” he said. Not on the D.C. playgrounds or in Austin pickup games or in that rookie season in faraway Seattle? “Nope.”
Just one quick note: Kevin Durant was shooting 42 percent coming into last night’s game. But after it, he’s now 21 of 64 on the year for 33 percent clip. Keep in mind, it’s only been three games. If KD goes a very KD-like 10-18 Tuesday night, his percentage will jump to 38 percent. And another 10-18 will take him to 41 percent. So don’t freak. He’ll get those percentages sorted out.
Thunder-Lakers has been voted NBA TV’s Fan Night game: “NBA TV will take the court for its first week of Tuesday Fan Night with the Lakers @ Thunder match-up, as voted upon by fans on NBA.com. The game will air on Tues., Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. (ET) with host Ernie Johnson and analysts Chris Webber and Kevin McHale on-hand for studio coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET).”