Really great stuff from Darnell Mayberry on last night’s game: ”Statistically, Durant has had more impressive showings. His line Wednesday — 30 points, 10 rebounds and four assists — won’t wow you because it’s what we’ve come to expect of Durant. On numbers alone, this wasn’t even Durant’s best night in Staples Center. He poured in career-highs of 46 points and 15 rebounds against the Clippers last January, getting to the foul line 26 times and swishing 24 freebies. Both the attempts and the makes from the stripe stand as franchise records. But this game wasn’t about numbers. It was about winning, which the Thunder failed to do against a short-handed Clippers team last winter despite Durant’s career night. It was about the mega-talented Durant, maybe for the first time, coming to the realization that he is capable of doing whatever he needs to do on the court to lead his teammates to victory.
ClipperBlog: “The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Durant presented problems for the Clippers all game long. “He’s just a mismatch,” Kaman said. “Any time you get a guy like that it’s just a tough matchup because you can’t put a big on him because he just outplays the bigs and if you put too small of a guy on him, you see what happens — he just posts them up and takes advantage.” The Clippers rotated the task of covering Durant throughout the night but couldn’t find a stopper.”He shoots over you,” Thornton said. “Easily.”
Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie: ”The Clippers lost this game because they took bad shots. And because some good shots — taken and missed by Chris Kaman who attempted 26 field goals and connected on nine (neun!) of them — were turned into bad shots by great Thunder defense. Nenad Krstic, Nate Collison, and especially Serge Ibaka were huge on that end. Ibaka’s a real player … Also, Russell Westbrook? Character is revealed when nothing’s going right. Stop pouting, start passing. We’re watching.
Bill Simmons tweeted a bunch of the game last night. Highlights: “I’m at Clips-Zombies game. Nenad Krstic continues to look like he sleeps at a Greyhound bus station and begs for change … Durant = a must-see in person. Plays his ass off, beautiful shot, freaky long arms, leader + has the longest 2 steps in NBA … On the Greg Oden All-Stars for “young players who look 10 years older than they are,” James Harden is definitely a starter … The Zombies coaching staff spent a combined 225 dollars on their suits tonight. Great sale at Casual Male in OKC apparently … I kinda like Serge Ibaka. There. I said it … Just met Sam Presti. Nice guy. I’m dumping @dmorey for him. So long, Dork Elvis. We had a good run. I am turning you over to Marc Stein … Etan Thomas’ next poem is going be called, “I just spent this timeout staring at the Clipper Cheerleaders.”
I forgot to post this, but the 66ers have changed their colors to match the Thunder: “The color change reflects the ties between our team and the Thunder, as well as their commitment to the Tulsa area,” 66ers President Jim Brylewski said. “The new uniforms and team merchandise are a reminder of the close affiliation with our parent club.”
A fantasy guy talking about Westbrook: “Another interesting example is Russell Westbrook, who was shooting an amazing 48 percent — just like Roy did last season — from the field before a rough night Tuesday. It’s amazing because as a rookie Westbrook topped 46 percent from the field in just one month and completed the campaign with an embarrassing .398 field goal percentage. Personally, I expected a significant jump in his shooting percentage this season, perhaps to the mid-40s. Considering his history last season, we shouldn’t expect his field goal percentage to be any higher than its current 45 percent, although I don’t think it will drop all the way to the low-40s.”
I don’t mean to go all OU fan on you here, but honestly the Thunder COULD BE 7-1 at this point. I know, I know. But think about it, the only game OKC was really outplayed was the Houston loss. Every other loss you had a bad taste in your mouth and could point to three or four reasons we lost. The thing is, considerer the development. Last year, almost EVERY game was a loss and a couldawouldshoula thing. This year, it’s half and half. They’re actually finishing some games. And maybe next year they actually will be 7-1.
I know it’s kind of trendy to hate on Rick Reilly, but I’ve always liked him. He’s got an interesting column about sports and tattoos and of course you know what I’m thinking.
Why thank you Coach Self. I’m glad to join I guess: “We are very happy to add Royce to our basketball program,” Self said. “He’s a terrific young man, great student and is going to be a heck of a basketball player. Right now he is a combo guard that is really good off the bounce and has become an excellent shooter.” Always cool to see fellow Royce’s do stuff. Hopefully this guy is a stud. Right now our flag bearers are Royce Clayton (former baseball player) and Royce Gracie (who doesn’t even pronounce his name right).
Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld: “Scottie Brooks didn’t want to take all the credit for his team’s defense on the Clippers in the second half – but this is the kind of play he’s been asking of his team since the start of training camp. Again – the offense wasn’t all there – but learning how to win ugly can be the tougher lesson to get.”