Darnell Mayberry on last night. An interesting take: “That’s what happens when a player as naturally gifted as Westbrook thinks too much, when a natural scorer spends too much time trying to be a set-up man. You Thunder fans out there who want Westbrook to be John Stockton (you know who you are) saw what it looked like when he tries to be. And it’s precisely why Thunder coach Scott Brooks isn’t asking him to be.”
Nenad Krstic on his ankle: “I don’t really know right now (how severe it is), but I don’t think it’s too serious,” Krstic said. “But it’s a little sore.”
Don’t get your hopes up about Chris Bosh: “Not only will the Heat’s chances of signing Chris Bosh next summer be helped if the Raptors keep struggling, but a former Raptors official said Bosh doesn’t like Toronto’s cold winters. Bosh isn’t keen on playing in his native Texas but has said the Heat “seems to be an attractive place, playing with Dwyane Wade and playing in Miami.”
Dime prognosticates the top 10 point guards over the next 10 years: “To think that Russell Westbrook was under-recruited in high school is simply amazing. Now he leads one of the youngest and most promising teams in the NBA. The Thunder have great chemistry and this projects well for Westbrook. His takeover-game mentality and lockdown defense is exactly what the Thunder need. He needs to work on his shot and turnover rate to push himself into the elite, but playing with Kevin Durant should help his assists continually increase.”
James Harden moves into NBA.com’s top 10 in its rookie rankings: “In his last six games, Harden is averaging 14.8 points and almost two steals in 26.1 minutes of action. But more importantly, what’s up with the beard? “I thought about (shaving it),” Harden recently told The Oklahoman. “I just look like a kid if I shave it. I like to keep this grown, mature look. I don’t want mine to get as crazy as Baron Davis‘. But it’s just a little something I like.” Beard or no beard, Harden is playing like a seasoned veteran and is improving with every game.” Don’t shave it don’t shave it don’t shave it.
Let Shannon Dunk. LET SHANNON DUNK.
Nice words from Philadunkia: “Just one quick overall observation about last night’s game vs. the OKC Thunder. Whatever that organization is doing, they should bottle it and sell it to the 76ers. They are what the Sixers claim / strive to be. The Thunder led by a certified NBA superstar, have a nucleus of young, exciting and athletic players who hustle, play unselfish basketball and score the ball. But most importantly they also have bought into the fact that to win on a nightly basis in the NBA a team must play defense and rebound. The results are an entertaining team to watch with a winning record (10-8) that includes road W’s against Miami, San Antonio and Utah as well as the chance at a legit playoff run. The payoff for management is a packed house for every home game. Seriously isn’t that the exact plan we have heard from Ed Stefanski for the 76ers, but has yet to even be remotely realized yet?”
Jason Whitlock’s Twitter is awesome: “Rick Reilly thinks Tiger thinks he’s Superman and that’s y he cheated. How bout simple blood flow to his midsection?”
Also, highlights of the 66ers 92-90 win over the Toros. Byron Mullens registered 14 points and 11 rebounds. But former ‘Zona stud Mustafa Shakur had 26 and four assists and hit the game-winner with 1.4 seconds left. (box score)
From Elias: “Russell Westbrook had 15 assists but made only 1 of 11 shots from the floor in the Thunder’s 117-106 win against the 76ers. Westbrook’s .091 field goal percentage was the lowest for any NBA player (minimum: 10 attempts) in a game in which he handed out at least 15 assists since New Jersey’s Jason Kidd went 1-for-17 from the floor (.059) in a 15-assist game at Dallas on Jan. 21, 2002.”
From HoopData: “I can’t help but compare this Thunder team to the tight-budgeted Tampa Bay Rays that shocked the baseball world in 2008. The Rays confounded analysts that year, going from worst to first without overhauling the roster with blue-chip acquisitions. Rather, they built a winner internally by focusing on defense, drafting well, and scouring the bargain bins to fill holes. Thunder GM Sam Presti might have taken a few notes on their model. Armed with the lowest payroll in the NBA, Oklahoma City just might have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs this year.”
We’ve got some cool DT-Shirt pics on the Facebook page. Keep ‘em coming! Oh, and what’s that I see on TV?