Darnell Mayberry with a nice story about Eric Maynor, but this quote from Scott Brooks definitely stands out: “Offensively, he’s pretty much flawless in leading our team,” Brooks said.”
From Jonathan Abrams: “Spoke with Jerry Colangelo today. He called @KevinDurant35 “a lock” for next Olympic team.”
Good news for KD too, because he blogged yesterday how much he wants it: “I tweeted about this a few days ago, but I figured I’d talk more about it on my blog. Y’all know how badly I want to play for Team USA this summer and in the future.”
Dime says OKC needs another shooter, but also had this to say about Serge: “Serge Ibaka is kind of a beast. I first heard of him at the adidas Nations high school camp a couple years ago, and soon after, his European agency contacted me about doing an Ibaka profile leading up to the ‘08 Draft. After a long, complicated process of international calls and translating French, I finally got the interview and featured Ibaka as a “Player 2 Watch” in our Summer ‘08 issue.”
Sean Deveney on the All-Star teams: “Kevin Durant, Pau Gasol or Zach Randolph? Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony likely will start for the West, and Tim Duncan is quietly having what might be the best year of his career-he’s in for sure as the third forward in the West. The fourth forward spot is up for grabs, though. Gasol (16.8 points, 11.5 rebounds) has been hurt, but he does play for the defending champs, and it would be odd if Kobe Bryant were the Lakers’ one All-Star. Randolph (20.3 points, 11.4 rebounds) has been a key factor in the Grizzlies’ resurgence. But there’s no way we can have an All-Star game without Durant (28.4 points, 6.9 rebounds). Sure, two of these guys could fall to the wild card spots, but that would mean someone like Deron Williams or even Chris Paul could get nudged out. Like a lot of All-Star decisions, this is a tough call.”
FanHouse has OKC at 11 in its new power rankings: “Last Thursday’s Maynor-ific win over the Jazz sent Salt Lake a step closer to crisis mode and OKC a spot nearer a playoff berth. Even if the Thunder slip behind the more seasoned Jazz this spring, it’s clear the Thunder will remain in the playoff picture so long as Kevin Durant breathes. (Well, so long as he plays basketball for the Thunder, I suppose.)”
An interesting story from TrueHoop about Kevin Pritchard and how positive he is: “The Blazers GM is, to his credit, one of the League’s most relentless sunshine merchants, at least in the media (and for all I know, in private too). He found some little good thing to say even through all of the Greg Oden microfracture, and that’s no small feat.” I can tell you, I’m guilty of being too positive and optimistic. I know it, you know it, but I can’t help it. It’s more fun this way.
Kevin Henry of 66ers Nation with five things from Boise: “Latavious gathered plenty of attention. Overhearing so many scouts and reading so many blogs and Twitter updates, Latavious Williams was one of the stars that everyone had to see in Boise. One even said that seeing Williams was worth the trip to Boise. An interesting comment, considering Williams was absent the entire fourth quarter against Albuquerque and also sat the bench during crunch time in Tuesday’s win against Utah. Still, despite the late disappearance, Williams grabbed 11 rebounds on Thursday, tying a season high. “He’s quite a specimen,” one scout told me. “And he has so much room for improvement.”