Thunder reaction to the haunted Skirvin: ”When asked about the Skirvin during a press conference Tuesday, Presti joked that the hotel many visiting teams use could become the Thunder’s secret weapon. “Some locker rooms are really small and really hot,” Presti said. “I guess that’ll be our thing.”
A wonderful feature from Britt Robson of SI about Kevin Durant’s improved defense: “But Durant has made that a moot debate this season. By any measure, the guy has suddenly become a stalwart individual and team defender. For those who prefer visual evidence, consider Monday’s game against the Knicks. In one sequence, Durant left his man, Danilo Gallinari, to intercept a pass on the wing, only to discover that he’d fallen for a fake and the pass was going to Gallinari for a three-pointer in the corner. He stopped in his tracks, wheeled around and leaped, up and sidewise, far enough to block Gallinari’s quick-release jumper. Gallinari, who came into the game averaging 14.5 points, was shut out (on 0-for-7 shooting) in 32 minutes.”
ESPN’s Award Watch has KD at seven in MVP, Scott Brooks third in Coach of the Year and Thabo third for Defensive Player of the Year. I must say, I really agree with the Defensive POY list.
Will Leitch of NY Mag: “The Thunder are exactly the type of team D’Antoni would love to coach, even though they’re in Oklahoma City. Seriously, watch his press conference: The man has Thunder Envy. The loss dropped the Knicks’ playoff odds to 46.4 percent, still good enough for eighth in the conference, but just barely.”
Fox 25 did a feature on the Skirvin thing:
Sam Presti addressed the media yesterday: “I mean, Kevin Durant continues to improve on a daily basis, almost a possession basis and a big reason why is because he cares about the game and takes pride in what he does and wants to be one of the best at it. But I do say this about him often and I believe this to be true now and true in the future as well: as much as his development as a player has changed almost on a daily basis, the person that Kevin is has not. It’s the same person that I met when we drafted him a few years ago and that’s one of the things our organization values about him.”
Darnell Mayberry on the rise of Russell Westbrook: ”Westbrook, meanwhile, is mounting evidence that his ceiling might be even higher. The most scrutinized player on the Thunder’s roster, at least in Oklahoma, has silenced critics with all-around ability few players in the history of the game possessed at the same point. Westbrook is on pace to become only the seventh second-year player in NBA history to average at least 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds. He would join Oscar Robertson, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Walt Frazier, Jason Kidd and Norm Van Lier.”