Chris Paul is back in town and reminiscing about his time in OKC: “Ridin round okc n its bringin back SO MANY memories…look at my old house for 2yrs…payd $750 a month…not now lol.” (picture of his old house)
After the Bulls game, The Big Lead said this: “Kevin Durant’s string of 30+ point games ended at seven, but he still got 25 points and he’s certainly a Top 3 MVP candidate right now. Our short list: Kobe, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant. Fringe guys who don’t really have a shot but have been awesome, anyway: Zach Randolph of Memphis and Gerald Wallace of Charlotte. Both could guide their respective teams to the playoffs.”
ESPN Fantasy guy Neil Tardy: “While Kevin Durant dominates and Russell Westbrook dazzles, Jeff Green is skidding into 2010. Monday in Chicago, Green managed six points and just one rebound while playing a season-low 14 minutes. In his past six games, Green is averaging 9.3 points, 3.8 boards and is shooting 39.3 percent. More significantly, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is showing he won’t hesitate to sit Green when he struggles. For the season, Green is averaging 35 minutes a night, but he played just 16 minutes at New Jersey on Dec. 28 and only 27 minutes at Utah on Dec. 31.”
Interesting take from HP: “Can Russell Westbrook be a distant second fiddle? I mean, that’s why the Thunder drafted him. Unfortunately, about every four nights or so, he plays like a guy who could be a premier leader on a team. He can distribute and facilitate, but not half as well as he can score. And sometimes guys just don’t want to be second fiddle. Pippen was Pippen and hoop junkies love him for it, but history still doesn’t remember him the same way. It’s not Stockton and Malone. It’s Jordan…who had Pippen. There’s a space. And I’m not entirely convinced that Westbrook gets that as the plan.”
Chris Tomasson of FanHouse writes about THE journeyman: “Such is life when you have played for a record number of NBA teams. Brown, who now coaches the D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders, suited up for 12 teams from 1989-2002, a mark that later would be tied by Tony Massenburg and Jim Jackson. That record, though, is in jeopardy. Oklahoma City reserve point guard Kevin Ollie has been with 11 teams, and a trade of Ollie by the Feb. 18 deadline could make him a part of NBA history. Ollie’s agent, Bill Neff, doesn’t anticipate Ollie, whose primary role is to serve as mentor for young Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, being dealt. But there’s no hurry for Ollie, 37, to possibly land in the record book.”
HoopsWorld on Russell Westbrook: “When free agency and trades opened up last summer, everyone thought the Thunder would be major players. They had cap space to spare and an exciting team that would attract free agents. Instead, GM Sam Presti basically stood pat, counting on the development of his young core group to help his team take the next step in their evolution. That patience and faith are paying off, and Westbrook is just the latest example. Clearly the Thunder are in good hands with their young floor leader, who might even push them into the postseason this year.”
A basically finished draft of the new “Durantula” shirt. Love it? Hate it?
66ers Nation talked with Sam Presti at the D-League Showcase: “You recently recalled Byron Mullens from Tulsa. What are some of the things you saw him improve while he was in Tulsa? Presti: One of the things we wanted was for him to develop a better rhythm on the court. The development staff in Oklahoma City had specific goals for him while he was in Tulsa. It wasn’t about how many points he could score. There are more finer points in learning our system than just scoring. He had to be on the floor to be able to learn that, and Tulsa provided the perfect place for that to happen.”
A new NBA Jam is going to be released (on Wii) and while the teams aren’t set yet, Ziller gives us his dream teams. For the Thunder, he likes Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka.
ESPN’s Award Watch and Kevin Durant is seventh in the MVP race: “Normally a player has to make the All-Star Game before he can be mentioned as an MVP candidate, but just like the Thunder, Durant is way ahead of schedule.” But he also tops the Most Improved list: “I’m not sure anyone has ever improved as much as he has improved this year. He has always been a great scorer, but now he’s a smarter team player and a much more tenacious defender. The difference is evident in his team’s record. The problem: He has improved so much that he’s beyond this award.”
I guess winning is contagious in the organization right now. The 66ers won their fourth straight yesterday at the D-League Showcase.