Jonathan Givony of Draft Express was impressed by D.J. White at the Showcase: “Second-year Oklahoma City Thunder allocation player D.J. White was one of the more impressive players we’ve seen in our two days here, and also one of the more intriguing from an NBA standpoint, showing us precisely why he was a first round pick. Clearly the strongest player in the game, White used his well-built body and solid athleticism to just out-pursue and out-muscle the opposition on the glass and in the post. He finished the game with 17 points and 11 rebounds on 8-13 shooting in 41 minutes of action.”
Kevin Durant’s favorite movie? Twister. How do you like that? I hear he flips for the Gary England cameo every time.
Shaun Powell of NBA.com sees the same thing Darnell Mayberry did: “About 10 years ago, the Bulls had this bright idea: Why not stack the team with youth, suffer through the growing pains, then watch the wins roll in once youth begins to bloom? Well, drafting Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler didn’t exactly work out. Either the Bulls hitched themselves to the wrong players or the scheme was fraught with problems. The Bulls’ patience wasn’t rewarded and all they received for their experiment was a string of losing seasons and unfulfilled dreams. So the whole idea about building primarily through youth is a total crapshoot, right? Try telling that to the Thunder. It’s working out pretty well for Oklahoma City, thank you. And even though nothing’s guaranteed, especially with regard to young players, whose future would you rather have: Oklahoma City’s or, let’s say, the Celtics?”
David Thorpe’s rookie rankings have OKC’s guys sitting at seven (Harden), 21 (Maynor) and 25 (Ibaka): “Maynor has a chance to be a great fit in OKC, backing up Russell Westbrook and possibly playing alongside him. The best thing he can do is listen to every word that coach Scotty Brooks says, treat it with as much respect as he would if it came from Jerry Sloan and defend every possession with passion and purpose. He should worry less about stats and more about executing the plan.”
I was going to write a column about this, but I’ll just lay it out here. Yesterday, Berry Tramel wrote a column saying he doesn’t see the same affection for Kevin Durant as he did for Chris Paul. He talked about this thought on the radio yesterday before the game with Traber and Al and one of the theories put forth as to why this is from Traber was that Durant isn’t outspoken enough, even saying that people don’t feel like they know Durant and one reason is that he’s NEVER been on The Sports Animal. Besides the fact that is incredibly egotistical (what’s new?) to assume that being a guest on The Animal would win fans over, if you feel like you don’t know Durant then you’re just not paying attention. He’s on Twitter every day talking directly to fans. He’s got his website. He’s got his blog. He’s been very open to speaking to just about anyone. If you live in the shell of a sports talk radio station, then yeah, maybe you don’t know KD. But if you step outside that, you’ll see he’s just about as accessible as a guy can get. Now I almost didn’t mention it because I don’t want no trouble, but it really bugged me while they were talking about it yesterday.
Hornets 24/7 on the game: “Following their usual game plan, the Hornets were content to run the offense through David West for the first 20 minutes of the game, and then when Paul came in from his first rest, he shifted out of first gear and started rolling. His play in the second half was vital as he shredded the Thunder’s defense despite being shadowed by two excellent defenders in Westbrook and Sefolosha. This is where it’s magnificent having a player like Paul as your franchise guy, because he doesn’t give a damn that he’s not getting the big shot. When it’s vital, he will create all day for his teammates and not force a shot unless there is no other option.”
NOLA.com recap: “They did it by holding the Thunder to 11 points in the fourth quarter on 3-of-14 shooting. The only shot from the field Oklahoma City made down the stretch was guard Russell Westbrook’s layup with 52 seconds remaining that cut New Orleans’ lead to 93-92. Chris Paul’s runner with 11 seconds remaining and Posey’s two free throws were the Hornets’ final points.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Before frustration from Wednesday night leads you to light up talk radio lines or black out message boards today, remember where this Thunder team is. While playoff chatter has become a pleasant talking point, it’s important to maintain perspective whenever Oklahoma City puts up pathetic performances like it did in the fourth period against New Orleans. This is a team being built for the long haul and, at times, its youth and inexperience will rear its ugly head. That’s what happened against the Hornets in the Thunder’s 97-92 loss insider the Ford Center, where a terrible final 12 minutes ultimately sent a crowd of 17,836 home dissatisfied and perhaps disgruntled.” You hear that people? Don’t be blacking out any message boards.
OKC still sits in the eight spot in the West despite last night’s loss. So it’s all good people!