Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports talked to Brandon Roy about playing with KD: “Can me and Kevin Durant even coexist?” Roy said. “We’re similar. We’re both creators. We are both perimeter players. I don’t know if there is enough room for both of us. But that doesn’t say Kevin Durant isn’t a great player. He’s right there for the MVP, so not a knock to him at all. I think he is a great guy off the court. He’s cool. He’s humble. But as far as me having the career I wanted to and him having the career he wanted to, it was the right decision for him to be with Oklahoma City and for us to take Greg Oden.”
Comparing Portland’s rise to OKC’s: “Portland sat back and they got bit, and because of it they are another major piece away from being elite. OKC needs players to fit a role, and they need veteran leadership. Kevin Durant has a chance to be the greatest player of the 2010’s, Russell Westbrook has officially put his name in the hat for the throne of this decade’s best point guard, and Jeff Green leads the role players on a mission to not let KD down.”
Dime looking at Sophs vs. Rookies: “Over the weekend the DimeMag.com reader poll asked, “Who is the Sophomore of the Year?” Westbrook got an overwhelming 44% of the vote, with D-Rose behind him with 25%. Lopez and Marc Gasol (drafted in ‘07) also got more than 10% of the vote, while Beasley, Mayo and Love brought up the rear. You could make a solid case for Rose or Lopez having been better than Westbrook this year, but Westbrook’s OKC Thunder are in position to make the playoffs, unlike his aforementioned sophomore counterparts.”
Scott Brooks on top for COY and KD second for MVP: “If the 21-year-old, who is hearing MVP chants at home games, can leapfrog LBJ to finish first in the scoring race, he’ll become the youngest NBA scoring champ.”
With Memphis’ win last night, OKC’s Magic Number is still at 10 over them and 11 over Houston.
The charge master, Nick Collison, wants you to decide whether this is a block or a charge. I think she was in the restricted area myself.
Some big news yesterday as Kevin Pritchard fired his right-hand-man, Tom Penn yesterday. Dave from Blazer’s Edge: “It’s never pleasant for an organization to lose one of its key executives in this manner but unless things are completely sideways in the front office business will continue as usual. Despite the tension of the day both sides will say they’re better off in the long run. Penn will interview. The team will have somebody new working the calculator and the rulebook soon. For now Portland’s proper public focus is on the dozen remaining games and excelling in the playoffs. Anything beyond that, namely everything Penn would have been involved in, is secondary.”
David Aldridge of NBA.com says this: “Thunder a half-game out of home-court in the West after winning 17 of its last 20. Does anyone else think Russell Westbrook should get some all-NBA consideration? Just consideration.” But then he has KD fifth in the MVP race. Odd.
Mike Baldwin on Eric Maynor: “Maynor has filled a major void. After going through candidates like Earl Watson, Shaun Livingston, Chucky Atkins and Kevin Ollie, the Thunder has found Russell Westbrook’s backup. His value goes beyond 3.7 points and 2.7 assists a game. A backup point guard’s primary role is to sustain the lead and not make mistakes, which is why Maynor’s 2.74 assists-to-turnover ratio is invaluable. The most revealing stat is the Thunder was 13-14 before Maynor arrived, 28-10 since he’s been in the rotation. And he fits right in with a workaholic young team on the rise.”
Ridiculous Upside on Mustafa Shakur: “Mustafa Shakur is an NBA player: he has NBA size (6’3″ without shoes), NBA explosiveness, excellent scoring ability, a floor general’s attitude and is even showing that he can play NBA-type defense on a consistent basis this season. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have an NBA team … yet.”