KD second for MVP in ESPN’s Award Watch: “After a 45-point outburst against the Spurs, he is tied with LeBron for the NBA scoring lead. Although he was doubled in the closing seconds of Monday’s 99-96 loss, he has to find a way to get open. Kobe would.”
For those who missed it, Simmons busted out a running diary from OKC’s fourth quarter against San Antonio. And I think we can officially welcome him into the Serge Ibaka club now. But this line is probably what caught most folks’ eyes: “I watch a ton of Zombies basketball because of Kevin Durant (my favorite non-Celtic), enough that I’m starting to feel guilty about refusing to call them by their name out of respect for the people of Seattle.”
John Krolik on Pro Basketball Talk shares a few more thoughts on James Harden: “One final thought: If Harden was healthy, he probably would have been the one left alone when the Spurs double-teamed Kevin Durant on the Thunder’s final possession last night. Since Harden is a 37.7% three-point shooter, that may have been a gamble the Spurs were unwilling to take. Instead, 30% three-point shooter Thabo Sefolosha was the one given the open looked, and he fired a brick to give the Spurs the game. If Harden had been on the floor, it may have meant the difference between a win and a loss in a game crucial for playoff seeding in the rough-and-tumble Western Conference.”
Darnell Mayberry retelling the story of why KD wears No. 35: ”Craig was Durant’s first basketball coach. He died on April 30, 2005, in Laurel, Md., the victim of multiple gunshot wounds. He was 35. Since his freshman season at the University of Texas, Durant has worn jersey No. 35 in honor of Chucky.”
Dime ranks the 10 best 1-on-1 scorers in the NBA. KD is fifth.
For all our Chinese speaking Thunder fans, there’s a really in-depth Thunder post at Hoop China.
Charley Rosen of Fox Sports on the Thunder-Spurs game: ”The old-timers roused themselves to hold off the younger generation, pull into a tie with the Thunder for the sixth seed in the West and claim the tie-breaker by winning the series, three games to one. In the game at hand, resourcefulness, perseverance and a patience born of experience trumped youthful impatience, poor decision-making and lack of concentration. Even so, the Spurs don’t dare look back, because both the Thunder and Father Time are nipping at their heels.”
As pointed out by a couple intelligent readers, KD now leads the NBA in scoring by a few tenths over LeBron.