The Thunder trio is on the cover of the new SLAM: “And so it began—I spent the next couple days following the Thunder on their Cali swing—two games, a practice and a SLAM photo shoot. It was a wonderful opportunity to lurk around a young and vibrant team peaking much earlier than many expected. I quickly learned that everyone on the squad gets along and the young guys, most notably—Durant, Green, Westbrook, James Harden and Eric Maynor—are extremely close.”
Marc Stein has OKC seven in his power rankings: “Imagine how much trouble the OKC kids are going to cause if they ever acquire or develop a front-line center and get some actual, you know, experience. As it is, they’re going to win 50 and could still win their division.”
SI at seven: “While his change from last season to this season may not be as noteworthy as his teammate Durant’s, Westbrook’s development can’t be denied. He’s averaging 8.1 assists, up from 5.3 last season, and his shooting has jumped from 39.8 percent to 42.1 percent.”
Henry Abbott looking at the need for divisions: “Although many have suggested it, and it makes a ton of sense, scrapping the conferences really is radical. Perhaps too radical to bother discussing — I don’t think the NBA will ever do it. However, there’s no denying that the NBA would be both more exciting (mid-season tournaments!) and more fair (if the playoffs started today, 39-37 Memphis would beat out 38-38 Toronto) if TrueHoop readers ruled the world.”
KD was named Western Conference Player of the Week yesterday.
Ray Allen to the Boston Globe on the Thunder franchise: “Allen says he hasn’t been back to Seattle much since. There are a handful of Sonics holdovers still employed by the Thunder. But he doesn’t associate himself with that franchise. “If the name were the same or the colors were the same you would notice it,” Allen said. “but for the most part you could see they’ve done a good job trying to cut all the ties from the Seattle team.”
Some championship game last night, huh?
On Krstic’s alley oop from Sunday: “Late in the first half Sunday against Minnesota, Durant took an outlet pass on a fast break near half-court, took a couple of dribbles and tossed an alley oop pass to Nenad Krstic for a slam dunk. Durant was asked if it’s the first time he set up the Thunder center for an alley oop. “I think that’s the first alley oop of his career,” Durant said, smiling. “He got up on that one, too. It got the crowd going and got everybody on the bench going. It was fun to see.”
Eric Freeman of Sporting News on you guys showing up at the airport: “It’s this kind of fan involvement that could make OKC a tough out even in their first playoffs, especially if they’re able to secure homecourt advantage in the first round. Their fans get rowdy and have grown to love this team — and who wouldn’t? — even after only two years in town.”
ALSO! Congrats to Luke Louderback the winner of the DT Bracket Contest. Send me an email to claim your magnificient prize.