More on how the Thunder prepped the Lakers: ”And to think this surge really started in Oklahoma, of all places. It was a state the Lakers never had visited for the postseason and they ended up for a while in a state of confusion. The Thunder fronted the Lakers’ post players, and made them work harder to take advantage of their size. “Oklahoma really prepared us,” said Bynum, who is battling a small cartilage tear in his right knee and is actually one of the few Lakers players who hasn’t shown improvement since that series. “That was a great young team. … They fronted our posts so we couldn’t get the ball inside. … They really pushed tempo against us, and we had to get used to that. Everybody has been kind of like as step slower (since then).”
Ridiculous Upside roasts Doug Gottlieb’s big board: “In awkward-white-dude love - Gottlieb has Luke Babbitt ranked ahead of Gordon Hayward. And Gordon Hayward ranked ahead of DeMarcus Cousins. And DeMarcus Cousins ranked ahead of Latavious Williams. Okay, so Cousins over Williams is probably excusable – but you get the point.”
The draft lottery is tonight. Cross your fing– oh yeah, we were good this year. Nevermind.
Manu Ginobili’s wife had twins. But I found something else more interesting: ”Spurs guard Manu Ginobili and his wife, Many, are parents to twin boys. Ginobili, on his Twitter page, announced Sunday’s births of Dante and Nicola. Ginobili said mother and boys are doing great, and he later added, “I just changed my first diaper!” Wait, Manu’s wife’s name is Many? That’s awesome.
Hollinger searches for LeBron’s perfect running buddy: “Bosh hits every check mark on the list above. He’s an outstanding midrange shooter who would provide a fearsome weapon on the pick-and-pop, something James has never really had in Cleveland. His offensive rebound rate (9.9 percent) was in the top third of power forwards, which is amazing considering how often he played outside. His turnover rate was in the bottom third and his TS% (59.2) was outstanding.”
Chad Ford in his draft blog: “Finally, drafting No. 1 doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the best player. In fact, according to John Hollinger’s re-drafts, the top pick has turned into the top player in the draft only four times between 1995 and 2006 — Howard in 2004, LeBron in 2003, Elton Brand in 1999 and Duncan in 1997. Hollinger hasn’t re-drafted the last three groups, but there’s a very strong argument that Kevin Durant should’ve gone ahead of Greg Oden in 2007. The No. 1 pick in 2008, Rose, has regained his throne as the best player in the draft. But in 2009, top pick Griffin sat out the season, while Tyreke Evans, the fourth pick, won rookie of the year honors.”
Dan Wetzel with a fantastic piece on Tulsa Shock coach Nolan Richardson: ”America loves a pioneer, especially the ones with bulldog attitudes who break down elitist barriers. Well, actually, America loves these people in the movies. That’s where their message can be perfectly framed, when their flaws can be ignored or explained and where soaring music can lift us along in agreement that the end justified the means. There are no movies about Nolan Richardson. So this undeniable pioneer of a college basketball coach remains overlooked, nitpicked and misunderstood. It’s why Richardson went through a nine-year hoops exile in America, his unemployment ending when he coached the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock last weekend.”