An interesting look from Tom Haberstroh on whether or not Carmelo Anthony is a max player: “In the end, Anthony’s game demonstrates why it’s important to strip away the biases that color our perceptions of elite players. In Anthony’s case, the excessive shot volume, his team’s stat-padding tempo and the lack of a true 3-point game makes his 28.2 ppg seem far less impressive than his sparkling reputation would suggest.”
Ziller ranks the world: “That the United States is the overwhelming Vegas favorites at the Worlds is a sign the betting public has no short- or long-term memory. Hasn’t Team USA already proven chemistry can’t be conjured in two months? Remember, the first travails of the Redeem Team ended up defeat (and some would say humiliation): in 2006, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant first got together, Greece knocked them out of contention in the semifinals of the World Championship.”
ESPN’s future rankings are out and OKC is third, down from one: “The Thunder have fallen from their perch atop the Future Power Rankings to third even though they’ve done little wrong. But they didn’t have the offseason Miami did, obviously, and the Lakers slid past them, too, as a result of their continued success putting the right pieces around their core. Can the Thunder do the same? Kevin Durant is an MVP candidate, and having him under contract for five more seasons should make Oklahoma City a much more desirable destination for other players — at least for those not angling for good weather or a bustling nightlife. Although the Thunder have plenty of good young players around Durant, it remains to be seen whether any will join him on the journey to stardom. To match up against the likes of L.A. or Miami, they’ll need somebody like Russell Westbrook, James Harden or Serge Ibaka to become an elite-level player.”
Durant is the second biggest bargain in basketball: “I’m guessing most people would argue that Kevin Durant is by far the biggest bargain in the game. But even though LeBron gets paid $11 million more than Durant, he still provides about $5 million more in surplus value. The difference of $11 million would generally buy about 5 wins on the open market so the 7.1 extra wins that LeBron produced wins out.”
The Thunder has re-branded Loud City as “Love’s Loud City”. I think I’ll have some more thoughts on this later.
The NY Times calls Patrick James’ Thundershark column “cute-but-weird”: “In other cute-but-weird N.B.A. news — if you consider sharks cute — the Oklahoma City Thunder is celebrating Shark Week by comparing Thunder players to different varieties of the species.”
Remember our summer t-shirt contest? Well we need more submissions!
Finally, I’m working on an upgrade to the commenting system. I don’t know if that’s something the gallery would be interested in, but we might test run it for a week or two and see what everyone thinks.