Kelly Dwyer continues on ranking the league’s top 30 power forwards and Jeff Green comes in 25th: “I just don’t understand what I’m missing with Green. He’s a below-average shooter from long range who shoots too much, he’s not a great interior finisher. He’s a poor rebounder, a good defender at either forward slot to the naked eye (if not to the stat ledger), and at 24 he’s not some prospect worth taking your time on. He just appears to be a below-average forward to me. Why he’s being counted on as the third tier in Oklahoma City, or a potential member of Team USA, I just don’t get.”
And KD was second in small forwards: “I got a bit of stick for ranking Durant ahead of Carmelo last year, but the kid came through as expected, and it doesn’t look nearly as off this time around. Over 30 points a game on nearly 48 percent shooting for Durant last season, at age 21. Ridiculous. He averaged 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 combined steals and blocks and 2.8 assists. He got to the line a league-leading 10.2 times per contest, something that is absolutely killer for teams that struggle to score. Putting teams in the penalty, allowing someone like Nick Collison to earn a cheap two points for getting hacked on a tip-in attempt is huge. And that’s all on Durant. And he doesn’t turn 22 until five weeks from now.”
If you didn’t watch “Jordan Rides the Bus” last night, make sure to catch one of its 500 re-runs. Absolutely terrific stuff. My favorite tweet of the night about it though came from SLAM’s Russ Bengtson: “Kobe’s calling the Dodgers right now.”
Aubrey McClendon is playing in a Pro-Am this weekend. One of his playing partners? Tiger Woods.
HoopsWorld looks at team situations under a hard cap: “The Thunder may be the new successful model in the NBA under a hard cap. With lots of young players still under their rookie contracts, the Thunder can control costs and keep their team together; at least until they have to sign them to new deals.”
These dunks are okay:
Mike Sherman of The Oklahoman on Russell Westbrook making Team USA: “But Westbrook? This is the same Russell Westbrook who Oklahoma City’s instant NBA experts — you know who you are — proclaimed unfit to play point guard. The same Russell Westbrook who lacked leadership skills. The same Russell Westbrook whose lack of a 3-point shot would make him ill suited for international competition. (Did you see those two 3s he nailed Saturday against Lithuania?) Don’t these folks ever get tired of being wrong? You can bet, Westbrook isn’t getting tired of proving them so.”
SI breaks down Team USA’s roster: “Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s star forward, is the face of Team USA for this summer. Whether the 21-year-old can emerge as the team’s vocal leader remains to be seen, but his play certainly isn’t a concern: In recent exhibition games against Lithuania and Spain, he led the team in scoring in both and blocked two, last-minute shots in the latter for an 86-85 win.”