Charley Rosen of Fox Sports says KD is the eighth best player in the league: “Indeed, most of Durant’s points were scored either in isolated situations or by shooting over a gaggle of much shorter and slower defenders who manned the point in opponents’ zone defenses. If he wasn’t open on the catch, then some kind of simple spin easily shed his defender and created good looks. In other words, his success in Turkey should in no way be overrated. That said, Durant is still one of the NBA’s premier players. So where does he currently rank? Listed in alphabetical order, my latest thinking is that the following players are better than Durant: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams — which places KD eighth overall.”
Did NBA 2K11 take a shot at KD?: “NBA 2K11 will feature 50 achievements, only one of them concerns a feat with a specific player in a standard game. It just so happens to involve the cover athlete for rival NBA Elite 11. ‘G Performance, a cheevo that’s an apparent nod to in-game sponsor Gatorade, gives you 20 Gamerscore if you score 48 points with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. Why that guy? He’s the cover rep for NBA Elite 11. Why that figure? Because his real-life career high is 47.
Not Thunder related but interesting: Andrew Bogut called out Tom Ziller last night for some apparent reason.
NESN says OKC is the team to beat in the NW: “If you’ve got to go with someone, you take the upside pick when in doubt. That’s Oklahoma City. Durant refuses to stop getting better, and as the supporting cast around him continues to pick up steam, you have to expect the Thunder to make their move toward the top of the Western Conference. But the competition will be brutal this season. All four teams should win 50 games again (and the Minnesota Timberwolves still exist, it bears mentioning at some point). That division is going to be a dogfight. Last year, the Thunder were at the bottom of a four-team fracas fighting for Northwest supremacy. Next spring, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them vault to the top.”
A pretty massive Thunder preview from HoopsWorld: “Now that the Thunder has proven they belong in Western Conference title talks, another low seeding or failure to secure homecourt in the playoffs may well be looked upon as a less-than-successful season. After Kevin Durant’s masterful showing in the FIBA World Championship tournament, along with his numerous accomplishments last season, elite-player discussions now include his name. The spotlight placed on Durant, Westbrook and Company is already shining brightly, and the pressure to improve on last season is off the charts.”