Thunder officials said it was going to be an intense camp and boy, it sounds like it was. Darnell Mayberry: “Although Jeff Green refused to concede that camp has taken a mental toll, the players’ body language tells a different story. Green addressed the media today with much less vibrancy than he showed early in camp. And that effort was better than others who declined altogether. Thabo Sefolosha and Kevin Durant, two of the most willing players to meet with the media, both politely turned down requests through team officials. But Brooks labeled the past week a success.”
Serge Ibaka will be starting at center tonight because of the injuries to Nenad Krstic and Nick Collison. More on that later.
Dwight Howard expands on his statement that he’d take KD over LeBron:
The L.A. Times looking at who will be the Lakers toughest competition: “Bresnahan: Conventional wisdom says Dallas, but who wants to be boring and conventional? I’ll take Oklahoma City, which almost ran the Lakers out of the first round and had two of the top players on this year’s Team USA (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook). Medina: Well now I’m boring and conventional because I’m taking Brez’s pick as well. As the Lakers saw last season, the Thunder has the youth and athleticism to give the Lakers a good test. OKC is now more experienced, including Durant and Westbrook putting work in with Team USA during the 2010 FIBA World Championships. The fact that OKC pushed the Lakers to six games in the first round last season surely gives the Thunder confidence they can further push the envelope.”
Eric Maynor is returning home for tonight’s game and Chris Silva says he’s a better player: “As both teams huddled up during a timeout toward the end of a recent controlled intrasquad scrimmage, the coaches stepped aside and the point guards were left holding the dry erase board. It was their turn to call the shots. Eric Maynor took the marker and board and instructed his teammates on what they were going to do. While Maynor later said that having all eyes on him during the huddle was something he wasn’t used to, he still came through on the assignment. It was a lesson in assertiveness and accountability, the same traits that Maynor embraced as a rookie backup point guard with the Thunder and exemplified more recently at the Orlando Summer League where he took ownership of the team’s offense as the lead guard. And it’s a lesson the Thunder wants Maynor to take with him into his second season and first full one with the Thunder.”