M. Haubs of The Painted Area looks at OKC’s defensive issues: “After the embarrassing loss on Sunday, the Thunder’s numbers show ample regression on defense after a week. Is this because of [assistant coach Ron] Adams’s departure? Is it because of the absence of underrated defender Nick Collison? The Thunder were 7.6 points per 100 possessions better defensively (one of the best numbers in the league in that +/- department) with Collison, who led the league in charges drawn, on the floor last season. Collison is out with a bone bruise in his knee, after playing 75 games last season (charmed luck with injuries in ’09-10 was a significant factor in the Thunder’s meteoric rise).”
NBA.com’s power rankings: “The Thunder are shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from 3-point range. They got wins over the Bulls and Pistons by getting to the line a total of 91 times, but they struggled on both ends against the Jazz on Sunday. Kevin Durant has 13 turnovers and just five assists.”
Dime says Russell Westbrook is the second most athletic point guard: “Every night it’s another coast-to-coast dunk for Westbrook, who was a game-changer for Team USA over the summer with his defensive playmaking and momentum-changing finishes above the rim.”
I did a little interview with a St. Louis radio station previewing the Northwest Division and the Thunder.
Did you see Mike Conley got a $45 million extension? Let’s all laugh together for a moment at that.
Scott Howard-Cooper on Rich Cho’s unique situation: “He gets to live the 2007 Draft all over again, now in the reversed role of the blowout loss. With a winning franchise in a great city, a passionate fan base, an owner who will spend to no end, a roster already pointed to the playoffs — yes, yes, yes and yes. The Blazers are not exactly a reclamation project. But this is still unavoidably stepping into a time machine.”
The Tulsa 66ers traded Mustafa Shakur for Robert Vaden. Yeah, I’m confused too.