Yesterday Jim Rome tweeted: “Kevin Durant’s legend grows. A meeting ran late and he couldn’t call the show. He just called me personally to apologize. A Jungle first.”
Nenad Krstic wonders to Henry Abbott how good OKC will be: “We have a tough, tough schedule coming up. It’s going to be interesting. We got to play better. We don’t play consistently. Maybe it’s like last year, we were like 12-14 or something and we turned it up and played better. But I don’t know if that’s going to be the case this year. … We’ll see.”
Britt Robson has NBA power rankings for SI: “The statistic that leaps out is how they are getting murdered at the three-point line: Their own long-range shooting percentage (21.2 percent) and what they allow (41.8 percent) are both NBA worsts. The other cause of OKC’s early underachievement is Kevin Durant. Is the MVP favorite simply off to a rocky start or are his woes more fundamental than the vagaries of a six-game sample size? So far, his shooting percentage and assist rates are career lows and his turnover rate is a career high. I know he’s a gym rat, but maybe the accumulated stress of being the leading man at the FIBA World Championship, living up to the Thunder’s unrealistic preseason hype and carrying his current playing load — he leads the league in minutes per game — has, at least temporarily, sapped his energy.”
FanHouse’s power rankings: “Everyone’s darlings heading into the season have gotten off to a slower start than expected, and things might continue to be tough if Kevin Durant is forced into as much action as he’s seen so far. He’s managed to put up 27.7 points per game, but it’s coming on just 40 percent shooting. And, Durant currently leads the league in minutes per game at 42.7 — not exactly ideal for your franchise player who spent his summer playing in the World Championships instead of recovering.”
Darnell Mayberry has five reasons why KD is struggling a bit: “In his fourth season, Durant is attempting to make his biggest leap as a complete player by becoming a bona fide playmaker. The ball is in Durant’s hands more than it’s ever been and it has taken away from what he does best, which is score. Durant has admitted to thinking too much on the court rather than playing instinctively as he’s always done. That largely explains his current 4.6-turnover average, as Durant has spent stretches over-passing and dribbling his way into charges.”
I spent last night having dinner with Bethlehem Shoals and let me tell you, I’m a little smarter today than I was yesterday.
Ziller on the different processes of rebuilding: “Certainly. the Thunder’s rise to date has been executed exactly how a scientist would draw it up: capture a star, build around the star with smart, hard-working roleplayers, flourish. (And it continues, with Serge Ibaka and Cole Aldrich in tow.)”