Hickory High looks at Nick Collison’s impact since he returned from injury: “Since Collison returned from injury the Thunder have gone 18 – 9. If you’re keeping track at home the Thunder’s winning percentage went from 0.556 without him to 0.667 when Collison rejoined the team. He’s not solely responsible for that improvement but as I asserted before, he’s a big part of it. In November, after nine games, the Thunder had an ORtg. of 104.8 and a DRtg. of 107.7. In the 27 games since Collison returned the team has posted an ORtg. of 107.0 and a DRtg. of 103.4. This has brought their season ratings to 106.1 and 104.0 respectively.”
Berry Tramel is really trying to push this Thunder-Maverick rivalry thing: “No one south of Thackerville considers Thunder-Mavericks an NBA rivalry. But that doesn’t mean those of us on the north side of the Red can’t hope. Big Brother Dallas. Maverick Mark Cuban, one of only two owners to vote against bringing the franchise to Oklahoma City. A ballteam that is a thorn in Thunder flesh. All the ingredients are there, except for Dallas interest.” Hope? Hope for what? This isn’t college football. We don’t HAVE to have a rival, you know.
Darnell Mayberry with a statement I totally agree with: “Please, please, please, Thunder heads. Don’t start with the, ‘We should have gotten Brendan Haywood” routine. You know who you are. His moments, I repeat, moments, tonight might have made you go into a tizzy. The guy is making $42 million over five years! And that’s not counting the $10.5 million team option he has for 2015-16. I’d say that’s pretty good coin to average 3.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. My money is on Haywood never averaging seven points and seven rebounds in 65-plus games in a season for the life of his current contract.”
Russell Westbrook has some player edition Hyperfuses out. Look pretty cool.
A story on how KD is accustomed to moving. And he’s also accustomed to being asked about moving.
ESPN Dallas: “Play of the game: The 6-foot-9 Durant used his long right arm to strip Terry just above the 3-point arc, took a handful of long strides and threw down an uncontested tomahawk dunk to stretch the Thunder’s lead to 11 with 5:41 to go. A 6-foot-1 guard simply can’t let that happen, especially considering Terry was just trying to initiate the offense.”
I like how Kevin Love is now being “tied” to Oklahoma City. I sure hope that happens though.
ESPN.com asked who is most likely to come out of the West. Two picked OKC. One was Chris Sheridan: “The easy pick here is San Antonio. The second-easiest pick is Dallas. And the pick I’m going to make is Oklahoma City because the Thunder gave the Lakers a tougher time than anyone except the Boston Celtics last spring, and they are the team in the best position in the West to make a substantial upgrade at a low cost before the trade deadline by offering a No. 1 pick the Clippers owe them (top-10 protected through 2015, unprotected in 2016) along with Mo Peterson’s expiring contract for an experienced player who would be a better No. 3 offensive option for them than what they currently have.”
Art Garcia looks at the dunk contest: “An actual dunk contest winner, the 21-year-old also falls in the category of big man with big dunks. Ibaka won a competition a couple of years ago in Spain, so he’s no stranger to judges breaking down his skills. He lobbied the league for inclusion after witnessing the event live in Dallas last year. Wish granted. Ibaka’s dunks, so far, have been mostly of the alley-oop variety. His natural athleticism and above-average hands have made Ibaka a favorite of Russell Westbrook. Ibaka is also able to use his mighty wingspan to just dunk over people when others would have no reason even attempting to dunk. He reportedly can dunk from the foul line. We’ll see.”
Kelly Dwyer, Behind the Box Score: “We’ve been picking apart the Thunder all year, but this is still a team with a rock solid nine-man rotation, and the team is on pace for 54 wins this year (after 50 last season) despite no major (or minor) personnel upgrades over the offseason. This would be good. Keep on, kids.”