Small announcement: I’ve made a slight tweak to the commenting system. From now on, registering is required. I know this might inconvenience some, but hopefully this will ensure that DT’s comments stay smart, insightful and devoid of a whole lot of anonymous trolling.
Art Garica grades OKC at the halfway point: “Brooks has set a system where defense is the foundation, but it hasn’t been up to snuff so far this season. OKC has gotten by on their ability to score probably more than Brooks cares to admit. Durant and Westbrook form the league’s highest-scoring tandem, with Green and Harden also capable of filling it up. OKC has been relatively healthy and goes into the second half realizing that there’s still plenty of room for improvement. A division title and top-four seed in the West is there for the taking, which would leave the Thunder in good position to make some noise in the playoffs.”
John Rohde with post-game notes: “Russell Westbrook had a flawless third quarter with 14 points (4 for 4 from the field; 6 for 6 from the line; zero turnovers). He had eight assists in the first half and second in the second half, thanks to his teammates shooting a combined 9 for 27 (.333) from the field after intermission.”
Denver Stiffs: “In many ways, the Thunder represent what can still be great about the NBA, while the Nuggets represent what’s so wrong about the current state of my favorite professional sport. The Thunder have astutely (and with some great luck, admittedly) built a young, deep team of high character guys who are on the verge of dominating the Western Conference for years to come. The Nuggets, conversely, are being torn asunder by a selfish, modern day sports superstar.” Can someone tell me why Carmelo is selfish again?
Roundball Mining Company: “The Nuggets played a tough and talented Thunder team close throughout the game. When things got tough for Denver, Melo did the same thing he did in the San Antonio game and his entire career. He took matters into his own hands and fired up more shots than anyone else. However as he’s done for a good part of his career, Melo delivered this time. Riding a hot streak to 18 third quarter points, he finished with 35 points on 25 shots – helping defeat OKC behind Denver’s strong fourth quarter effort on defense.”
Love this tweet from Kevin Durant: “Scarlett johanneson I will drink ur bath water…#random”
Mark Medina of the LA Times on who would win a Thunder-Lakers playoffs series: “It’s possible the Thunder would avoid late-game collapses, such as Jeff Green’s missed three-pointer with 59 seconds remaining that would’ve capped a 9-0 run and brought the deficit to one point, considering they are 15-4 in games decided by seven points or less. OKC would likely respond in appropriate fashion after a Lakers win, knowing it had an 11-2 mark in games after losses. And for reasons including health, fatigue and overall executions, it’s probable that matching the Thunder’s speed and athleticism would prove too taxing for the Lakers’ veteran-laden squad.”
Shaun Powell of NBA.com looking for a new home for the Hornets: “Seattle: There’s still a vibrant basketball fan base, although you wonder if the longer Seattle goes without basketball, the weaker the passion to bring basketball back will get. Plus, Seattle still has arena issues, and no dot-com or software billionaire (if any are left) has pledged to build one.”