A Texas assistant coach named his son after Kevin Durant: “Springmann was watching his most famous recruit, Kevin Durant, play with the Oklahoma City Thunder one day shortly after his wife was pregnant. “I said I really like the name Durant,” Springmann said. “And she jumped on board and never got off.” But Springmann, who was the one who recruited Durant to Texas, wanted to make sure he cleared it through the proper channels first. He called Durant’s parents and then made sure Kevin was alright with it, also. “They were cool with it,” Springmann said. “And so was Kevin. We figured we couldn’t name our son after anyone better. Kevin’s everything we’d want our son to be.”
Berry Tramel says Chris Paul was in Russell Westbrook’s head: “Westbrook is a wonderful player, and it’s not clear at all if he or Paul will be the better point guard two years from now. If I was the Thunder, I don’t think I would trade them even up. Westbrook is bigger, stronger, younger and healthier. But Paul is more savvy. He’s tough and he’s sharp. And he’s plenty good, too. Westbrook can’t get caught up in Paul’s mind games. Westbrook is an emotional player, but he can’t let his emotions go wild. It cost the Thunder two huge sequences Monday night. It cost the Thunder the game.”
Dan Devine of BDL: “You’d imagine that Oklahoma City Thunder fans aren’t necessarily thrilled about it either, especially after watching Paul flail beneath the body of a driving Russell Westbrook during the second quarter of Monday night’s contest in New Orleans. As you can see in the clip above, the Hornets’ all-world point guard clearly sidesteps the contact, extends his right arm into Westbrook’s, um, thigh, and promptly hits the floor like he just took a charge from ’85-style Charles Barkley.”
Scott Brooks on Russell Westbrook: “I don’t really understand the fantasy rules,” Brooks said, “but I like him on my reality team.”
SI’s power rankings: “After splitting last-second game-winners — Kevin Durant’s three-pointer beat the Knicks on Saturday and New Orleans’ David West nailed a fadeaway to down the Thunder on Monday — OKC is 9-3 in games decided by four points or fewer and 14-5 when the margin is six or fewer. One reason is that Russell Westbrook and Durant are among the league leaders in points scored per 48 minutes in clutch situations (a five-point game with less than five minutes left), according to 82games.com. Another is that two of the Thunder’s best defenders, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha, play a higher percentage of minutes for the team late in tight games than they do overall. Put simply, coach Scott Brooks inserts his stoppers on defense knowing that either Westbrook or Durant will have the ball when it matters on offense.”
CBS Sports power rankings: “All-Star candidates: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook. A lot of debate has focused on Good Player (Monta Ellis) vs. Good Team (Westbrook). Uh, Spurs guards Ginobili and Parker qualify as both.” Uh, Westbrook doesn’t qualify as “good player”?