Darnell Mayberry on the Warriors game: “Something really stood out in this one. Many of Golden State’s offensive rebounds and second-chance points came as a result of Thunder defenders having to help. Nothing new there. That’s been a theme all season. But I was amazed at how confused Thunder players were once they committed to helping. On several possessions, players had no idea where their man was once they went to help. It’s hard to put a body on someone or find them to recover when you don’t know where they are.”
The 66ers have been pretty successful in Tulsa says John Klein of the Tulsa World: “But the most recent ownership change and affiliation move to be linked with the Thunder has worked wonders for the on-court success of the team. The 66ers still have a tough time drawing fans for home games at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena. However, Tulsa has been very successful as a team, tied for the West Conference lead even after losses to Utah on Friday and Saturday nights. It would appear the success of the Thunder, one of the youngest and most successful teams in the NBA, is filtering down to the 66ers.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss of Warriors World: “There’s a media trope floating around that David Lee went out and responded to negative publicity. I’d say: He responded to Jeff Green’s negative defense, and the Thunder’s propensity to rely on the glasswork of a point guard. Players always want to succeed. I think we media schmoes try to reduce basketball to the psychological because it brings us closer–we hope. But we’re probably just creating mythology in the face of matchups and random chance. But here’s some psychology: Points dominate our NBA judgment.”
A home state tournament. I don’t love Oklahoma’s chances.
Jenni Carlson writing about how much she loves Rumble: “Maybe the greatest thing about Rumble is his ability to make one-on-one connections and make thousands go crazy. He does it all, remember, without saying a word. That takes some serious skill. Even though we might talk about Rumble as if he is a person, the real genius behind the mascot is the actual human being inside. The Thunder keeps his identity secret, but whoever he is, he is one talented dude. He turned a shaggy-haired, doe-eyed costume into the most loved sports figure around.”
Steph Curry was great last night and I know what people are thinking. But I agree with Darnell Mayberry: “And really, we don’t know yet whether Harden is capable of scoring 20 points a night. But Harden has proved he can be a key contributor on a winning team. While Curry and Evans are putting up great numbers on two of the worst four teams in the Western Conference, Harden continues to chip in however and whenever possible as the Sixth Man on a 50-win team that is a top four seed in the conference.”
Good stuff from Susan Bible of HoopsWorld on OKC’s defense: “One of the more intriguing stats (possibly deserving of an in-depth study itself) begs the question: why is the team unable to control their Opponent’s Field Goal Shooting in the first half of games (.508 average) as well as they do in second halves (.429)? And in overtime situations, it improves even further to .375.”