I think there have been some long shot hopes that Dwight Howard would look at OKC in 2012 when he’s a free agent. And while I have heard he’d love to play with Kevin Durant, it looks like other than re-signing with Orlando, his top three options are the Lakers, Knicks and Nets.
NBA.com power rankings: “The Thunder don’t have to worry about their defense if they keep scoring like they did last week. They shot 54 percent and scored 122.5 points per 100 possessions in wins over the Hornets, Suns and Jazz. Russell Westbrook averaged 20.7 points and 9.7 assists, while shooting 6-for-7 from 3-point rage.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Although the Thunder’s erratic defense has been an eyesore at times, there are two reasons for optimism going forward. Thunder players haven’t thrown in the towel on establishing a defensive identity. And they’ve shown at times that they can still be a shutdown defensive team. So long as the Thunder continues to stick with it, chalk up these worrisome wins to character building — no matter how hard on the eyes they may be.”
Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune: “The Thunder torched Utah all night, and Oklahoma City ignited via the pick-and-roll — one of the most traditional and well-documented plays in the basketball playbook. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was the biggest beneficiary. He shot 10 of 15 from the field, knocked down all four of his 3-point attempts, dished out 10 assists and finished with 33 well-executed points.”
Everyone wants to be the next Thunder as Truth About It hopes the Wizards are: “Are the new-look Wizards the next Oklahoma City Thunder? No, not necessarily. But the fans, media, and coaches might need to give this squad a little time to grow. (Everyone’s patience is running thin, but we have to look at this year as the new beginning. It is the start of the rebuild. Year one.) Only Rashard Lewis started on an NBA team last season. We have never seen a Washington Wizards team that has looked like this … but the players have never seen the minutes, opportunities, and situations that they are living each and every day this year, either.”
David Aldridge: “Thunder have taken control of the Northwest Division with five wins in six games, including Video Saturday’s dominant victory over the Jazz in Salt Lake City.”
From Elias: Russell Westbrook made 10 of 15 field-goal attempts, nine of 10 free-throw attempts, and handed out 10 assists in the Thunder’s 121-105 win at Utah. The last NBA player to make two thirds of his field goals and 90% of his free throws (minimum: 10 FGA & 10 FTA) while recording 10+ assists was the Cavaliers’ Andre Miller (12/16 FG, 10/11 FT, 11 AST) on December 4, 2001 against the Pistons. The last to do it for the Sonics/Thunder franchise was player/coach Lenny Wilkens (9/12 FG, 10/10 FT, 14 assists) against the Celtics on January 9, 1972.