Chad Ford yesterday in a chat on the Thunder’s activity: “They’re looking for a big man. Talked to a bunch of teams including the Blazers (Camby), Clippers (Kaman), Grizzlies (Thabeet), Pacers (Foster).”
Darnell Mayberry on last night’s tough loss: “Russell Westbrook needs a filter. From what I could tell, nobody on the court or the bench said anything to him as he continued to jack up shots. That tells me he’s going to have to figure it out on his own. His rope is long, which, again, is understandable since harnessing him could halter his effectiveness. But he clearly hurt the team tonight by looking for his own offense so much. I don’t think Westbrook is doing it selfishly. He simply seems to play hero too much and get into trouble. But I have no doubt he has good intentions, probably feeling like he can bring his team back by himself.”
48 Minutes of Hell: “The Thunder used Green frequently to set picks for Russell Westbrook, and Bonner was able to effectively help on the pick-and-roll and recover to Green, who was usually spotted-up on the perimeter. George Hill shot just 3-8 from the floor in the Spurs win, but he put in some strong shifts defending Kevin Durant. Despite a disadvantage in both height and length, Hill was physical with Durant, and though 30 points doesn’t look great, it could’ve been much worse.”
From Elias: The Spurs defeated Oklahoma City, 109-105, to improve their league-best record in games decided by four or fewer points this season to 10-1. The Thunder, now 12-5 in such games, entered the night tied with the Jazz for the NBA’s second-best winning percentage in games decided by such a slim margin.
BDL Behind the Box Score: “Fine execution down the stretch for the Spurs, in a fun game that featured just 18 turnovers. Jeff Green’s mistakes weren’t limited to the end of the game, he’s now missed eight of his last 11 three-pointers in two games since the All-Star break, and continues to chuck nearly four per game despite hitting only 30 from long range.”
One other thought on OKC’s last possession last night: In late clock situations, one thing the Thunder is extremely bad at is standing. Watch that play again. Nobody moves once Green gets it. It’s four guys standing there watching.
Marc Stein’s power rankings: “Not the sauciest topic to hit here, but surely worth a mention: Only two teams in history (Boston in ’89-90 at 83.2 percent and Dallas in ’02-03 at 82.9 percent) have been better at the FT line than this OKC team (82.7).”
NBA.com’s rankings: “Focus on defense. The Thunder were the league’s second-best offensive team (109.5 points per 100 possessions) between Christmas and the break, but the D took another step backward. Still, they’re tied with the Lakers in the loss column and have a much easier schedule down the stretch.”
Rick Reilly on Melo’s move: “The grinding unfairness of it all: The NBA used to work on a turn system. You will lose, but if you hang in there, you’ll be rewarded with a very high draft pick like an Anthony, and your turn at glory will arrive. Not anymore. The superstars are in charge now. Now, you lose and you get a pick, and that pick immediately starts texting his pals to see where they’ll all wind up in three years. Pretty soon, you’re back losing again. Get ready, Oklahoma City.”