So Carmelo Anthony finally was traded to the New York Yankees or something like that. The question here is, has the Northwest Division completely opened up for OKC to run for the next couple years? Utah seems to be fizzling with Deron Williams unhappy, the Nuggets just lost their best player and the Blazers, while talented, are hurt all the time. Really, it’s kind of the Thunder’s division right now.
Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com recapping winners and losers of the Melo deal: “Northwest Division: The Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers have to be thrilled with Anthony heading to the Eastern Conference, as the Nuggets’ era of bully-ball is significantly diminished, clearing the road for the next wave of Northwest power teams. With the Utah Jazz falling off and dealing with Carmelo-like problems with Deron Williams, the league’s toughest division all of a sudden isn’t looking quite as formidable.”
Michael Lee of the Washington Post: “Kevin Durant maintains his humility, but he is starting to abandon that aw-shucks, happy-to-be-here stance when he is surrounded by the league’s best players. He used to say that he wasn’t in the same class as superstars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. But if he hadn’t already proven it when he led the league in scoring last season, or when he led Team USA to a gold medal in Turkey, Durant let it be known on Sunday at Staples Center that he is truly a star among stars.”
John Rohde on Serge’s performance in the dunk contest: “[Ibaka was] robbed. Not sure how the longest dunk in NBA All-Star history warrants a 45. Maybe the judges didn’t see the actual take-off point. What’s wrong with checking a replay before posting a score? I also think it matters that Serge did this on his FIRST attempt.”
KD’s new Gatorade commercial:
Berry Tramel playing what-if with Blake Griffin: “So I’m not sure Griffin would have made a huge difference in wins and losses. Hard to believe the Thunder could have improved much at all on 50 wins, replacing Harden with anyone. Hard to believe the Thunder could be too much ahead of its current 53-win pace. But still. This Thunder team would have been a total load. Griffin is basically Ibaka, only a way better rebound and a way better scorer. Griffin cleaning up the boards on Durant and Westbrook shots that don’t go in? How exactly is someone supposed to defend that kind of team?”