Matt Moore of CBSSports.com on Perkins’ extension: “The Thunder have their man, and they just locked him up long-term. With Russell Westbrook soon to be extended and eventually Serge Ibaka as well, the Thunder have a core in place to contend. Now we’ll have to see if they struck on time and on target. They look every bit the contender many thought they would be, though.”
Zach Lowe of SI on KD at the 4: “I liked the move to put Durant at power forward in theory, but it did not work in reality. The reason I liked it, at first: Durant can guard Lamar Odom without much trouble, but on the other end, the Lakers want one of their wing players — usually Ron Artest – to stay on Durant no matter what sort of lineup the Thunder have on the court. That meant Odom would have to defend a guard — often Daequan Cook on Sunday — and though Odom is obviously capable of defending someone like Cook, big guys often fall into the temptation of roving around a lot when they find themselves on a spot-up shooter. Cook got a couple of open looks like this. But as I said, in the long run, the small lineup did not work — at least offensively.”
SB Nation power rankings: “The Thunder have plenty of games without Kendrick Perkins; that will be a strain on the team. In the meantime, Serge Ibaka showing that he can be as good as a regular starter as he was off the bench would be a nice gain.”
NBA.com: “The Thunder could really have used their new center in their two games over the weekend. In Friday’s loss to the Magic, they got destroyed by Dwight Howard (40 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks). And in Sunday’s loss to L.A., Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum combined for 34 points and 21 boards (eight offensive).”
Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “Can’t say it better than Professor Hollinger said it. For three-and-a-half seasons, OKC was a team of the future. After the deals for Perkins and Mohammed and the size they’ve injected, OKC is a team of the present.”
Ian Thompson of SI on Perkins: “In a side note, I don’t necessarily buy the talk that Green is the best player in that trade. He puts up bigger numbers and of course he is more versatile offensively than Perkins, but stats don’t convey Perkins’ value. The Thunder are viewing him as an indispensable part of an eventual title contender. They hope to convert from a finesse team to a two-way unit that will defend the basket and adapt to the nastier style of postseason basketball, and Perkins’ arrival will instantly make them more intimidating this spring.”
Kendrick Perkins can’t wear No. 43 because it’s retired by the Thunder franchise. While I agree that it’s sort of ridiculous that Jack Sikma’s jersey is retired by the Thunder, they do own all the history. Berry Tramel talked to a Seattle radio host about this and the host claims OKC has no right to any of the history. So does this writer for SB Nation. Here’s the thing though: Know how many of the Lakers titles came in Minneapolis? Five. So are they not allowed to those either? It’s just the way it is when franchises move. The franchise remains the same, even if the cities change.