Zach Lowe of SI doesn’t like Harden’s leg kick either: “You know I love the way the Thunder’s Harden has been playing in general lately, but is it me, or has he become the league’s foremost practitioner of the semi-dirty leg kick at the end of a jump shot? It’s a blatant attempt at drawing a foul, one mastered by lots of “wily” stars, including Reggie Miller and Karl Malone. A few officials have actually called offensive fouls on Harden when he does this, and I’m all for policing this play more aggressively by calling more offensive fouls.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Kevin Durant already taken seven more 3-pointers this year than he did last season. And there’s still 10 games left to play. AND if he plays each of the remaining 10, he’ll still be four shy of last year, when he played all 82 games. The numbers have been shocking. He seems to have diversified his game much more in his fourth season. But his 3-point attempts are staggering.”
Sam Smith of Bulls.com writing on the future of the NBA: “More immediately, it raises questions about the makeup of the 2012 Olympic team. The general assumption was the 2008 winners would mostly return. Though in talent, it’s already clear some of the young guys have passed them with Rose and Westbrook likely superior to Williams and Chris Paul. You’d easily take Durant over Anthony and Love over Chris Bosh. Kobe Bryant will be too old and beaten up, most likely, and Jason Kidd, Michael Redd, Carlos Boozer and Tayshaun Prince likely wouldn’t be candidates. Which leaves Howard, who played behind Bosh because he can’t shoot, LeBron and Wade? I wouldn’t be surprised to see LeBron and Wade take a pass given the season long endurance race they have with the Heat and having played for several USA teams.”
You absolutely must check out this great illustration from Hector Lopez, who is the caricature artist that works in Loud City at Thunder games.
Brian Powell for NBA.com: “Actually, announcing is a labor intensive task that takes years of practice, months of studying during the season (for most) and a very, very strong bladder. Take for example the team of Kevin Harlan and Kevin McHale, who had the pleasure of calling the triple overtime game between the Suns and Lakers last Tuesday. Talking for that long is honestly harder than you think. Sure there were 10 lead changes (and Ron Artest blowing kisses to the crowd and flexing after every basket) to keep them entertained. But adding a full hour of game time can take a lot out of an announcing team.”
ESPN Stats and Info reiterates my point: “In the seven games with Kendrick Perkins in the lineup, the Thunder have gone 6-1 while allowing just 91.1 PPG, more than 10 points fewer than before he was playing.”