Jeff Green in an interview with WEEI: “If he feels the goals are different going from the Thunder to the Celtics: “It’s no different. The ultimate goal is winning. Your quest is a championship and the only thing that has changed is we’re fighting for a championship instead of fighting for a playoff spot. It’s a different attitude and I’m more excited than ever.”
Marc Stein’s power rankings: “Perhaps Perk delivers everything OKC theoretically lost when it rescinded the Chandler trade two years ago. Yet you can’t help wonder here if he’s really going to be healthy enough to be a game-changer this season.”
I wrote the Daily Dime lead again on ESPN.com on how a potential 4-5 matchup between the Thunder and Grizzlies is kind of scary.
Also, here’s a long breakdown of the MVP candidates. I still think KD has a chance, but he needs a massive month.
Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: “Every campaign needs its defining moment. For John F. Kennedy’s presidential election, it was his televised debate against Richard Nixon. For Doug Flutie’s Heisman Trophy selection, it was his Hail Mary pass against Miami. For Grant Hill to get his first All-Defensive Team honor from the coaches in a 17-year career, his campaign moment might have come Sunday night with what he did to the NBA’s leading scorer in Oklahoma City.”
An interesting email from Patrick from The Lost Ogle: “Last night, I was remembering how the Hornets won several games with last second shots. Remember how the shot was never taken by Chris Paul, but instead by David West. And of course, who beat the Thunder this year on a last second shot…David West. I don’t think the problem is running a set vs. an isolation play, I think it’s about match ups. Why force the ball to a guy being guarded by the teams best defender when everyone knows that guy is getting the ball? Sure KD can make those crazy 20 ft shots every now and then, but I think the odds are better to have Russell attack the rim while be guarded by Steve Nash. At least he has a PG mentality and will possibly pass out to an open shooter. Hell, look at Jeff Green against the Pistons. No one saw that coming.”
From Elias: Zach Randolph scored 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies repelled several late runs by the Thunder to take a 107-101 victory. It was the eighth time this season that Randolph has scored 10-or-more points in the fourth quarter, and Memphis is 8-0 in those games. And the Thunder should know all about it: in its last visit to the FedExForum back on January 4, the Oklahoma City crew saw Randolph score 13 fourth-quarter points as Memphis won, 110-105.