Happy Memorial Day everyone. A special thanks to all our servicemen and women for everything. And specifically, thanks to my best friend Andy who is serving in Afghanistan. Also, a note: I’m en route to Miami today to cover the NBA Finals for CBSSports.com so I’ll be out of touch for a bit. I’m sure life will go on without me for a bit though.
Berry Tramel grades the season: “Russell Westbrook: A. OK, so he shoots too much and commits too many turnovers. Yes, more Thunder possessions end with Westbrook (shooting or turnovers) than with Durant. Agreed, his decision-making needs work. You know what all those deficiencies mean? The rest of the league is scared to death. A guy who in four years has gone from UCLA backup to second-team all-NBA with Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki can still get not only better, but a lot better? By the way, Westbrook this season shot two percentage points worse than Durant from the field and from 3-point range. Not 10. Two.”
Two outstanding quotes from Sam Presti’s exit interview: 1) “Our improvement is not a matter of time. It is experiences over time.” And 2) “We don’t have a calendar or a stopwatch. We’ve just done the work.”
Solid note from J.A. Sherman of Welcome to Loud City on Perk: “Kendrick Perkins did not have a great post-season due to conditioning and bad match-ups, but to anyone who thinks that OKC regrets the trade even for a moment clearly did not spend any time watching the team before the trade went down. If you did, you would have seen how the Thunder were playing – there was something broken in their make-up, and that something did not get fixed until Perkins suited up.”
Danny Chau of HP on John Malkovich and the Mavs: “It’s a dark tunnel to the championship. It’s scary, and probably squishy. For Dallas, entering the mind of Malkovich means knowing what it means to be a champion. Nowitzki, his aging brethren, and the rest of the Mavericks are surely hoping that redemption can be achieved in the time it takes to be sucked in and spit out.”
Did you know the Thunder have the 24th overall pick in the draft? Easy to forget about. Right now, Draft Express has OKC taking Kyle Singler. Meh.
KD says he wants to bulk up for next year. Which of course is the same thing he always says. Kurt Helin of PBT on it: “A quick look at Durant tells you this is a good idea, but it’s just a start. Durant showed in the playoffs that he needs to be more consistent at working hard off the ball to get open. How he came off screens, the energy used off the ball all needs to improve. He was too easily taken out of the game — it was not all Russell Westbrook, it was a combination. Durant is improving, as are the Thunder. Far too early to sell them short about where they will be in a year or two — particularly because of how hard Durant and the team work in the offseason.”