NBA Playbook breaks down the Thunder last several possessions as well: “Tony Allen gets into Durant’s body, so when the screen comes he is able to fit between the screener and Durant. This allows him to stay attached to Durant and keep him from making the catch initially and puts him in a good position to defend the pick and pop. Eventually, Durant gets the basketball and is forced to take a tough step-back jumper. In addition to letting himself get pushed around a little too much, Durant has a tendency not to cut sharply off of screens. Normally this doesn’t hurt him because his size allows him to shoot over defenders, but when he is trying to curl off for a three, he is making it harder on himself.”
Darnell Mayberry on if the Thunder’s been rattled: “Kevin Durant scoffed at the suggestion. Really, it wasn’t even a suggestion. It was a question. Clearly, though, Durant was stunned and perhaps even annoyed that it was even being asked. Has the Oklahoma City Thunder’s confidence, swagger or belief been shaken? That’s right. That was a point-blank question posed to Durant, the Thunder’s co-captain, at Sunday’s practice. It seemed a little premature.”
Fran Blinebury of NBA.com: “He was tuned in as clear and crisp as satellite radio when coach Lionel Hollins gave Mayo the job of defending Russell Westbrook, who had torched the Grizzlies and Mike Conley for 13 points in the third quarter when the Thunder were threatening to run away and hide with an unrelenting double-digit lead. Mayo stuck to Westbrook like white on rice. He fought over screens and through them. He was in Westbrook’s face every time he tried to turn a corner, practically inside his uniform each time he attempted a shot. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Westbrook went just 1-for-7 from the field and scored only four points.”
KD on Mother’s Day: “If it wasn’t Mother’s Day, I’d be ready to play right now,” Durant said after Sunday’s practice. “But my mom is here, and she’s taking a lot of pressure off me.”
Derrick Rose took 32 shots and had a bad game yesterday. Charles Barkley wasn’t afraid to criticize Rose for the same reasons people have ripped Westbrook. Also, I broke down the last few minutes for the Bulls and they were certainly similar to the Thunder.
If you missed it, either Memphis or OKC’s next opponent is the Mavericks.
The Grizzlies won’t change their starting five for Game 4: “O.J. Mayo started the second half for Memphis in its comeback win over Oklahoma City in Game 3, but Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins says he’ll begin Game 4 with his regular starting five. Sam Young, who began the third quarter on the bench but helped ignite the rally with a thunderous dunk, will remain the starter at shooting guard.”