Something I can not get behind: KD’s dunk over Brendan Haywood was not the top dunk of the conference finals.
Does the age limit work for the NBA? Eamonn Brennen of ESPN.com looks: “Maybe the one-and-done rule has helped players develop into elite NBA talents. It didn’t seem to hurt Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA MVP and NBA scoring champion, respectively, both of whom happen to be 22 years old. But it’s just as easy to say that duo would have been successful no matter what path they took to the NBA. It’s also fair to say both players — like Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler, Andre Iguodala and a host of other NBA stars that made major leaps this season — were just as affected by their time on Team USA in the summer of 2010. (This seems to be the common consensus in NBA circles, at least.)”
Eric Freeman of BDL on KD’s summer ambitions: “It is interesting, though, to realize that Durant has accomplished as much as he has while still being very much a work-in-progress. Washburn notes that Durant doesn’t really post up smaller opponents, but he also sometimes has a tough time getting open on the perimeter and doesn’t always effectively lose his man off good screens. That Durant has won two scoring titles with these issues is something of a marvel. It’s not hard to imagine him averaging 35 points per game at some point in his career. Plus, he’s committed to his craft, which suggests that these problems won’t remain for long. Somehow, Durant is nowhere near his prime.”
KD is looking to bulk up, Perk is looking to slim down. Problem solved.
Mark Jackson doesn’t hate you Thunder: “There’s no way in the world that we have anything against the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Jackson said. “… Our job is to speak the facts. The facts are that a couple of games in the series there were breakdowns, and they didn’t play as well as they could have played. They had a couple of games won, and they did not win them. But they had a great season, and they should be extremely proud.”
John Rohde writing on Nick Collison’s strange season: “What made Collison so valuable this year was his impeccable timing. Whenever the Thunder needed a presence — defensively, or on the offensive boards, or in the huddle — he would rarely disappoint. Collison had 42 steals and took 57 charges. James Harden was next on the team in charges taken with 12.”
You can’t help but wonder: Why didn’t the Mavs shoot like that against the Thunder? Better defense by the Heat, yes, but Barea missed a bunch in the lane, Peja missed open 3s and Terry couldn’t hit anything.
Clark Matthews of The Lost Ogle on OKC’s offseason: “Should Presti target Battier early in free agency, I think he would be easy to sign. Memphis is already stretched financially because of a fanbase that only shows up for the playoffs, and to get back to the playoffs they will have to open the checkbook to re-sign both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. With Rudy Gay returning from injury, Battier will not be a priority for them. Going on 33 years old, the competition for signing the glue guy swingman will not be teams with tons of cap space. Everyone making a play at him will be franchises looking for one more piece to win a championship as their window closes. Oklahoma City should have a major advantage with cap space and the ability to sell him on the opportunity to win for the rest of Battier’s career.”