The Orlando Sentinel ranks Russell Westbrook fifth among point guards: “A truncated or canceled 2011-12 season would slow Westbrook’s development, and that’s a shame. Who knows what the new CBA will look like, but he should receive big offers if he becomes a free agent next summer. No wonder Thunder fans are concerned whether the small-market franchise can keep him for the long haul. If he stays in Oklahoma City, he could accomplish great things alongside Kevin Durant.”
SLAM with improvements for the Thunder: “One of the Thunderʼs biggest weaknesses heading into next year is their lack of leadership. You would think with an all-star forward and reigning scoring champ in Durant, as well a championship winner in Kendrick Perkins, that the Thunder would have enough leadership to take them to the next level. But thatʼs not the case. In most instances during the Playoffs, Westbrook decided to take games over in his own hands, which didnʼt work out in the Thunderʼs favor. He would throw up wild three-pointers, drive into congested lanes, and force turnovers in crucial possessions.”
Darnell Mayberry says a short season could help the Thunder: “The Thunder’s roster also has proved to be a durable one. Even with last season’s trade for Kendrick Perkins and the subsequent promotion of Serge Ibaka into the first five included, the Thunder’s starting lineup has missed only 37 games due to injury over the past two seasons. A shortened season is never on any fans wish list. But given its potential impact on the Thunder, it quickly becomes an intriguing possibility.”
Jack McCallum recounts his experience with the Dream Team: “I understand that part of the enduring appeal of these guys is that we saw so little of them. But I guarantee you that they would’ve gotten better as they aged. With such an array of talent, the Dream Team could play fast and slow, big and small, rough or easy. There was simply no way to beat them, and, if that doesn’t a great team make, I don’t know what does.”
Brian Robb of Celtics Hub in a 5-on-5 on favorites for next year: “Miami may be the only team with a case, but it’s tough to put that label on the Heat when it’s unclear how much they will improve their roster this offseason. Plus, with so many loaded teams around the NBA reaping the benefits of continuity (Oklahoma City, Chicago, etc.), I don’t see a clear-cut favorite.”
J.A. Sherman of Welcome to Loud City on the Celtics big deal: “If this is the strategy the Celtics are employing, then I think we’re going to see more of these deals go down in the future that take money out of the BRI pot. It is a shrewd way to work around the BRI payout system, and it does not contradict accounting rules. In fact, it doesn’t involve the accounting rules at all; it is purely a function of the CBA rules. Unless of course the NBA’s planning committee opts to change the rules to include dividends received from equity stakes in media companies as a part of BRI and the basis for league revenue sharing. Lest you forget though, Mr. Grousbeck helps make the rules.”
Ellen superstar Greyson Chance takes people on a tour of OKC and Edmond which includes a stop at the Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center.