Beckley Mason for TrueHoop on the Goodman-Drew game: “As they waited for the ball to be inbounded in the third quarter of the Goodman League-Drew League contest for bicoastal streetball bragging rights, Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden collided near midcourt. Durant, playing for Washington, D.C.’s Goodman team, had been jogging toward the 3-point line when Harden, representing Drew of Los Angeles, abruptly halted in front of him, sending a hard shoulder into his wiry teammate’s chest. Durant, who won the MVP award for his 44-point effort, threw a snarling forearm into Harden to create space. Undeterred, Harden shuffled forward and again leaned hard into his teammate to deny him the ball.”
Kyle Weidie for ESPN LA: “The most important controversy came courtesy of Durant’s game-winning free throws with 21.5 seconds left. The Drew League contingent, from bench to fans, were openly upset at several calls or non-calls on the night, to the point where Rawls make light of it on the microphone, effectively saying that whistles would be uniformly the opposite in Los Angeles. On the game-deciding play, Durant drove hard to the basket, and stumbled and/or got tripped up by Harden, who got called for blocking. After the buzzer sounded, Harden was still salty about the call as he made a beeline to the locker room. But if anyone might have had the most accurate, perhaps unbiased assessment, it would be Marques Johnson, host of the game for thebasketballchannel.net and one-time star of Los Angeles’ Crenshaw High and UCLA.”
Michael Lee of the Washington Post on the game: “There were some glitches to the evening, as the organizers oversold the event, leading to a line that stretched far outside the 1,500-seat gymnasium. Several upset fans who paid for tickets experienced a lockout of their own, as they were eventually turned away and informed how and where they could receive refunds. Inside, the crowd gave the visitors from Los Angeles a hard time, cheered every move by a player from the Goodman League. One fan appeared to throw a water bottle at an official over a foul call.”
USA Today on the game: “Best crossover: There were several from Durant that left Harden stuck in his tracks on the perimeter, but Wall paralyzed the defense in the open court with his dribble as his team led 40-34 after the first quarter.”
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com on what a lost season could do to the lottery: “But what do we do if every team finishes the 2011-12 NBA season at 0-0? Do we approach the 2012 draft as if time froze the moment the Mavericks started to celebrate and use the 2010-11 standings as our foundation? The NHL confronted this scenario after its entire 2004-05 schedule was cancelled. Like the NBA, the NHL has a weighted lottery system — though only for the first overall pick. Once the winner of the lottery is announced, the rest of the non-playoff teams are slotted in reverse order of record, followed by the postseason teams that played in order of playoff finish (with regular-season record as the tie-breaker). Rather than use the 2003-04 standings and postseason as the baseline for the 2005 lottery, the NHL cooked up a modified version of the lottery.”
Swoosh Nation on how OKC can get over the hump: “The bottom line is the Thunder can go as far as Durant takes them. If he continues his evolution as an NBA superstar and takes his game to a Dirk-ish level next postseason, the Thunder are most likely going to take another step forward as a team and become a legitimate title contender from the West. Just remember, he’s only 22, so the urgency probably isn’t quite there yet like we saw from Nowitzki last postseason, but the dude is still a serious competitor and baller.”
KD’s going to be in a movie. Put your best plot idea in the comments of this post and I’ll post the best ones.