Noam Schiller of HP joins the KD debate: “Kevin Durant’s ceiling is incredibly high. In fact, it is so high, that it is almost invisible. If someone were to ascend to the top of the Durant Potential Tower, he would probably discover that the ceiling was made of glass – thus enabling us a perfect view of the sky above, and taunting us into believing that the ceiling wasn’t even there. But it exists. And while it shouldn’t prevent Kevin Durant from being one of the best ever, it should stop him from dominating his peers, just by virtue of them being so ridiculously good as well. This isn’t a knock on Durant as much as an ode to just how good basketball players have become and can still develop. Durant is an evolutionary step to be sure, but as far as the hierarchy goes, he still has a few links to look up to.”
Ziller brings Russell Westbrook into the conversation: “Among the top scorers in the NBA, Russell Westbrook is by far the top Creator. He doesn’t just lead the pack in Creation Ratio among top scorers: by our estimates of assisted misses and free throw opportunities, Westbrook created more shots per 40 minutes than any other player, with 29. Derrick Rose came in second with 26 shots created per 40 minutes, and LeBron James followed at No. 3 with 23 and change. (Kobe Bryant was just behind LeBron.) Westbrook fits all the criteria for a prolific creator: he racks up assists (9.4 per 40), he takes a lot of shots (19.5 field goals and 8.8 free throws per 40) and his makes are almost never assisted by a teammate (with an assisted percentage of just 17.4 percent). He’s a perfect storm of creation.”
Note: I wanted to get into this Durant thing with my own take on it, but honestly, I don’t have anything better to say than Ziller. He’s killing this stuff.
The Impact Basketball League in Vegas looks pretty awesome. Too bad no Thunder players are playing.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com on the labor negotiations: “The next seven days, therefore, represent crunch time — the last two minutes of the only NBA game that matters in September and beyond. And in addressing executive committee member Roger Mason’s oops-tweet Wednesday, when the Knicks guard perhaps accidentally tweeted publicly, “Looking like a season. how u,” Fisher provided all the reminder anyone needed that it isn’t time to rejoice yet.”
Raindrops auditions are this Saturday. All boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 12 years old are invited to tryout. Ideal candidates have some dance experience and are excited to perform in front of large crowds. Open auditions will be hosted at the Cox Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. Registration will begin at 9 a.m.
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop looks at what’s at stake for each owner: “It would be a hell of a season for the Thunder to miss — this is their time. Not to mention, Clay Bennett runs a successful business.”