John Krolik for PBT previewing OKC: “The slimmed-down Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka are one of the best defensive frontcourts in the league. Russell Westbrook continues to be one of the league’s most most explosive and productive point guards while improving his shot selection and becoming a more efficient player. James Harden takes his game to another level, the Thunder play all four quarters in the playoffs, and the franchise wins the first championship in its history. Yes, they are thinking title. They should be.”
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop on the hot hand: “The researchers were nice enough to send me spreadsheets with a lot of the data they studied from the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons. And you can see it all in there, plain as day. Here are players like Rudy Gay, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, Nick Young, Richard Jefferson, Kevin Martin, Rip Hamilton, Steve Nash and Carmelo Anthony. And like clockwork, after hitting a 3, they are dramatically more likely to shoot another one. And remember, those 3s after you just made one … they miss a lot.”
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin on David Stern: “Stern’s taken criticism before, and he honestly doesn’t give a shit what you think about some fanciful concept of “integrity.” He’s got his own bosses to please, and they’re all thrilled this morning. And if us little people are satisfied enough to put away the torches and pitchforks, that’s just gravy.”
Perk was asked last night if he’s a LeBron or Kobe guy. “imma KD guy,” he answered. Also, he predicted KD will win MVP.
Shaq on the Thunder: “They have a very exciting team, but in my opinion, I still think they are a little bit too young. Lot of people like to talk about the (Russell) Westbrook situation. Does he shoot too much? What type of point guard is he? I think if everyone can learn their position and learn their roles, I think they can make it pretty deep in the playoffs. But I really do not see them making it to the finals.”
I was a big Brandon Roy fan and Ben Golliver of Blazersedge wrote about as good an obituary on his career as you possibly could. Must-read stuff.
John Rohde on OKC’s defense: “In the third and fourth quarters of games last season, opponents shot 43.6 percent and 42.3 percent from the field. That’s extremely good. Overtime was even better, when opponents shot 37.1 percent against the Thunder. If OKC can maintain its defensive course in the second half and find its path in the first half, a world title might be in the offing.”