Kevin Durant is the first recipient of the new “Rose Rule” and because of that, will receive an extra $14,860,519 over the span of his five-year extension. He also earns an extra $2,584,438 this season, which actually puts the Thunder OVER the cap.
Rob Mahoney of the NYT on KD’s new Dirk move: “He’s looking for resources, and for people who – whether they’re cognizant of it or not – can teach him. Durant didn’t need a workout session and photo op with Hakeem Olajuwon or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but a heavy dose of film and hours in the gym for quiet implementation. And though Durant would be the first to tell you that this is only the beginning of his work with Nowitzki’s particular fade, he’s taken a step in developing an unorthodox post game.”
Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland on James Harden and the pick-and-roll: “When using ball screens, Harden posted a PPP of 0.963. That put him in the top 8 percent of all players, and it’s this success that has led many observers to believe that Harden is the Thunder’s best choice when it comes to initiating offense. That may not be the case. I like Harden more on the wing, running pick and rolls from the side of the court as a shooting guard position. Harden was extremely efficient on pick and rolls from both wings (1.222 PPP/top 3 percent on the left side and 1.071 PPP/top 17 percent on the right), but he struggled on high screens at the top of the key (0.966 PPP/65th percentile).”
John Hollinger of ESPN.com has OKC as his top team in the West: “Nonetheless, the Thunder have talent galore and are my favorite to win the West. They have a pristine cap situation, arguably the league’s best general manager in Sam Presti, and an enviable home-court advantage they’ll likely have for three straight playoff series. But I still think they need more shooting and a bit more defense to take the final step.”
Kevin Pelton for ESPN.com has OKC as a favorite: “Although Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook rightfully draw most of the attention, it’s the youthful duo of third-year players James Harden and Serge Ibaka, both 22, that could make the difference for the Thunder as they continue to grow in the key roles they took over after Oklahoma City traded Jeff Green to the Boston Celtics. The Thunder also get the benefit of a full season with a healthy, skinny Kendrick Perkins in the middle. Look out.”
Darnell Mayberry on last night’s game: “Cole Aldrich got the minutes ahead of Nazr Mohammed and ended up stealing the show tonight. Already, Aldrich looks tons better than he did last year. Tonight, he blocked four shots, tied Perk with a team-high eight boards, tied Westbrook with a game-high three steals and added six points (including a surprisingly sweet reverse layup) to his stat line. If I had to describe Cole’s performance tonight in a word, it’d be active.”
How are people liking the new comment system for games? The live updating good or bad?