Eddie Johnson of HoopsHype ranked the top 25 players with Westbrook 12 and Durant four: “I was having dinner with my wife last year, looked up and saw Durant walking outside. Without hesitation I bolted out of my seat to approach him to just let him know that I admire everything about his game and his attitude. True to form, he stood there and soaked in everything I said and said thank you. Not one time in those few minutes did I feel rushed or ignored and it seemed like he was reveling in the opportunity to gain more knowledge. This is why Durant will become one of the best players this game has seen. It is mindboggling that his numbers, already in the stratosphere, continue to improve every year. He is standing alongside Kobe Bryant right now as the best perimeter shot maker in the game. The biggest asset Durant has is his leadership. The way he has handled his teammates, especially Russell Westbrook, has been extremely impressive.”
According to Forbes, KD is the eighth highest earner in the NBA this season making $24.5 million.
The Thunder are valued at $348 million by Forbes, a 1 percent increase from last season that has them sitting 15th in the league.
From Elias: “Kevin Durant scored 25 points and made 9 of his 13 field-goal attempts as the Thunder beat the Hornets, after shooting 9-for-13 from the floor against the Pistons on Monday night. Durant’s field-goal percentage over his last two games (69.2%) is his third-highest over any two-game span during his NBA career, topped only by his 70 percent shooting over consecutive games earlier this month (21-for-30 vs. New Orleans and New York, Jan. 11-14) and a 70 percent rate (28-for-40) against Denver and Golden State, January 29-31, 2010.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Nights like tonight are when you wish Westbrook had a filter. It just wasn’t his night. He was off and he had no clue how to turn it on. But he kept forcing the issue and, in the process, shutting out his teammates with one ill-advised attack after another. Russ has been great lately, and it wouldn’t be fair to make a big deal out of this one performance. But this game is a prime example of the instincts that he lacks and is still looking to learn. The better option for him clearly would have been to defer and instead of continuing to try to be deadly with his own offense.”
At the Hive: “But for yet another game, the Hornets went up against a strong team (one that’s supposedly the favorite to win the conference) and kept it close. It’s an indictment of how awful Russell Westbrook was certainly, but it also fits within the larger Hornets schema – these guys won’t get blown out often. They simply rebound too well (collecting 86% of all available defensive rebounds tonight) and fight too hard on defense (holding OKC to 3 points/100 poss. below their season average) to allow their utterly despicable offense to dictate final score lines.”
Nick Gallo of the team’s official site: “Whether it was Westbrook and Durant executing a give-and-go alley-oop to perfection or Durant finding Reggie Jackson for an open jump shot to beat the first quarter buzzer, the Thunder made a concerted effort to swing the ball and get the Hornets big men moving to try to create space in the lane, which was something Brooks said his team was focused at Wednesday morning’s shoot-around. Harden, who finished with six assists, found the sharp-shooting Daequan Cook on three separate occasions for 3-pointers. One came on a seemingly scripted cross-court pass after Nick Collison set a back screen for Cook, and another occurred as Cook curled around a screen at the top of the key, squared up, and fired.”