Derek Fisher was officially bought out by the Rockets yesterday. A lot of people have asked if he’s maybe a good option for the Thunder to look at and while I think he’s worth a look, there are a few things to consider. First, you’ve got to cut somebody to make room, which means either Lazar Hayward or Ryan Reid would likely get the axe. Second, while Fisher’s veteran leadership is certainly a big asset, you never know how he’d respond to a new locker room. Meaning, if the Thunder already have their set voices and their set leaders, Fisher might not mix well with that. You never know.
Dave of Blazersedge: “So much for the feel-good era. The defense was horrid tonight. Oklahoma City is good, but 55% shooting and all the points they needed to win is a little much. The main culprits were, oddly enough, also the same guys who dominated the ball and shot a bunch on offense. It’s not that Portland’s bigs were that great either, but man…nobody closed out all night long, nobody stopped their men from driving, and those guards blew reads all over the place. About the only thing the Blazer smalls did right was get back in transition. Sadly, Oklahoma City didn’t need the fast-break points. The Blazers had better re-figure-out that you win games on the defensive end in this league unless your offense is can’t miss.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Craig Smith committed perhaps the dumbest foul I have ever seen with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter. With the Thunder having to inbound the ball with just 1.1 seconds showing on the shot clock, Smith ran into Harden and fouled him as he launched a 35-foot prayer. It completely destroyed all the momentum the Blazers had created during a 10-0 spurt. Instead of the Blazers possibly getting the ball back down 84-76, Harden made all three free throws to put the Thunder up 87-76. That was the ballgame.”
Good catch by somebody last night: The Portland game was Westbrook’s first game without a turnover this year.
Andrew Gillman for Fox Sports Southwest: “Kaleb Canales was in the middle of his own, personal “One Shining Moment.” In just his second game in charge of the Portland Trail Blazers since taking over for the fired Nate McMillan, Canales coached March Madness style Sunday night against the Thunder, bleeding with every possession, fist-pumping after made shots and going all hands-to-the-face after misses or questionable calls. With a Final Four kind of feel, but a 16-seeded kind of team, Canales brought the emotion. But it was the Thunder that brought the energy in a 111-95 win, something that hadn’t been too common around here lately.”
David Aldridge of NBA.com: “Remember at All-Star break, when Scott Brooks decried KD’s turnovers? Then, he was averaging 3.7 per game, which was eighth-worst in the league. Since the break? He’s averaging 3.8 per game, and he’s up (down?) to sixth-worst in the league. Keep an eye on this stat.”
Invisible Fans: Help put an end to tanking.
You definitely don’t care or want to hear it, but I got 15 of 16 right for the Sweet 16 and lead the DT bracket group. THIS IS MY HOUSE.