Chris Mannix of SI on KD’s evolving game: “In a hallway before his team’s game against Cleveland last week, Thunder coach Scott Brooks was asked about the development of Kevin Durant this season. “Watch our second play tonight,” Brooks said, “and you’ll see.” Sure enough, on the Thunder’s second possession Durant caught a pass at the top of the circle. He pivoted toward the rim, using his long, 6-foot-10 frame to peer over and around 6-6 Alonzo Gee. On his left Durant spotted Kyrie Irving hedging off of Russell Westbrook and toward him, waiting to provide help on a dribble-drive. Quickly, Durant skipped a pass to Westbrook, who knocked down an open three.”
Darnell Mayberry says Thabo returned to practice and looked good: “Thabo Sefolosha went through a portion of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice Monday, and coach Scott Brooks said his shooting guard “looked good.” There is still no firm timeline on when Sefolosha will return to the lineup. He’s missed 22 straight games with what the team is calling right foot soreness. All signs, however, point to Sefolosha getting closer and closer to a return.”
John Rohde on OKC’s home crowd: “The number of sellouts and capacity percentage continued to rise and likely will finish at maximum levels this season. Last fall, despite the NBA being in the midst of a 149-day lockout, the Thunder sold out of its season-ticket allotment (14,000) and started a waiting list. At the time, the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and Knicks reportedly were the only franchises to have sold out of season tickets for 2011-12.”
Henry Abbott for HoopIdea on tip dunks: “The plays they aren’t making would be among the game’s most exciting. Imagine the scene in the photo above if the NBA played with the goaltending rules used by the D-League and FIBA, where players are free to go get that ball. Somebody would be dunking, somebody else would be trying to block that dunk, and everyone in the building would be likely to remember the moment for weeks.”
The Thunder trade chatter is basically non existent right now. The chances OKC makes a move are slim.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com’s power rankings: “Swimsuit model Kate Upton doesn’t exactly fit the Thunder’s image … and her presence in town last week is the only thing that’s thrown off the Thunder in 2012. With Upton visiting, OKC needed a furious rally to beat Phoenix at home and then saw its 14-game win streak end with a thudding loss to the Cavs.”