Charles Barkley on a sleeper in the West: “The Memphis Grizzlies. They’re finally getting healthy. They went into Oklahoma City and beat them. They went into LA and beat them. We’ve got to wait until they get everybody healthy, but Zach Randolph is rounding into form. I’m not a big Oklahoma City fan because I think they don’t get easy baskets. I don’t think they can score enough down low. I think you can beat them up down low and score on them. I just don’t like jump shooting teams that are not great defensively.”
Craig Brenner of SB Nation on the Harden/Ibaka thing: “Although Ibaka’s offensive game has improved since entering the league, his game will never reach the production that James Harden’s game is at right now. But I’ll say it again; offense is not a worry for this team. Anything the team gets from him on offense outside of put back dunks is gravy. And having that weapon at the back of your defense is a great weapon for the Thunder and makes all of their perimeter defenders that much better. Serge Ibaka is the Scythe, Kevin Durant is Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and the opposing team is The First.”
Darnell Mayberry says to chill: “The Thunder is 15-9 since the All-Star break. Apparently, some see that as a cause for concern. But it’s relatively on par with how the best teams in the league have fared over the same span. Going into Thursday’s games, the Heat was 13-9 since the All-Star break and had lost five of its last 10. The Bulls, who still hold the league’s best record, were 17-6 since the All-Star break and had lost four of eight going into Thursday’s games. Conclusion: it happens.”
Sonicsgate will air on CNBC next weekend. It’s revamped with a producer saying they took a lot of OKC’s criticisms to heart from the first one.
Gregg Popovich on resting players: “I’m not going to chase Oklahoma City,” Popovich said. “People say, `Well, you were ahead by one in the loss column.’ Understand the big picture. I’m not here to win the battle and lose the war. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to win the war, but it gives us a better shot.”