Rob Mahoney of Bleacher Report on learning about KD: “And though learning more about Durant specifically is of great value in coming to terms with one of the giants of the game, the greater payoff here is in the exercise itself. Durant wasn’t always the ideal worker. He wasn’t always a perfect teammate. He was young, lacked commitment, and sought to reject a game that didn’t open up its doors to him. He was imperfect, just like James, just like Michael Jordan, and eventually like heroes primed for refocusing like Rose.”
Berry Tramel on Perk: “But south of the Red, and frankly anywhere past Oklahoma soil except the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Perk is not so esteemed. He’s Lex Luthor. Or Darth Vader. He’s Beelzebub. As popular as a tax collector. Perkins plays hard, screens hard and fouls hard. Too hard, sometimes. That profanity Mav coach Rick Carlisle uttered on national TV the other night? The “dirty bull…”? He wasn’t talking about Daequan Cook.”
Postgame video of when the team was 2-21. Kind of interesting now.
Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas on the Mavs’ conundrum: “The problem is it’s tough for a guard like West or Jason Kidd to contest Westbrook’s shot because the freakishly athletic 23-year-old gets up so high. As expected, coach Rick Carlisle is playing any potential adjustments close to the vest, but he acknowledges that one possibility is using 6-foot-7 defensive stopper Shawn Marion on Westbrook more often. That, of course, would open up a whole other set of problems with NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant, who the Mavs have held to 34.1 percent shooting in the series with Marion doing most of the dirty work.”
By popular demand, the playoff intro video.
Jason Terry: “Game 3 is like Game 7. Thank you very much.”
Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas on Shawn Marion: “He has been so good in forcing Durant into 15-of-44 shooting — which to Marion’s frustration includes, as he put it, the “tough-ass shot, lucky bounce” Game 1 winner that overshadowed Durant’s 10-of-27 night — that Mavs coach Rick Carlisle hasn’t ruled out shifting Marion at times onto the explosive Westbrook during Thursday’s Game 3 in Dallas. The problem with moving Marion is the damage Durant might inflict on any other Mavs defender. A small sample size in Games 1 and 2 doesn’t bode well for Dallas, no matter how undefendable Westbrook might be for the Mavs’ backcourt.”
Berry Tramel gives Perk and A for the first two games: “Without an opposing center of substance, Perkins’ value usually wanes. Dallas certainly has no center of substance, but Perk has been huge in both games. His late defense against Dirk in Game 1 helped save the Thunder, then Gran Torino became an offensive force in Game 2, with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Perkins also had six rebounds. Still, his plus/minus was -10 for that game, while it was +2 in Game 1.”
Zach Lowe of SI on Westbrook: “Marion’s right, and much of the NBA world has been slow to realize it. Westbrook shot 45.9 percent on jump shots from 15-19 feet this season, according to NBA.com. Only three players — Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer and Kobe Bryant — attempted more such shots. The 30 players who attempted the most shots from this range averaged 42.7 percent. In other words: Westbrook was more accurate than average for a player who attempts this kind of shot often, and with some exceptions, the guys who take these jumpers a lot are pretty good at them. Durant is one of those players; he made 48.1 percent, two percentage points better than Westbrook. Chris Paul is an end-of-game god because of his unstoppable mid-range shot, right? He hit 45.1 percent from 15-19 feet, neck-and-neck with Westbrook.”