Serge Ibaka checks in 43rd in CBSSports.com’s Elite 100: Matt Moore: “The runner-up to the Defensive Player of the Year and the fourth member of Oklahoma City’s Big Four is simultaneously overrated and underrated, both in the league, and here. Ibaka’s defense comes with a dazzling array of blocks and showy moments of physical aggression, but comes with a price. When the goaltends aren’t putting points on the board for the other guys, his overzealous rotations are leaving his man open for a dunk, often when the primary defender is contesting the layup well enough to prevent a score in the first place. His rebounding is good-to-great, but that doesn’t make up for some of his missed rotations and what he lacks in court awareness. All of these things, though, can be fiex and are part of the natural development process. There’s every reason to believe, that in a short time, “Iblocka” will be the defender he’s made out to be.”
Hollis Thompson: “My strength is I can score. I love to score. I love to play for my team. I can do a lot of things. And I’ve got weaknesses in all areas. I can get better in all areas. So I’m looking forward to playing basketball and getting better.”
Joe Kaiser of ESPN.com writing on Jeff Green: “Boston might still lack that tough enforcer to go with Garnett and Bass, a role Perkins served well in his years with the team, but that might not be the recipe to knocking off the Heat anyway. Perkins was largely a nonfactor (partly due to injury) against Miami in the NBA Finals, and Serge Ibaka also struggled to establish himself against the Heat.”
John Rohde on OKC finishing No. 1 in the Ultimate Standings: “Much appreciated and all that, but, um, what exactly did the Thunder do to warrant such praise? No one within the OKC organization seemed quite sure what to say publicly when news broke Thursday afternoon. Flattered and humbled as staff members were, no one could pinpoint precisely how it all fell into place.”
My NBA offseason report on the Thunder, where they quietly had a really nice summer.
LZ Granderson of ESPN.com: “Of all the things that perplex me about some sports fans, the ridiculing of athletes who are trying to have some fun bothers me most. LeBron James gets criticized for wanting to play with his best friend. Kevin Durant gets criticized for being too friendly with LeBron. Dwight Howard smiles too much. It’s as if athletes have to spend their lives with one of those angry birds stapled to their faces just to prove they really want to win.” KD gets criticized for being buds with LeBron? News to me.