The annual NBA GM poll came out yesterday. A few notes: The Thunder gathered only 6.7 percent of the vote that they’d win the NBA title, 36.7 percent have OKC in the Finals, 30 percent have KD winning the MVP, 13.3 percent say Serge Ibaka is the best defender in the NBA, 30 percent say OKC is the most fun team to watch, 46.7 percent want KD taking the final shot in a game and 70 percent say OKC has the best homecourt advantage.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “But the cap is here; it’s push-come-to-shove time. The Thunder were a fun team but not a playoff team. Then a playoff team but not a team that could win in the playoffs. Then a team that could win in the playoffs but not one that could make the Finals. They made the Finals, couldn’t win the title. Now they either win the title or they regress. But they have so much going for them. Durant’s superb standard, Westbrook’s incredible production, Harden’s prolific support, Serge Ibaka’s versatility, Kendrick Perkins‘… Perkinsness? Scott Brooks has improved each season along with the team, and they have great depth that only got better in the offseason with the return of Eric Maynor. There’s no reason to think this team won’t be back in the Finals … except for maybe the Lakers. And that’s going to be something we’ll be talking about the whole year through. But this division? It’s already wrapped up.”
Lesley McCaslin is the Thunder’s new sideline reporter. She comes from Dallas where she covered the Mavs, Rangers and the Big 12 for Fox Sports Southwest.
The NBA will be enforcing the “Reggie Miller rule” this season. Kelly Dwyer of BDL: “We appreciate the NBA’s move on these matters, and even if Reggie Miller did retire in 2005 this is still an issue (with defenders getting quicker and longer, and an increased offensive emphasis on the sideline 3-pointer) worth discussing. The problem behind missed calls like these, though, can’t be solved by shoving a ref’s nose in it and demanding he pay closer attention. The NBA, its referees, its players and especially its fans are going to have to find a way to ably call this game while understanding the inherent limitations of trying to govern something that keeps evolving and attempting to shape something so fluid.”
The next installment of Nick Collison’s post-apocalyptic diary: “I jolt awake and I am sweating like Ostertag. It pours from me as Russ poured in points on Raymond Felton. I am in a cave and the fire is going and the walls are screaming at me. The only thing louder in my mind and memory is Loud City. I think I am in Nebraska, but I cannot be sure. I sit up and wrap the blue tarp around me in hopes that I can get warm. I know that I cannot. I am not Vinnie Johnson. I think on the season and what it might have been. I was planning on telling Mike Tirico that no one actually calls it Oak City. It is Oklahoma City or it is OKC. There is nothing else. Alas, he is gone and unable to hear my plea. So is Hubie. For this I truly ache.”
Scott Brooks says no KD or Westbrook tonight: “Give some looks to other guys,” Brooks said of his latest starting combo. “It had nothing to do with injuries. I wanted to see guys play extended minutes and (this was) the only way to do that, because we have so many guys at the wing spot.”
Chelsea of The Lost Ogle met her love: “It happened on an elevator. I tossed out a casual “hey.” He returned with an amused “hey.” In attempt to keep the conversation going, I asked him how he liked playing at the Spirit Center. Okay, not one of my better pick-up lines. Obviously if I had time to prepare, I would have asked him what his favorite book is, or found out the greatest concert he’s ever been to, or asked if he’d ever read the Kama Sutra. But, the fact is I was caught off-guard and was wearing scrubby yoga pants and black framed faux-hipster glasses (note: I wear faux-hipster prescription glasses, not hipster faux-prescription glasses–as if one were better than the other). After countless tweets and hours spent Photoshopping Nick into pictures with me, all I got in return was a paltry “it was ‘aight.” Nick Collison then stepped off the elevator and disappeared into the third floor of the historic Mayo Hotel. Rejection is a dish served…unaccompanied.”