Darnell Mayberry says a rotation change is coming: “The idea is to sub out Kevin Durant earlier. It’s a strategy Brooks told me following practice today that the coaching staff began kicking around earlier in the day. By sitting Durant earlier, the Thunder can accomplish three things: most importantly a more sensible rotation that relies less on only Eric Maynor and Kevin Martin to create, secondly, an opportunity for Westbrook to run as wild as his heart desires for longer stretches and, lastly, more rest for Durant. Early in games this year Brooks has trusted his second team as much as he did a year ago, playing that unit consistent minutes without either Durant or Westbrook. But the bench has only been marginally successful without the help of one of its All-Star teammates. That’s now about to change, Brooks said, starting with Friday’s game at New Orleans and likely continuing back inside The Peake on Sunday against Golden State.”
Interesting from Elias: “It was the third time in eight games this season that Harden scored at least 30 points. Harden is the third player in Rockets history to have at least three 30-point games in his first eight games with the team. Elvin Hayes did it in 1968 and one of the players Harden was traded for, Kevin Martin, did it in 2010.” Kind of puts some things in perspective.
Berry Tramel: “I don’t know if Martin wasn’t being assertive, or if the Grizzlies had Westbrook and Co. in such a frenzy, Martin was forgotten. Doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s got to change. The Thunder is not built for one of its stars to veg out. And like it or not, Martin has star status on this team. He has to produce for the Thunder to excel. That’s why Westbrook has to stay in attack mode, even if he’s not making shots. The Thunder does not have the parity of offensive talent to allow one of its scorers to step aside. Martin has to understand that. And the Thunder has to understand that about Martin.”
Dan Devine of BDL on the Perk dustup: “Exactly what form of discipline could result from such an investigation remains unclear — the NBA rulebook gives the commissioner’s office leeway to levy “a fine not exceeding $50,000 and/or suspension” against players who are involved in physical altercations and/or judged to have thrown a punch on the court, but the lines are a bit blurrier when it comes to things that take place off the court; the situation only gets blurrier, one would presume, when police and security on the scene ostensibly say there was nothing to get exercised about here. Then again, the NBA’s fresh off forcing DeMarcus Cousins to take a two-game siesta for allegedly acting hostile toward a color commentator, so maybe “people in the postgame interview area [hearing] something being slammed against the door” is enough of a smoking gun to keep Z-Bo and Perk in suits for the rest of their natural-born lives, irrespective of what Johnny Law thinks.”
Programming note: I’m going out of town for a few days but don’t worry, DT isn’t going dormant. There will still be the regular things for the most part, but just know that I’ll be a little less active for the next couple days.