Dave of Blazersedge: “Meanwhile the Thunder played great defense on the other end. You cannot say enough about this. At times this season we’ve said the Blazers have played “great”. Oklahoma City showed tonight that the correct definition there was, “great, for Portland”. If you want to see truly great, watch what the Thunder–the best offensive team in the league–did to the Blazers on the defensive end tonight. The few open looks the Blazers got came from deep. Those shots almost always missed.”
Celtics Blog on Perk criticism: “We all knew his limitations in Boston, but we knew that he was really good at things that you need a center to be really good at … So while Perkins isn’t going to fill a stat sheet or even look marginally comfortable handling a basketball, he’s the kind of guy that you can and should be able to win with. And if the OKC faithful can’t see that, then I’d be happy to take him back.”
Darnell Mayberry on KD’s mean streak: “The NBA’s most celebrated golden boy is increasingly exhibiting a mean streak. In his sixth season, Durant has grown more animated than ever on the court. Teammates, opponents and referees are all feeling his fury. No longer is it uncommon to see Durant throw down a highlight dunk and stare down an opponent. Or drain a 3-pointer in front of the opposing bench and turn and talk smack to the coaches. In a home game against New Orleans last month, Hornets assistant coach Randy Ayers had to shoo Durant away as he belittled the bench immediately after a pivotal basket. Earlier in the year, on the road against the same Hornets squad, Durant and head coach Monty Williams got into a heated verbal exchange just before going their respective ways at halftime. They’re all antics that have been quite surprising from a player who, before this season, had enjoyed a more pristine reputation. Considering that track record, Durant’s recent on-court conduct has been all the more confusing. He’s mean mugging more, thumping his chest harder and swearing uncontrollably.”
Fun KD story from Chris Silva of Sheridan Hoops: “I had a chance to talk to Texas coach Rick Barnes about Durant for a feature I wrote on him in 2010, and some of Barnes’ best KD stories didn’t even occur during his lone season in Austin. My favorite one was how Durant would return to campus during the first two summers after he left college for the NBA to take summer classes. He was already making big money, so it would have been completely logical for Durant to rent a house during his stay, or even stay in a hotel. Going back to campus and living the life of luxury, or at the very least one of good comfort, would have been “nice.” But instead, as Barnes told me, Durant bought two air mattresses for his 6-11 frame and set them up on the floor of the campus apartment that belonged to his former roommate. Durant thought it’d be a waste of money to rent a home or stay in a hotel. All he needed was a place to crash.”
Ben Golliver of Blazersedge: “The NBA’s three-time scoring champion was all smiles after Damian Lillard missed two late threes, after Nicolas Batum missed a lay-up with nine seconds remaining that would have given Portland a one-point lead, and after LaMarcus Aldridge air-balled a contested 19-footer with three seconds left that would have tied the game. Smiles because the Thunder got a tough road win without two key rotation players. Smiles, too, because Lillard was standing and watching on the weakside on the game’s deciding possession rather than working one-on-one towards a game-winner as he did against the New Orleans Hornets back in December.”
Nic Batum: “KD, you can’t block his shot,” Batum lamented. “You can’t. You don’t know what he’s going to do. You know he’s going to shoot. You don’t know how he’s going to shoot, which way he’s going to go. LeBron [James], he tries to pass the ball first. KD, you don’t know if he’s going to shoot a three, go left, go right. He’s 6-foot-11. He’s taller than L.A. You can’t really block his shot, you have to make him work. He’s a great player.”
Just for reference, the Cavs reportedly wanted DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe for Anderson Varejao.
From Elias: “Kevin Durant made only two of his nine three-point attempts on Sunday, but he was 10 for 12 (83 percent) on his two-point attempts. That’s his third-highest percentage on two-pointers in any NBA game in which he attempted at least 10 of them. His second-highest percentage came in his previous game, against the Lakers on Friday (12 for 14). His highest mark was against the Knicks in 2009 (10 for 11).”