Darnell Mayberry on how bananas you should be: “I’m not saying go bananas. I’d never say do that. But the Thunder hasn’t exactly played well lately. You can say OKC is 24-7 and yada yada ya. But the fact of the matter is this team has had some extremely disturbing stretches, periods or halves. This team is good enough to win on most nights, and that’s precisely what it’s done for the most part. But believe me, what we’re watching right in no way is the identity this team wants to have. There’s too much inconsistency. Too many breakdowns. This team’s goal this season and beyond is to sustain a level of performance, against good teams and bad, and right now that just isn’t happening.”
Rob Mahoney of SI.com lists Serge Ibaka as one of his most improved: “If Kendrick Perkins is to blame for the Thunder’s overly conventional lineups with two court-clogging big men, Ibaka could rightly be credited for some of the team’s push-back solvency. If nothing else, Perkins’ very presence has forced Ibaka to stretch his game over the past few seasons, and this season we’ve begun to see the considerable payoff from that evolution.”
The Lost Ogle wants your help: “I have a theory that Kendrick Perkins gives the best hugs out of every Thunder player. (Kevin Durant makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches, Nick Collison is the best amateur ballroom dancer, and Serge Ibaka builds the best forts out of couch cushions.) I would like to test this theory. If you work for the Thunder and think that letting the players hug a blogger would be a great PR opportunity for the team, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
If you thought last night’s officiating was bad, it could’ve been worse.
The Brooklyn Game on Deron Williams: “Maybe he just needs to play Oklahoma City all the time. Just looked different tonight: he pushed the pace when it suited the offense, hit open jumpers, forced turnovers, distributed as well as he’s done all season, played solid on-ball defense on Russell Westbrook (even though Westbrook hit tough shots)… He didn’t have an undeniably explosive game statistically, but he absolutely looked like a better player than we’ve seen all year.”
Howard Beck of the NYT: “This was not the Nets team that lost 11 of 16 games in December or the one that was humiliated on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. This was a fluid, confident group, powering past the defending Western Conference champions, in a building where the Nets had never won, and just two days after a calamitous defeat in San Antonio.”
Tom Ziller of SB Nation: “But here’s the truth: KD is nice. An ejection and a four-letter word wouldn’t be notable otherwise. If the world noticed every time any NBA player — no, athlete — was caught cursing on camera, this website would be called F.U. Nation. (I’m going to keep that pitch in my back pocket.) This moment captured above is so utterly un-KD that it appears more an exception that proves the rule than some deeper truth about Durant’s spirit. All it shows is that KD is human. Humans get frustrated. Frustration is a gateway drug to anger. In pro sports, with the heavy air of pressure, high expectations for perfection and all the human error that is unavoidable, that anger boils over into F-bombs quite frequently. Even angels succumb once in a while.”