Darnell Mayberry: “Westbrook must have selective memory because he said doesn’t think Stephen Curry “really did too much last time.” That was in response to a question I asked about whether Curry’s performance in the last meeting fueled Westbrook tonight. Westbrook being Westbrook, he dismissed the notion, almost defiantly. But between Curry’s team-high 31 points in that game, and Westbrook having arguably his worst game of the year, it’s natural to believe one was related to the other.”
From Elias: “The Warriors lost to the Thunder by 21 points on Wednesday after taking a 31 point beating by Houston the previous night. Golden State is the first team at least 10 games over .500 to lose games by 20-or-more points on consecutive nights since the Warriors did it on April 1st and 2nd in 2008 (entered the streak with a 45-28 record).”
Pau Gasol is out roughly six weeks for the Lakers because of a plantar fasciitis tear in his foot. Another bad break or a blessing in disguise for the Lakers because it means he likely won’t be traded now?
John Rohde on OKC’s free throw competition: “When Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin rose to No. 1 and No. 2 in the NBA’s free-throw percentage standings last week, they started exchanging some playful banter back and forth. They would kid each other on the rare occasions they missed at the line. It was all in good fun in a race to find the superior Kevin. The fun is still there, but the kidding has stopped. You can blame it on Cleveland, where Durant went 13 for 17 (.765) in a 115-110 road loss to the Cavaliers last Saturday. “We’ve been calling each other out,” Martin admitted with a smile, “but (Monday) we decided we’re just going to go back to shooting free throws because he called me out and missed four and I missed one.”
Andrew Gilman of Fox Sports Southwest: “Funny how beating up on Dallas and Golden State in a two-game span does wonders. For attitude. For national perception. For general well-being. Hey, it’s not like these guys are made out of wood. Everyone has feelings, and sometimes a little confidence boost is a good thing – even for a team as good as the Thunder.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider breaks down true player worth: “Having James or Durant on your roster basically guarantees a playoff team, so it’s no surprise that they’re valued at significant percentages of the cap (70 percent for James; nearly 65 percent for Durant). Let’s say Durant and James were free agents next summer and the NBA removed restrictions on individual salaries. In that scenario, assuming a $60 million cap, the most another team could offer would be $54 million by clearing all its contracts and having only 12 minimum-salary spots counting against the cap. Would someone be willing to do that for four years to build around Durant or James? Possibly.”
Watch Chad Peery get his community award. Warning: It may get a little dusty.
Nick Gallo of the team’s website on plays that won’t show up in the box score: “Wonderful pump fake by Westbrook to draw a man, then Ibaka finds space at the elbow for an open jumper. Great toughness by Perkins to tip out an offensive rebound to give the Thunder another possession. Ibaka flies back in transition defense to swat a shot and save a bucket. Unselfishness by Martin and Ibaka to play ping pong along the wing until Ibaka got a wide open shot. Great pump-fake by Martin to give himself space along the baseline for a jumper.”