Andy Kamenetzky with a feature on Nick Collison: “The greatest sign of the respect Collison carries was demonstrated by Durant after a March win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The three-time scoring champ had just concluded his post-game media scrum, a part of the gig most players would decline if given a vote. Thus, the prospect of additional questions isn’t terribly appealing, and media relations reps are always stationed nearby to shoo reporters looking to extend conversations. As I approached Durant and told him I was working on a piece about Collison, I was quickly informed the session was done. Durant waved off the rep, then said with an eager smile, ‘I’ll talk about Nick.’ That Collison was my focus clearly pleased him.”
Berry Tramel: “Ibaka’s five blocked shots are part of that. Blazer guard Wes Matthews said ‘Perkins kind of controls the paint; Serge takes care of stuff at the rim.’ It’s a potent defensive combo, and the efficiency doesn’t drop off when Collison enters. That kind of defense can help the Thunder snap out of its recent doldrums. Kevin Durant said the Thunder can build off the defensive momentum shown in the last three games. And when Ibaka is blocking shots on one end and swishing shots on the other, the Thunder is tough to beat.”
Thunder fan Justin Dougherty, the guy that hit the halfcourt shot, tweeted this last night: “Prayer Request: I’m about to shoot free throws at the end of the 3rd quarter of tonight’s @okcthunder game #ohcrap” with a picture of this. File that one under “ANSWERED,” Justin.
Quick Q&A with KD in Stein’s Weekend Dime: “We don’t really care what you guys say, but at the same time I think you’ve got to give us a little bit of credit. You win 50 games and there’s still 15 games left in the season and people just don’t care about that … winning 50 games is not easy in this league. We just gotta take it a day at a time and not worry about the outside, because most of the time y’all don’t know what’s [happening] on the inside. It is what it is.”
Darnell Mayberry talking truth: “On that note, I want to be clear. I have nothing against Fisher. I just don’t understand why Brooks is playing him over other qualified candidates. I will never understand it. Fisher will hit a big shot at some point in the playoffs and the Thunder will feel vindicated. Watch. I shutter a little every time Brooks says there’s only so many minutes when discussing Jackson’s playing time, especially when he says there are only 12 or 13 behind Westbrook. I want to scream PLAY HIM AT THE 2, WHERE YOU’VE FOUND MINUTES FOR FISH! But I guess that wouldn’t be professional.”
John Schuhmann of NBA.com’s power rankings have OKC fourth: “We were about to put the Thunder offense on some milk cartons. Over the course of 3 1/2 games — losses to Denver and Memphis, a narrow win over Orlando, and the first half against Portland — they were held under a point per possession. But then they came alive for 58 points in the second half against the Blazers. Derek Fisher, who is playing shooting guard, has missed his last 15 shots from the field.”
Tom Ziller of SB Nation has a mock draft with OKC taking Rudy Gobert: “Regarding Gobert: Sam Presti was the only GM to scout his match-up with another top international, Mam Jaiteh, in France in February. That game was like a week after the trade deadline. And per Draft Express, in that game Gobert had 14 points on five shots with 14 rebounds. So yeah. OKC-bound for sure, if he’s on the board.”
Email I got last night from Joe. M: “Regarding the fan who won $20,000 dollars by hitting a half court shot. This shot is even more awesome when you realize the mathematical implications. Why is this so awesome? According to ESPN.com, Kevin Durant’s salary for 2012-2013 is $16,669,629. If you consider that he will play in 82 regular season games and rougly …23 playoff games, Durant makes $158,758 dollars per game. Durant is currently averaging 28.4 points per game, $5,590 per point. If Durant made a three-pointer from half-court, he would have earned $16,770 for that shot. Do you get it? This guy earns more per shot than Kevin Durant! The downside of math is that it tells us Perk earns $33,768 for his elbow jumper. How’s that for analytics.”