Bill Simmons has KD as a big loser from the Heat’s streak: “With 10 games remaining in the season, he’s averaging 28.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game (borderline Bird territory). He’s headed for his fourth straight scoring title, something only Wilt and MJ have pulled off. He’s shooting 50.2 percent from the field, 41 percent on 3s and 90.7 percent from the charity stripe, giving him a phenomenal chance to become just the sixth player ever to make the 50-40-90 Club. (The others: Bird, Nash, Dirk, Reggie and Price.) Oh, and he’s the best player on a 60-win team. How efficient is Kevin Durant? He’s going to lead the league in scoring without leading his own team in field goal attempts. Can we get an old-school ECW-style “HO-LY SHIT! HO-LY SHIT!” chant going please? Here’s the point: Poor Durant’s MVP campaign wasn’t just overshadowed by LeBron and this Miami streak, it was steamrolled and left for dead. Too bad. As Whitlock would say, keep doing the damn thang, KD.”
Berry Tramel: “I walked into the office Thursday morning, and my sports editor said, “Hey, you took it easy on Derek Fisher.” Then I answered emails from Thunder fans wanting to know why I was supporting Fisher. I went on the radio Thursday afternoon, and Jim Traber was mystified on why I would give the Thunder a platform to defend Fisher, his shooting slump and his playing time, which to some of us seems excessive. But between those events, I got an email from a reader named Joe, who wrote, “Did your mother ever tell you to say nothing if you can’t say something good? Ignoring a subject or person sends a strong message in itself. I’m ashamed of your two recent articles on Fish.” And Friday, I got a phone message from an elderly lady with a 527 prefix who said: “Mr. Tramel, are you out of your mind?. I just read what you wrote, and I’m ashamed of you. I’m ashamed of you for the remarks you made about Fisher and for other things. Sure, you have a lot of freedom with the press. But let’s not put down people in this day and time. We need to build up people and share the joy of just enjoying sports. I don’t know if I’ll read your column anymore. I’m terribly upset with what you have written.”
Darnell Mayberry on if there’s cause for concern: “Fading 3-point shooting: It wasn’t long ago that the Thunder was leading the league in 3-point shooting. But in March, OKC connected on just 31.9 percent from downtown. The Thunder made more than six 3-pointers in only seven of the month’s 17 games. OKC still is a top five 3-point shooting team. But the slippage seen in March brings up the question of which team we’ll see in the postseason. Better ball movement and balance: The Thunder averaged 19.5 assists in March, which is slightly lower than its season average. But OKC had 10 games of at least 20 assists this month and six games with at least five players in double figure scoring. The Thunder is 24-2 on the season when five players score at least 10 points.”
Video of KD, Hasheem Thabeet, Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Jackson congratulating the Louisville women on their win over Baylor. And make sure to catch KD’s boy Randy taking an uppercut right in the beginning.
From Elias: “Russell Westbrook scored 23 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out 10 assists to compliment Kevin Durant’s 30 points in the Thunder’s 109-99 win at Milwaukee. It was the sixth triple-double of Westbrook’s NBA career (but his first since January 2011) and although Oklahoma City has won each of those games, Saturday’s game was the first of those six victories that the Thunder won by a double-digit margin.”
Stats like Cody Zeller, Marcus Smart and Victor Oladipo. Not so much on Shabazz Muhammad.
Mayberry on Fisher’s minutes Saturday: “Fisher’s fourth quarter defense was pretty good, though. He blanketed J.J. Redick and kept him from getting many, if any, clean looks. Chased him off of screens extremely well and bodied up on the perimeter. It was a nice quarter for Fish. That doesn’t explain why Fish played all 12 minutes of the fourth. Think about it this way. If Jackson is running the offense well and doing everything right, scoring, passing, rebounding, defending, Westbrook is still coming back in nine times out of 10, right? So what’s the difference with Fish? Why wasn’t Thabo back in? No, Thabo is not Westbrook. But you could make the argument that defensively Thabo is everything to this team that Westbrook is offensively.”