Kevin Pelton ranks the top 50 playoff player runs and KD 2012 ranks 35th: “Durant opened the playoffs with a game-winning jumper that kicked off a four-game sweep of the Dallas Mavericks and rode the momentum all the way to the NBA Finals. Despite facing the opposition’s best defender and double-teams, Durant made 57.5 percent of his 2-pointers and 37.3 percent beyond the arc. He scored at least 20 points in every Oklahoma City game and averaged 30.6 ppg during the NBA Finals, which wasn’t enough to avoid a five-game loss to the Heat.”
John Rohde: “Teenager Steven Adams knows he has a long way to go to become the finished product as an NBA center, but he already has come a long way figuratively and literally. Referred to as the “Kiwi Phenom,” the 19-year-old Adams is about to become just the fourth New Zealand native to play in the NBA — joining former Miami and Los Angeles Clippers guard Kirk Penney (six career games), current San Antonio reserve center Aron Baynes (16) and former center Sean Marks (230 with six different teams over 11 seasons). Adams had modest statistics as a freshman at Pittsburgh last season, but he wasn’t expecting to post numbers similar to those back home.”
Remember Willie Warren? He threw down some kind of nasty dunk in Israel.
Peter Keating of ESPN the Mag on the Rockets: “Alexander has rarely let emotions get in the way of smart business moves, and Houston is fully prepared to discard a batch of contracts to fit a prime free agent like Howard under next season’s $58.5 million salary cap. The catch is that the man who can buy just about anything will need more than money to seal the deal that could make the Rockets champions again. Asked specifically what he’ll do differently this summer to recruit the free agents he wants, Alexander replies, “I think there’s enough of a story here, you know what I mean?” Will Dwight?”
Andrew Gilman of Fox Sports Southwest: “So, instead of thinking about Perkins, the Thunder should direct their first-round attention to figuring out how to beat Miami. Reggie Jackson has proven to be a capable scorer and he should really flourish if he’s in the game at the same time as Durant and Westbrook. Same goes for Serge Ibaka. Same goes for Kevin Martin. So OKC might as well go get another scorer and not another center. General manager Sam Presti has picked some winners in previous drafts with Harden and Westbrook. He’s whiffed on big men Byron Mullens and Cole Aldrich. If someone like Miami’s Shane Larkin or Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum is available, it would be worth it. Players who don’t have to jump in now, but could score if they were summoned to. Perkins will never be able to do that. He didn’t do it last year and he didn’t when the Thunder made the Finals. Go get someone who can.”
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com says C.J. McCollum is the best shooter in the draft: “Holy cow, can this guy shoot. He’s not the distributor that Stephen Curry is, but his ability to pull up and drill a shot from range is stunning. He shot 52 percent from deep on 5.3 attempts per game, which boggles the mind. The inflationary effect of playing in the Patriot League is a concern, but man, can he shoot the rock.”
Rob Mahoney of SI.com on the amnesty: “Another case of a much-maligned big man on a bloated salary. The Thunder no doubt regret the $18.6 million they committed to Perkins over the next two seasons, but the decision to amnesty requires far more than mere dissatisfaction. There must be some clear incentive in terms of tax savings or roster flexibility to justify so costly a decision, and Perkins’ departure wouldn’t likely offer much of either.”