Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com on Thunder-Spurs: “Westbrook effectively pushed Tony Parker low on the Spurs’ side pick-and-rolls. When the Spurs spread the floor and let Parker go to work up top with the aid of a screen, his defender sent him to Serge Ibaka lying in wait in the paint. Jackson’s heroics aside, Ibaka might have been the most valuable player on the floor on Wednesday night. Over the past four seasons, Ibaka has evolved from a springy help defender more likely to swoop in from the weak side for a splashy block to an elite pick-and-roll defender with a sharp spatial understanding of the floor behind him. No big man in the league this season has defended more pick-and-rolls with greater success — a trend that’s continued from 2012-13.”
Derek Fisher in an interview with Sam Amick: “Yeah, this is the final run. I physically feel I could play more years, but trying to figure out from year to year whether or not (his wife and four kids, who live in Los Angeles) should all move, and my kids (is tough). It’s been a great enough experience to say that now it’s time for them to come first.”
David Thorpe of ESPN Insider ranks Jeremy Lamb his 16th best sophomore: “Lamb is exactly what it appeared he would be when he came out of UConn — a terrific pure shooter who can make catch-and-shoot shots and other shots that come from moving without the ball. His lack of ball skills and his high center of gravity, though, keep him from being more elusive off the dribble and thus keep off the free throw line. But as a shooter next to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, he’s an excellent fit. The Thunder are even adding some screening actions for him to get him more open jumpers.”
Anthony Slater on Reggie Jackson: “The Good News: Reggie Jackson continues to evolve into a dynamite option for OKC off the bench, a viable Sixth Man candidate who can, at times, carry your offense and, as he showed in the fourth quarter, play effectively off the ball and with the stars. The Bad News: If he keeps playing like this, Jackson could be in for a huge pay day, either here or elsewhere.”
Darnell Mayberry on Westbrook: “But with the Warriors in town for a rematch Friday night, could the memory of that night help bust Westbrook out of his shooting slump? There might not currently be a better Band-Aid. Golden State has dropped four of five and is playing the third of a four-game road trip. The Warriors also have allowed at least 100 points in four straight games, and they could again be without Iguodala, who’s missed the past three games due to a strained left hamstring. The table seems set for Westbrook to snap out of it.”
Via HoopsHype: “Thunder center Kendrick Perkins is putting up his worst scoring and rebounding numbers since 2005, but keeps making a defensive impact. Opponents are shooting a mere 30.8 percent at the rim when he’s around. That’s better than Roy Hibbert (36.4 percent), Joakim Noah (42.0 percent) or teammate Serge Ibaka (47.4 percent).”
If it’s old news, apologies, but the NAIA can go to the f-word to itself.