Ben Golliver of SI.com has KD second in MVP: “This time last year, I placed Durant over James as the first-quarter MVP, and if the Thunder’s All-Star forward hadn’t taken a step back from his incredible 50/40/90 shooting season, he would have been the pick again this season. Instead, he’s just barely behind James. It’s never been easier to envision Durant’s winning this award: Combine a fourth scoring title (he’s leading the league with 28.4 points), a top-five PER (he’s No. 4), a No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the Thunder (they are a half-game back) and an “excellent but not historic” season from James and the Heat, and he just might get over the top. The growing Durant/George debate, for now, is premature, but the simple fact that George is forcing that discussion is a testament to his consistent excellence on both ends of the court. He’s nicely positioned as a dark horse should both the Heat and Thunder manage to disappoint. Paul’s Clippers have slightly underwhelmed, but not because of him: Like clockwork, he leads the league in assists and is posting a top-five PER again.”
In NBATV’s one-on-one tournament, Durant and Paul George are matched: “One-on-one, that’s what I do, that’s what I grew up on,” Durant said when asked of the hypothetical matchup. “That’s how I kinda molded my game. So I feel as though he is one of the top one-on-one players and I am one of the top, as well. It’d be a good matchup. I won’t say who’d win, but it’d be a good matchup.” George, however, was more up front with his prediction when asked by NBA TV. “What am I going to do? Beat him,” George said. “I think it would be tougher for him one-on-one. When we play them, he does a lot of movement, so I think it would be a pretty even match.”
Dentist selfie? DENTIST SELFIE.
Anthony Slater: “It was Feb. 4, 2006. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were in high school. Serge Ibaka was in Spain. Steven Adams was 12-years-old. And Kobe Bryant, in the midst of one of greatest stretches in NBA history, was in Oklahoma City. He was a legend at the top of his powers. He was averaging 41 points in his previous 10 games. He had dropped an unfathomable 81 on the Toronto Raptors just 13 days earlier. And he was bringing the NBA’s most entertaining show to OKC for the first time. The relocated New Orleans Hornets beat Kobe’s Lakers on that night, despite his 35 points. But Bryant was the center of attention, an abuzz arena naturally drawn to him. His demeanor, pedigree and legend will always make it that way. Even seven years later. Even after a crippling Achilles tear. Even when the home team features beloved stars and a 17-4 record. Kobe’s back in town on Friday night, leading his laboring Lakers against a heavily favored Thunder team.”
Derek Fisher, again, on retirement: “I rarely use the word never, but I feel like this is a good opportunity to put a cap on a great career,” says Fisher. “I think we have a legitimate chance to make a run at the title.”