Darnell Mayberry: “Kevin Durant shouldered the blame because, well, of course. That’s just what Kevin Durant does. He says he needs to be better. Says he needs to do more. From start to finish. This despite scoring 30 points for the sixth time in eight games Thursday night at Denver. But it’s becoming abundantly clear that, without Russell Westbrook, Durant just doesn’t have enough help. He isn’t getting enough contributions from his remaining roster, which is leaving him out to dry as the missed shots keep mounting. But don’t tell him that. “I’m not doing enough to help them,” he insists. “I’m shooting too much. I’m shooting too many 3s. I’m not helping them out at all. So it’s not on them.” Feel free to draw your own conclusions. But that’s bogus.”
Third All-Star voting returns came out and KD’s still second overall and top in the West. The big news is that Stephen Curry jumped Chris Paul as a Western starter. Still no hope of Serge Ibaka creeping in, and definitely not one of Westbrook rising, obviously.
NBA logos redesigned as European soccer badges. The Thunder one is, well, disappointing.
As close to a mea culpa as you’re ever going to get from him, Bill Simmons called Jeremy Lamb a “badass.”
I wrote a thing for ESPN.com on how the Thunder miss Russell Westbrook and it’s really scary.
One thing I want to add to that: I don’t mean to impart my paranoia on everyone else, but I love Russell Westbrook and I just want him to be OK. And any way you shake it, three procedures in eight months feels bad. The Thunder are probably telling us the truth, they’re probably letting us know everything they can. But even the truth sometimes isn’t reassuring at all.
Kenneth Faried on KD without Westbrook: “He’s handling the ball a lot more it seems to me,” said Shaw. “He’s always a potent offensive weapon and threat, even more-so, so you’re getting a bigger dose of him than what you normally would with Russell being out there. I told our team though that to me they haven’t missed a beat with Russell out of there because Reggie Jackson is playing so well. He’s really grown into a nice player, rounded himself out, he’s playing with a lot of confidence, and so they just continue to roll.”
Bradford Doolittle of ESPN Insider has KD as the top small forward (LeBron is considered a 4): “It’s not news that Durant retains his stranglehold on the top spot in the small forward rankings. My colleague Tom Haberstroh already did a great job of detailing the increase in Durant’s value this season, so I won’t repeat that here. This summer, Durant’s projected WARP (18.3) was more than twice as high as the No. 2 player on the list, Paul Pierce (8.6). The emergence of Paul George has at least brought someone else into the periphery of the conversation, but unless LeBron James goes back to the 3, Durant will remain the NBA’s top small forward for many years to come.”