Andrew Gilman of Fox Southwest: “Three times the Thunder had the ball in the last minute and Durant didn’t attempt a shot on any of those possessions. Everyone loves the idea of Durant being a distributor and being the guy who is unselfish and wants to get his teammates involved. Noble and honorable, he is. Of that, there is no doubt, but the Thunder are at the point now where their options on offensive are not exactly diversified. Sure, he had 37 points and shot it 28 times, but would anyone really complain if Durant took 10 more shots? Would it be an issue If Durant just decided to shoot and not pass? Probably not.”
Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com on LeBron’s jealousy: “LeBron doesn’t say stuff by accident. Nor does he make estimates on statistics. He said Durant has had games of “like 16-for-32 and then 14-for-34,” which is cute because Durant wasn’t like 16-for-32 or 14-for-34. He was exactly 16-for-32 on Jan. 4 at Minnesota, and then he was exactly 14-for-34 on Jan. 7 at Utah. Other than those two games, Durant has averaged 18.3 shots in his last 16 games. In about the same stretch, LeBron has averaged 17.6 shots from the field. Not much of a gap. None of that means LeBron is a bad guy, or a conniving guy. But it’s awfully convenient that LeBron says this stuff now, days after the media has anointed Durant the MVP leader. LeBron wants that trophy because he’s a competitor, and because he’s playing for his place in history, and if he stacks MVP trophies so high that not even 7-foot-7 Shawn Bradley can see over them, how could anyone deny LeBron his place as the greatest ever?”
Darnell Mayberry on Reggie Jackson’s defense: “Reggie Jackson didn’t run from the reality. In fact, he faced it and accepted responsibility. “I got to really take pride on defense and work on keeping my man in front of me,” he said. That comment came moments after Courtney Lee in Memphis’ win over the Thunder on Tuesday became the latest starting guard to scorch Jackson. It’s something Jackson has struggled with since taking over for the injured Russell Westbrook on Dec. 27. Lee joined the likes of Kemba Walker, Damian Lillard, Deron Williams, Ricky Rubio and Ty Lawson. Each has had tremendous success against Jackson as a starter, either as a slasher, shooter or setup man. But what happened Tuesday was as bad as things have been.”
The Thunder announced they’ve signed Royal Ivey to a 10-day contract. He’s going to join the team tonight.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com looking at killer lineups: “When healthy, Westbrook is a frequent screener for Durant in these situations, and Jackson has assumed that task on many a set. The Thunder will run Sefolosha up from the baseline around a Perkins-Ibaka stack to receive the ball from Jackson. After delivering the pass to Sefolosha, Jackson will cut to the far side to set the screen for Durant. When Westbrook and Durant run this action (any action) together, it’s a matter for the State Guard, but Jackson can make it work. Most of the well-worn pages in the Thunder playbook are sets designed to get Durant the ball in position to shoot in the half court. OKC relies on the aforementioned pindowns. They still love good ol’ floppy action where a big man sets a low screen off which Durant flashes to the foul line. They like to post Durant up on the weakside, where he either catches the entry pass after the ball is swung or, if the defender is denying that pass, he slips out the back door.”
Deadspin on NBA ticket prices: “If you want to charge top-five prices for your best seats, you better be in a top market, or have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. That more or less holds true for the entire top 10, except for Toronto, which has fantastic fans and is also the only NBA team in Canada.”
Here’s a bit of good news: Reggie Jackson isn’t on the All-Payday team.