Alex Alonso’s suggestion to fix the All-Star Game: “Let’s have a one-on-one competition. No passing. No screens. Just two guys going at it. Basketball is a team game, but c’mon, the NBA is the closest thing we have to real-life superheroes. And the eternal question with superheroes has always been: Who’s stronger? It’s the same with NBA players. Curry vs. Westbrook, LeBron vs. Durant. It’d be like Superman vs. Hulk. I’d be glued to the TV.”
Berry Tramel on balanced scoring without Westbrook: “That’s only natural, since Westbrook was averaging 18 shots, six foul shots and four turnovers per game. That’s a lot of opportunity for other players. But the more balanced scoring made the Thunder better prepared to withstand the loss of Westbrook for now six weeks. Durant has been out of this world, but he’s had lots of help from players who have taken on an increased scoring responsibility, but nothing out of their talent range. Lots of players’ numbers could go down when Westbrook returns, just from decreased opportunities. But the balance that has been achieved this season, both with and without Westbrook, has been a blessing to the Thunder. Keep that going when Westbrook returns, and the Thunder’s title hopes will be enhanced.”
Anthony Slater looks at a few SportVU stats: “Typically, the catch-and-shoot three is the easiest to make. It’s off a pass, without taking a dribble and usually wide open. And it’s something the Thunder struggle with mightily. Of all the players in the NBA who take at least one every two games, the Thunder don’t have a player in the top-100. Durant and Jeremy Lamb (at 38 percent) are the highest ranked, tied at 134th. This could be a potential problem come playoff time, when floor spacing gains more importance. OKC desperately needs Thabo Sefolosha to improve in this area. At 32.1 percent, he’s among the worst 3-point catch-and-shooters among those who take at least two per game.”
Tom Ziller of SB Nation on Adam Silver: “The NBA has the casual fans. For a month each year, college basketball picks up a bunch, too. Golf picks up a good bit four weekends a year. Hockey picks up some for the playoffs. But among the leagues chasing the NFL, the NBA is the second or third choice. That’s not a bad place to be. To actually rival the NFL some day, though, the NBA needs to be the first choice of more fans. A lot of folks seem to think the NFL will hemorrhage fans uncomfortable with the concussion issue, but there’s little evidence that’s actually happening (the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl just broke viewership records.) To get where Silver wants to go, the NBA has to actively rob hardcore fans from the NFL (pretty implausible) or dominate the younger demographic. It’s a huge ask for his staff, his teams and his stars.”
KD holding a puppy? KD holding a puppy.
Sam Presti on the D-League: “Our investment in Tulsa was made on the basis of learning and investing in an area that we believed would be an important aspect to developing a sustainable organization. With that said, it’s our hope that the coming years create more opportunities for growth and learning given the attention it will command from the league office and the importance it can play in altering things at the NBA level such as the draft, roster size, injury prevention, video analysis, and many other areas of advancement for the game. Additionally, it is very fertile ground for the development of business operations personnel and I don’t think it will be long before you start seeing some great business executives matriculating from the D-League into advanced positions within teams due to the leadership and multifaceted experience that can be gained within the D-League. All in all, we see still see the long term benefits of our investment from 2008 as yet to come even though we have already experienced accelerated benefits on the floor.”
Kendrick Perkins hosts a Sochi party. (Not really.)