Berry Tramel: “So the 3-pointer has become a Thunder weapon. Not a Thunder weakness. Biggest play of the game last night? Lamb’s 3-pointer off a Jackson feed with 1:38 left. Portland led 95-93, but Lamb’s 3-point gave OKC the lead for good, 96-95. Could the Thunder use more outside shooting? Sure. Most teams could. But it’s no longer a critical need. The Thunder over 21/2 months has shown that it’s a solid 3-point squad. And getting better.”
D.J. Foster of PBT says Jeremy Lamb is ready to start: “Are the offensive upgrades enough reason to insert Lamb in the starting lineup over Sefolosha, who has familiarity and stronger defensive instincts on his side? Thunder head coach Scott Brooks catches a lot of flak, but he’s been more open to toying with different lineups and letting hot players stay on the floor. There’s still a lot of loyalty to guys like Kendrick Perkins, but not nearly as much as in years past. With that in mind, Lamb playing more than Sefolosha might not be so out of the question. Sefolosha is on an expiring contract, so don’t be surprised if the Thunder start to work in Lamb as much as possible, even with Westbrook’s eventual return. He’s just a much more dynamic offensive player than Sefolosha is.”
Russell Westbrook making sandwiches at Subway? Russell Westbrook making sandwiches at Subway.
Zach Harper of CBSSports.com on Serge Ibaka: “This is what Ibaka has become. He’s as close to a lockdown defender against the top power forwards in the league as you can get. He’s not jumping so much at pump fakes. He does not need to rotate as much from the weak side because his positioning before the initial attack is much improved. He’s guarding the pick-and-roll about as well as you can expect someone to do with the defensive responsibilities that he has. It’s going to be hard enough to deal with this super version of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook (fingers crossed), and the rest of the role players who have developed beautifully in this Thunder organization. Knowing your best big man may not have an advantage in his matchup against Ibaka makes this road through Oklahoma City even tougher. The decision Sam Presti made before 2012-13 in shaping the future of this team has turned out to be the right one.”
Jimmer with 24 last night. His general manager probably made sure to send that box score out to every team last night.
Anthony Slater: “Throughout the first half of the season, OKC was one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA. In the first month, everyone struggled. And Fisher might have been the biggest culprit, making only two of his first 18 attempts from deep. But in each proceeding month, the Thunder’s 3-point shooting has continued to rise. And by no coincidence, so has Fisher’s: from 15 percent in November to 31 percent in December, from 42 percent in January to a scorching 52 percent in February. Over the past 13 games, 11 of which have been Thunder wins, Fisher has lit it up from the outside, making 25 of his 43 threes (58 percent). He has made multiple threes in four straight games and seven of the past nine. But it’s not just the proficiency. It’s the timing. Fisher’s threes typically coincide with the start of a Thunder run.”
KD on Scott Brooks: “I wonder who’s saying that? How can you knock a guy who I think should be coach of the year this year with us losing Russ (Westbrook) for so long and us staying on top of the best conference in the league, winning games against big teams on the road and he’s putting us in position every single game to be successful; who’s won 50 games, 55 games, 60 games, 47 games in the lockout [season], and we’re on pace for 60 now? I mean, what can you say?”
Allow me to be That Guy: LeBron scored 13 on 4-13 shooting in a loss to the Jazz just five days ago. But he made a shot against the Warriors, so he should totally be MVP. Hashtag, I’m salty.