Anthony Slater on buzzer-clutching: “So to consistently fire it up is to willingly take an automatic dip in your field goal percentage. And in a league that is so statistically driven, it also means a dip in your perceived value, however slight. Reggie Jackson provides a great example. The Thunder’s third-year guard loves those shots, even searches them out. He has taken nine of them this season, more than half of the Thunder’s total (16) and more than Durant in his entire seven-year career (five). But he’s missed all nine. And because of that, Jackson’s current 3-point percentage is at 32 instead of 34. Sounds minuscule, but for a guy who is nearing contract negotiation time and holds a ‘Can he consistently shoot 3s?’ label, it could play an important role.”
Zach Harper of CBSSports.com: “Considering only Elgin Baylor, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain (twice) have had season averages of 32 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, Kevin Durant’s averages of 32.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists this season have him looking to join that club. And he’s the only player in NBA history to do it with the shooting averages of over 50.0 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three.”
KD had a technical foul rescinded, meaning he now had 14 on the season, leaving him two from a one-game suspension.
Darnell Mayberry on the Raptors game: “If the Thunder didn’t pull out the win, there would have been statewide second-guessing. Because with the ball and the shot clock off at the end of regulation, OKC didn’t even get a shot off. The Raptors double-teamed Durant at the top of the key, forcing him to pass it off. When he did, sending it to Fisher late in the clock, Fisher had trouble gathering it in and fired it up too late. Even though the Thunder has been much better at late-game execution this season, that play would have become the focal point had OKC lost.”
NBA.com’s MVP ladder still has KD No. 1: “Leave it up to Durant to be bored with being simply amazing this season. That streak of games with 25 or more points remains intact (33 and counting, second only to Michael Jordan’s 40 straight in 1986) after he dropped 35 on the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night. Durant is on a three-game streak of scoring 30 or more and is doing his best to end the scoring and MVP race simultaneously. Oh, as for the bellyaching from the naysayers who insist that all Durant does is score? Rubbish. He’s putting in work nightly in every category — and that includes his 11 rebounds, six assists and a block in the win over the Cavaliers.”
Small site update: There’s a new section on Daily Thunder called “DT Unplugged” which is essentially a place for some of the smaller stuff that happens throughout the day. Maybe it’s a tweet from Perry Jones, or a great dunk video, or an interesting quote or something else. So check that out. But do note, it’s in a very rough form and unfinished. We’ll be fancy and say it’s in beta.