Steve Ilardi in introducing Real Plus-Minus: “RPM can also shed light on our question about the true impact of third-year guard Reggie Jackson, as the table shows. RPM accounts for the contributions of OKC stars Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka (as well as Jackson’s other teammates). After doing so, RPM indicates Jackson has had a moderately positive impact this season on both sides of the ball. His total RPM rating (+1.49), while far below that of his more heralded teammates, is consistent with the play of a quality NBA starter, and it’s higher than that of more established guards such as Lance Stephenson, Kevin Martin and Wesley Matthews.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider on Real Plus-Minus All-Stars: “In 2011, Per Diem predecessor John Hollinger put together his “No-Stats All-Stars.” Collison, who was the featured player on that team, is the lone holdover three seasons later. Plus-minus devotees have always adored Collison, whose lofty RPM puts him sixth in the league. Although Collison surely isn’t one of the league’s most valuable players, his plus-minus impact has been remarkably consistent. Because of Collison’s heady play, the Thunder are much better on both ends of the floor when he’s on it, despite the fact he barely makes a dent in the box score.”
Missed this yesterday, but here’s Bill Simmons on KD: “But let’s be clear — LeBron and Durant are owning the rest of this decade. Durant is JUST hitting the beginning of his prime, at age 25, and coming off this insane three-month stretch after Christmas (from 12/27 through 3/25): 42 Games, 39.3 MPG, 35.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.1 APG, 52% FG, 40% 3FG, 86% FT. That’s more than half a season! Are you kidding me? I sucked it up and looked through every conceivable three-month stretch of Larry Legend’s career — he never caught fire like THAT. Not even during the last three months of the ’85 season, when the Legend basically averaged a 31-11-7 in the 50-40-90 range, with at least four or five buzzer-beaters and the famous 60-point game against the Hawks in New Orleans. By the way? He’s the greatest forward of all time. And Durant’s half-season streak tops any half-season streak Bird ever had. We’re four years away from wondering about the next MVP. At least.”
Marc Stein has OKC No. 2 in power rankings: “The Thunder might sport the strongest résumé of any team ever stuck in the No. 2 spot in these rankings. They’ve now snapped Spurs win streaks spanning 11 and 19 games and are just the third team ever to post a 4-0 season sweep over a 60-win club, joining the 1972-73 Celts and 1988-89 Knicks.”
John Schuhmann of OKC third: “The Thunder are now won 10 of their last 12 games against the Spurs, but have lost their last four road games (thanks to some dreadful defense) against the West’s top nine. A healthy Thabo Sefolosha might fix the defense to some extent, but OKC might still hope to avoid playing the Suns, who have shot 40-for-87 from 3-point range in three regular season meetings, in the first round.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Oklahoma City enters Tuesday game at Sacramento just a game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 3 seed. The Thunder still holds a two-game lead over L.A. in the loss column, but the Clippers already own a 2-1 series lead, which makes Wednesday’s meeting between the two teams inside Staples Center all the more pivotal. If the Thunder surrenders second place, OKC would go from having homecourt advantage for the first two rounds to a likely second-round series against the Clippers with L.A. holding homecourt advantage. The Thunder also would fall out of a more favorable first-round matchup such as Dallas or Phoenix and into a more dangerous series against the likes of Golden State. It’s become a reality that didn’t seem possible just weeks ago.”
Shoutout to OKCJim for winning the DT bracket pool. You new car is in the mail.