Andrew Sharp of Grantland with a great read: “There are ways everyone can improve, and they probably will. On a basic level, there’s no reason to panic. People say the clock is ticking — Durant’s a free agent in 2016, Westbrook’s free in 2017, and this window could be closing. But if you look at guys like Dwight Howard and LeBron, the biggest mistake their old teams made was rushing into panic trades that added overpaid and overrated stars to the rotations, cost them flexibility, and eventually made it easier for the superstars to go somewhere else. OKC’s nucleus doesn’t need an overhaul to keep KD happy.”
Darnell Mayberry: “More and more observers are starting to question whether Scott Brooks has taken this team as far as he can. Some are even demanding that he be relieved of his duties. Most rational minds don’t think that will happen, but Presti and his staff this summer absolutely should be asking themselves if more can be done to support the product on the court. Presti has expressed enormous confidence in the current roster; he says he believes the personnel is not a problem. If that’s the case, it might be time to bring in someone who can help put the personnel in better positions to be successful. That doesn’t necessarily mean starting over with a new head coach. It could be as simple as adding an assistant, someone who specializes in offense or defense and can shore up the struggles and slippage we’ve seen on those respective ends of the floor. Sticking to the status quo could be costly. This is a team that is talented enough to journey to the conference finals for years to come. But more and more, it’s beginning to look like more is needed to get over the hump.”
Berry Tramel: “And Perkins was much better in these playoffs than in the 2013 playoffs, when he wasn’t good at all. Against Memphis, the Clippers and San Antonio, Perk’s value was high. He neutralized impact post players like Zach Randolph, DeAndre Jordan and Duncan. Some people still talk of amnestying Gran Torino, cutting him from the last year of his contract, but that won’t happen. His post defense is too good. But Perkins, despite a playoff renaissance, doesn’t rebound like he once did and doesn’t score at all. Perkins once averaged a double-double in a playoff series. He won’t do that again. And he’s not likely to improve. Players don’t get better at age 30, which is what Perkins will be next season.”
Kevin Durant is All-NBA first team again.
Charles Barkley, still banging that drum: “But until Oklahoma gets a low-post scorer, they are not going to win. I told you that three years ago when you all played for the (NBA) Finals, you’re never going to beat Miami or a really good team until you get some easy baskets. As great as Kevin is, as great as Russell (Westbrook) is, the game always slows down. And their offense in the half-court is not very good. Russell and Kevin have to do a lot in the half-court. … They are going to win a bunch of games. They have two of the 10-best players in the world. … You got to have a guy who can get you an easy basket, and they don’t have that right now.” Do share, Charles. What low post scorer in the NBA that can get an easy basket is available? Because you know, there are like a total of four.