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Kevin Durant spoke Tuesday with reporters about his injury. Keep reading »
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Premieres Tuesday, November 4 at 10PM, on HBO.
Kevin Durant isn’t second to LeBron James this time around. In fact, he’s second to seven other guys. In ESPN.com’s annual #NBArank project, Durant has been tabbed No. 8 overall.
Whaaaaaa-at, you just said in your Russell Westbrook voice.
The reason is simple: Durant isn’t healthy and ESPN.com’s criteria kind of emphasizes that.
“We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to predict the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season. This includes both the quality and the quantity of his expected contributions, combined in one overall rating.” Keep Reading…
Eastern Conference scout to Chris Broussard: “They’ll be good without Durant. They still have a large part of their nucleus. I think losing Thabo Sefolosha is going to hurt them because he could always guard the opponent’s great offensive player. But without him — if Russell Westbrook gets into foul trouble, what now? Westbrook will play well without Durant. He’s just so dominant. I don’t particularly like the way he plays, but he’s so good. You talk about Derrick Rose driving to the basket, well, Westbrook’s two inches taller and just as, maybe even more, athletic. I’ve heard some say that playing without Durant will help their other players, but I don’t think so because of the way Westbrook plays. He’s like, ‘I’m going to dominate you.’ If you put Chris Paul on that team, yeah, Chris Paul is going to make Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams better because he just gives guys confidence and puts them in position to score. But Westbrook is not like that.”
Shea Serrano of Grantland with a celebrity fan index: “Bill Hader is a surprisingly perfect fit here. He’s young, he’s hyper-likable, he’s smart, and he’s right on the cusp of being a true-blue superhero. That’s basically the same description you could toss at Kevin Durant, really. And it’s always wonderful when the team’s best player is an avatar of its most famous fan (Nicholson and Kobe, Obama and Rose, Wahlberg and Rondo). Best-case scenario: Hader’s The Skeleton Twins ekes out an Oscar nomination or two this year and the Thunder manage to keep Scott Brooks tied to a chair long enough to win a championship this season. Remember him going against Pop last year in the playoffs? Man, come on.” Keep Reading…
The thing that teachers tell you when you begin improv classes is to not worry about trying to be funny. It’ll come off desperate, like you’re pandering to an audience. Instead, they say, just worry about giving the audience something interesting to watch. People are inherently funny, they say, so the humor will come if you just react honestly and be honest with yourself and your scene partner. It’s the interesting thing that’s so hard to come by.
This is a gross generalization, but its mainly pretty much true. You watch enough scenes you start to see the same ones over and over again. One roommate drank the last of the other roommates’ milk. A couple is breaking up. A couple is getting together. The Mom is not around and so now the Dad has to raise the kids. The Dad is not around and so now the Mom has to raise the kids. Two people are stretching and preparing for a race. So on. Keep Reading…
Start the regular season earlier? “If the exhibition season was shortened, the benefits could be vast. What if we started NBA training camps at the same time, late September, but shortened them by a week? From four weeks to three weeks. Then you start the NBA regular season a week earlier. This season, for instance, Oct. 21 instead of Oct. 28. But don’t end the regular season a week earlier. Keep the regular season ending at the same time. Then you’ve built an extra week into the season. Do you know what just one extra week would do for the compactness of the schedule? It would be a major relief to the time demands.
Jenni Carlson: “Thunder fans have plenty to worry about these days. Kevin Durant’s foot. Russell Westbrook’s temper. The team’s shoddy defense and shabby shooting as the regular season looms. So, there probably wasn’t room on the blue-and-orange radar for this worry — draft lottery reform. But luckily for the Thunder and a bunch of other teams whose best chance of winning is by building through the draft, a spate of draft reforms was voted down Wednesday morning by the NBA’s Board of Governors. The owners’ group said no thanks to changes proposed to keep teams from tanking and trying to get the No. 1 overall pick.”‘ Keep Reading…
The Thunder’s preseason schedule has finally concluded. Thank god.
It finished with Oklahoma City going a measly 2-5, losing by an average of 11.3 points per game. The final four games? They lost by an average of 21.2 points. They didn’t look very good and with the narrative very firmly about how they’ll perform without Kevin Durant, the slim sample size we have to work with doesn’t look all that promising.
That said, it was preseason. Half the roster — mostly the good half — barely played. This Thunder incarnation was more about Jeremy Lamb, Andre Roberson and Perry Jones than anyone else. And really, it’s probably for the best those guys saw the bulk of the floor time.
But despite the games not counting, there are some lessons and insights to put in our pockets. A few: Keep Reading…
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports on lottery reform: “In conversations with small-market executives, Presti, a member of the influential NBA competition committee, has tried to warn peers that changing the system is a risky proposition for small-market teams. Presti declined comment to Yahoo Sports, but his case, laid out to others, is this: The big-market teams badly want this change because it’ll give them one more advantage over small markets in securing top talent. Big-market teams have an advantage signing superstar free agents and an advantage trading for them because those players are far more apt to agree to sign a contract extension. And, now, the big market teams will get better access to top players higher in the draft.”
Kelly Dwyer of BDL on Durant: “The bigger, more important ‘win’ here is the idea that Kevin Durant is taking his time with this. There has never been a player like Kevin Durant, asked to work through screens on the perimeter like a guard while possessing a body that would have put him in the low post as recently as 15 years ago. The Thunder haven’t been incorrect in their use of KD, that’s just how the man plays – a fracture like this from a man who has consistently played deep into the playoffs while working with Team USA in the summer makes sense, though. And it makes sense to take the slow route to recovery before asking a nearly 7-foot tall man to run around like Ray Allen until spring and maybe summer. It’s good to see Kevin Durant, at possibly his lowest point, acknowledge as much.” Keep Reading…
Kevin Durant rolled in on Tuesday to speak with reporters for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. Like actually rolled in, on a scooter.
With a cast almost up to his knee, he sat down at the table and first asked if his toes were poking out. Confident they weren’t, he took more than 13 minutes worth of questions, ranging from his outlook to how he thinks Russell Westbrook will play.
“It’s definitely a different experience for me,” Durant said. “I’ve never been injured before but the Thunder’s been great to get me to the best surgeon and rehab has been going well so far. Everything is progressing and I’m looking forward to these next few weeks of getting better.” Keep Reading…