Presented without comment.
Presented without comment.
If you missed it, James Harden was named the 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year. Ahem, excuse me — the Kia 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year.
Harden received 584 of a possible 595 points, including 115 of 119 first place votes (the other four went to Lou Williams and Taj Gibson). It was pretty much as no-brainer an NBA award as there will be this season. Harden was splendid off the Thunder bench, anchoring one of the best second units in basketball while also establishing himself as one of the best shooting guards in the game.
His role has never really been something he was worried about, though Scott Brooks did say he met with Harden following the season last year and asked him if he wanted to start. Keep Reading…
Sekou Smith of NBA.com: “The Thunder’s rise during that same five-year span, however, has been nothing short of remarkable. Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka were added to a mix that already included Durant and Jeff Green, who was traded last year to Boston so the Thunder could add a much-needed rugged, veteran big man in Kendrick Perkins. For all of them to come into their own simultaneously, though, isn’t so much a coincidence as it is a product of a group work ethic that makes first-time observers shake their heads in disbelief.”
Matt Tolnick of HoopsHype on James Harden: “While the PPS stat isn’t available in your everyday box score, you can find it on ESPN.com. Of course, big men who play in the paint are likely to average higher PPS than guards who play away from the basket (just as their field goal percentages are typically higher). In the case of the 2011-12 regular season, six of the top seven PPS players were forwards and centers, each of whom is listed at 6’8” or taller. James Harden, who has been recognized as the league’s best 6th man, is the lone guard in the top-7, and at 6’5”, he ranks #2 in PPS, trailing only Tyson Chandler.” Keep Reading…
On the recent practices: “It’s been good. We haven’t had much time to practice this year. We’ve had two really good practices. The schedule, it’s really unique to all of a sudden to have six or seven days off. But we’re making the most of it.”
On Perk having time to rest: “The good thing is giving [Perk] a chance to rest and hopefully heal. No one really knows what’s going to happen with him, but the more days the better.”
On if Perk can’t play: “We’re going to have to have other guys step up if he can’t go. We’ve got a lot of talent here. We have faith in guys. A lot of guys, just because they’re not getting a chance to play doesn’t mean they can’t play. I think Royal proved that when he sat for almost a year and a half and came in and played well. We’ve got guys that can play and just need opportunities. That’s why we practice and everybody gets the same amount of reps.” Keep Reading…
As we sit and wait for the second round, enjoy Kevin Durant’s top 10 plays of the 2011-12 season as selected by the NBA. Or also known as, “Video Royce needs to watch when he’s alone.”
A quick recap of events: The Nuggets forced a Game 6, meaning that the Thunder likely won’t play this weekend. It means Kendrick Perkins gets a little more rest to heal, and also means that Metta World Peace will play in Game 1 should the Lakers advance.
Championship experience matters, writes Benjamin Morris of Skeptical Sports: “Of course, thinking back, it seems like picking the winner is sometimes easy, as the league often has an obvious “best team” that is extremely unlikely to ever lose a 7 game series. So perhaps the better question to ask is: How much do you gain by including the championship test in step 1? The answer is: a lot. Over the same period, the team with the league’s best record has won only 10/28 championships, or ~35%. So the 5-by-5 model almost doubles your hit rate. And in case you’re wondering, using Margin of Victory, SRS, or any other advanced stat instead of W-L record doesn’t help: other methods vary from doing slightly worse to slightly better.” (via) Keep Reading…
It is such a hot topic and point of concern for Thunder fans head coach Scott Brooks didn’t even wait to be asked about how his big man is doing.
“Perk’s still day-to-day,” he said before anyone could ask the question. The coach didn’t provide much more insight when a follow-up was asked.
“He’s still just getting treatments and working with our medical staff, in a couple of days we’ll see where he is and go from there, but he’s still just day-to-day.”
As we pointed out in this space yesterday day-to-day can mean a couple of days, like with James Harden and his concussion or it can mean almost a couple of months as it did with Thabo Sefolosha and his sore right foot. Keep Reading…
Rob Mahoney of Bleacher Report on James Harden: “A defender’s only chance of stopping Harden outright is to get an early peg on his unusual rhythm; there’s no metronomic certainty, but there are still lilts to be measured as Harden swings his way from dribble to dribble, shuffling briskly on his path to the rim. If Harden is set to create from the perimeter on his own, there’s ample time to pin down that cadence and at least make an attempt to wall off his path or peg his eventual shot attempt. Yet the screen — while also bumping Harden’s defender off of his immediate path — also provides a timing reset; in the scramble to recover defensive positioning, Harden’s man is forced to surrender their count, and overextend as a means of preventing the easiest basket possible.”
Jared Dubin of HP in a 5-on-5 on his biggest playoff surprise: “James Harden’s fourth-quarter takeover (15 points, 3 assists) against the Mavericks in the Thunder’s series-clinching Game 4 win was marvelous. Neglected in crunch time for much of the season, Harden put on a show Saturday night and left no doubt that he’s ascended to the level of stardom along with teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.” Keep Reading…