Just soak this in a little longer. Because wow, what a rally.
Just soak this in a little longer. Because wow, what a rally.
Chris Mannix of SI.com: “The confidence inside Durant, in this Thunder team grows by the day and everyone is on the same page. Talk of a rift between Durant and Russell Westbrook is old news, and the whispers that maybe, just maybe these two alpha males can’t play together get quieter by the day. Westbrook is a critical cog but this is Durant’s team. Soon, it could be his league, too. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ceded the throne to Michael Jordan, Jordan to Kobe. It’s assumed that, eventually, Kobe will step aside for LeBron. Durant may have a say in that. As the injury to Chris Bosh puts the title hopes of the Super Friends in Miami in doubt, the door is open for someone else to seize Kobe’s throne. Someone, perhaps, more like him.”
Chris Broussard of ESPN.com wonders if a ring would make KD the game’s top player: “To find a cautionary tale, all you have to do is go back five seasons to when James was annihilating Detroit in The Palace, leading an unheralded and largely untalented cast of Cleveland Cavaliers past the ballyhooed and championship-proven Detroit Pistons as a 22-year-old. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that in 2012 James would still not have a ring. Honestly, I thought he’d have at least two and probably more by now. So let’s let this thing play out first. But if the way it plays out is with Durant averaging 30 points per game in a postseason that ends with an Oklahoma City title, it might be hard to argue that the skinny scorer in OKC is not the baddest baller on the planet.” Keep Reading…
I was ready. For the first time I can ever remember, I was ready.
I was ready to rip on Kevin Durant.
As Oklahoma City’s offense threw up all over itself in the second half of Game 2 he was strangely passive, kicking out off drives, not looking to score and just sort of floating. With six minutes left in the fourth, he had taken only nine shots. Nine!
But that’s why you don’t question KD. It was a big moment and his team needed something from him. So he showed up. Should’ve known.
He scored five of the Thunder’s final nine points as the Thunder closed on a 9-0 run to improbably, impossibly, incredibly take Game 2 right out from under the Lakers’ feet. Keep Reading…
Thunder lead series 1-0
View from the enemy: Forum Blue and Gold
Put Game 1 completely out of your mind. When I say “Game 1” you should say, “What happened Game 1?” Because it’s over. It’s done with. It was a wonderful 48 minutes of basketball and fun vengeance against Metta World Peace, but dwelling on it and thinking it’s a given for Game 2 is dangerous. Keep Reading…
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins was shooting free throws when reporters were allowed out onto the practice area at the INTEGRIS Thunder Development Center. When asked how his big man was doing Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said, “better, he participated in most of the shoot-around. We’ll see how he feels when he comes back to the arena tonight. He’ll be a game time decision.”
That was Perkins’ status Monday too and after warming up on the floor at Chesapeake Energy Arena he told his coach he was good to go. Perkins aggravated his right hip muscle strain in the third quarter of Monday’s win over the Lakers but could have played in the fourth quarter if the Thunder had needed him. Keep Reading…
Game 1 went pretty much perfectly. But that’s over with and done. On to the next one, which unfortunately doesn’t start with the Thunder ahead 29-0. Still, did Game 1 show something? Did it reveal there’s a substantial gap between the Thunder and Lakers? Things can change, teams can adjust, but it’s still going to be the same two teams on the floor that met in Game 1. Should Thunder fans allow themselves to start thinking ahead already?
1. True or False: The Thunder are double-digits better than the Lakers.
Royce Young, Daily Thunder: True. That obviously doesn’t mean the Thunder are going to win every game by double-digits, but in terms of the separation between the two teams, Oklahoma City has a pretty clear advantage. The two regular season wins were fairly convincing, and the loss came without James Harden. Clearly, the Thunder aren’t 29 points better, but they are 8-10 points better. Keep Reading…
George Karl: “I think all season long everybody in basketball thought Oklahoma City was the best team in the west, but were they mature enough to show that? I think last night, I think everybody right now, I think it’s going to be a San Antonio-Oklahoma City thing. San Antonio is playing with so much flow and rhythm and rhythmatic offense and their defense is not great but it is solid. It’s still a pretty good defensive team. Their offense is so in flow right now I love watching San Antonio play. And this is the time of year where there’s a separation and I’m not ready to sign the contract but I’m pretty sure Oklahoma City is a higher degree than everybody else right now, along with, probably, San Antonio. … I’m very prejudiced toward the west. I’ll be honest with you, I think there’s four or five teams in the West that can beat Miami.”
Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN LA on adjustments: “Cohesion for the pick and roll defense. Too often Russell Westbrook was able to turn the corner and step into a mid-range jumper without being bothered. Same with Kevin Durant. The Lakers have to apply more pressure higher on the floor, and more importantly need to make sure everyone is on the same page in his coverages. Clearly that wasn’t the case Monday night. Westbrook, Durant, and particularly James Harden are all elite level scorers handling the ball on the pick and roll, and will require elite level defense in response. It’s not simply a question of playing the Kobe Bryant-on-Westbrook card. They tried that in Game 1, and it wasn’t effective because the overall coverages weren’t good.” Keep Reading…
Thunder head coach Scotty Brooks told us after the game last night Kendrick Perkins was good to go and could have gone back in the game after aggravating his strained right hip muscle.
Things changed a little bit overnight.
“He came in today and was just a little sore so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Perkins did not practice today, instead getting treatments from the Thunder medical staff. He’ll get more of that later today and then again tomorrow. Keep Reading…