Kevin Durant, quote machine: On Emeka Okafor’s two airballed free throws: “I was just playing with him on the video game earlier and he was hitting jumpers, so that was a shock to me.”
Frank Hughes of SI looks at unsung players: “Thabo Sefolosha: With all the attention on Durant and the Thunder’s incredible rise from a lottery team to legitimate contender, Sefolosha has been, for the most part, forgotten. But he may very well be the next Ron Artest — without the wackiness. One only needs to look at the players Sefolosha guards to see how effective he is, and why the Thunder are ranked third in the league in opponents’ field-goal percentage (44.0).” Keep Reading…
With the way the game started, I really didn’t see a 15-point blowout happening. Russell Westbrook turned the ball over on the first two possessions. New Orleans jumped out to an 11-2 lead as David West started 6-6 from the floor. By all appearances, this was going to be an ugly game. The crowd was quiet, the Thunder was coasting a bit through the first 15 minutes and they were turning the ball over.
And then Emeka Okafor stepped to the free throw line. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 106.6 (17th), Hornets – 107.1 (13th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.1 (6th), Hornets – 109.0 (19th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.9 (14th), Hornets – 92.5 (16th)
View from the enemy: Hornets 24/7
The Hornets are here blah blah blah the past blah blah 2005 blah. All that is pretty much out of my system now. I don’t really give two poos about Chris Paul and David West anymore. They are the enemy and this is a big game. The Thunder can pretty much bury New Orleans from harming their playoff chances with a win tonight. Oklahoma City would own the tiebreaker over the Hornets and plus, it’s one more game up on them with one less game to go. Keep Reading…
Marc Spears of Yahoo! with a nice feature on Russell Westbrook: “Sonics/Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver continued to push strongly for Westbrook, whom he felt best fit the franchise with his combination of talent, character and work ethic. Weaver, Sonics general manager Sam Presti said, had a “passion about Russell’s ability to grow with the organization over time.” The pitch paid off: The Sonics took Westbrook No. 4.”
Give KD Skittles!: “I’m good in Oklahoma City. I love it here. I like going outside and seeing the neighbors and they say, ‘Hello.’ They make me cookies and give me Skittles. There are cities you may not get that.” Keep Reading…
Get your torch and pitch fork ready because something tells me that there’s going to be some disagreement with this column, which really kind of surprises me since I’ve always thought that it was pretty straightforward when it came to what the Thunder is missing, what flaws they have and how all of that has and will bite them again in the future.
The reason I’m surprised by there being disagreement with this is that, well, every team has flaws. There is no such thing as a perfect team without weaknesses. The trick is for that team to play to such a way or in such a style that minimizes their weaknesses and enhances their strengths. And as we saw in yesterday’s article, the Thunder certainly play very well to their strengths and maximize their talent (you could even argue that they have played a little above their experience and talent level this year).
And just to refresh, the Thunder’s defense, their elite scorer in Kevin Durant and their road record give them three reasons why a higher seed really doesn’t want to match up with them in the playoffs.
But there are two factors that the Thunder lack when it comes to making a deep run in the playoffs and these two factors almost always end up costing a team a series, either early on or deeper in the playoffs. Keep Reading…
After a short stint in Tulsa, D.J. White once again will make a short drive back to Oklahoma City to rejoin the Thunder. I hope he likes the Turner Turnpike.
During his most recent stint with the 66ers, White appeared in four games, averaging 23.0 points while shooting 58.7 percent from the field, 11.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals in 40.0 minutes per game. The 6-9 forward scored 20 or more points three times and notched three double-doubles.
(Also, off-topic and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I was looking over D-League player assisnment rules and they say an NBA team can send down no more than two NBA roster players at a time. And the Thunder had Kyle Weaver, Byron Mullens and D.J. White all in Tulsa at the same time. Again, I may be revealing some ignorance here, but I’m curious as to if the rule has been changed but just not updated on the site. Maybe it’s because Kyle Weaver was rehabbing an injury and there’s a clause for that. But again, I don’t know.
UPDATE: It’s because OKC is the sole affiliate of the 66ers, so there’s only one team sending players down to the team. It would have been nice if that were defined in the rules.)
Eddie Johnson for HoopsHype says KD will be a top five scorer in history: “There are five reasons why Kevin Durant is one of the top scorers in the game and these reasons will eventually move him into the Top 5 scorers in NBA history if he stays away from injuries. We already know Durant is an excellent jump shooter, but that skill alone does not make him the great scorer that he has become. Jason Kapono and JJ Redick are very good shooters, but are not and will never be big-time scorers. Durant understands angles, timing and, most importantly, how to catch the ball in his range. These weapons make him extremely dangerous on the basketball court. Durant is a rhythm three-point shooter. That is not his strength, although defenders for the most part think it is.”
Russell Westbrook, the football player: “Bob Stoops was asked to speak to the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. During that session, Russell Westbrook asked Stoops if Westbrook would have made a good football player. You’re not kidding, Stoops said. Stoops sat courtside and watched the Thunder-Sacramento game last week and came away amazed at Kevin Durant’s development and Westbrook’s physical attributes. “6-3, long arms, ballhawking skills,” Stoops said of Westbrook. “He’d have made a great cornerback.” Keep Reading…