Friday Bolts – 12.5.08

  • Still looking ahead to next June, ESPN’s Chad Ford says Blake Griffin is separating and Ricky Rubio is falling: “We began our 2009 Top 100 in July with Griffin atop the list. From the look of things, he’s staying there the rest of the year. He has absolutely dominated on both ends of the court — putting up a Michael Beasley-esque performance in the pre-Big 12 schedule this season. Griffin’s combination of size, strength and athleticism, along with his growing offensive prowess, makes him the overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. Right now, there isn’t a close second.”
  • Gary Payton talks Sonics with Ball Don’t Lie: “BDL: You said recently that you believe Seattle will have another team by 2011, what makes you so sure? GP: A lot of people don’t know why the city took the deal … the NBA guaranteed [Seattle] that they can get a team back in 2011. They can keep their colors, keep their tradition, and they can keep their name, and gave them 75 million dollars. Most people don’t know what was in the deal, and that’s why the city took the deal because they knew they’re gonna get a basketball team back.”
  • Stan Van Gundy thinks Durant will be a “nightmare” in the future: “Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy predicts Durant, who faces Van Gundy and the Magic tonight at Amway Arena, will be a nightmare. “The key to being great in this league is you have a defined game of what you do well and continue to do it better and better,” Van Gundy said. “Will he become a better post-up player? Yeah. But if he’s spending all his time trying to become a low-post guy, honestly, I think he’s spending his time the wrong way.”
  • Chris Silva of the official Thunderblog crunches some numbers: “One way you can tell the Thunder have given maximum effort under Brooks is by looking at some general statistics. For instance, in the season’s first 13 games, the Thunder averaged 88.9 points per game. In its last six games, OKC’s scoring average has jumped to 98 points per game, which backs up Brooks’ point that the team has done a better job of moving the ball and spacing themselves on the court.”