Friday Bolts – 2.10.12

Jenni Carlson says James Harden isn’t an All-Star: “Among players at his position, few are more proficient than Harden. Look at the Player Efficiency Rating, and you’ll see that the only shooting guards who rank higher are Kobe and D-Wade. But Harden’s not a starter on his own team. Granted, he plays every bit as much as a starter. He averages 31.2 minutes a game, which is exactly the same amount as Nash. But the reality is, if you can’t crack the starting five on your own team, you’re going to struggle to make the All-Star Game. Ditto if you’re the third option for your squad.”

Perk talked on Jim Rome about the LeBron thing and had this line: “Because me personally, if you don’t bleed OKC or aren’t a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder I don’t really care what kind of highlights you got.”

Sebastian Pruiti for Grantland breaking down OKC’s game-winner play against the Warriors: “Durant’s lack of strength has hindered him late in games. Too often, stronger defenders knock him off of his path, and screens and cuts become ineffective. For this reason, the Thunder tend to isolate Durant to make sure that he gets the ball basketball. But the play Oklahoma City ran against the Warriors caught the defense off-guard and allowed both Durant and Westbrook to be late-game threats. The defenses had to pay attention to Westbrook coming off that first screen, and when they did, Durant was free on the other side of the court. If the Warriors were dead-set on stopping Durant, Westbrook probably would have gotten an easy attempt. If the Thunder keep running plays like this, instead of static isolations, their late-game woes may cease to exist.”

OKC’s TV ratings have jumped 82 percent.

Sarah Phillps of ESPN.com on Perk and LeBron: “However, James told ESPN.com’s Heat Index that he doesn’t plan on apologizing. “I don’t think I was the only one to react to the unbelievable play by Blake and that’s what it was all about,” James said. LeBron is right. There was not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven … let’s just say there were an awful lot of NBA players who tweeted about Griffin’s jam. If James is expected to apologize, then Perkins should probably seek out every one of those players. Since Page 2 believes in community service, we’ve done the dirty work and compiled the list for Perkins.”

Kevin Love on Westbrook’s dunk: “My boy @russwest44 just threw down something nasty. Had to rewind. Hit LIVE on the remote and saw him knock down the 3. See you in Orlando.”

GIF of Ibaka biting the ball.

Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com on Seattle trying to get the Kings: “Pirating another city is OK now, right? Having it done to you makes Clay Bennett and Stern terrible people, but turning around and doing it to another market would be cause for celebration? Got it. Seattle may have cover since this would be more Sacramento losing the team than it being stolen away, but no one should be naïve. Seattle, or any interested locale, would be on the same hunt under different circumstances as well.”

I gave OKC an F last night.

Jerry West is impressed with the Thunder: “And then Oklahoma City, my goodness. If they could cut down on their turnovers, holy cow. They’re pretty good. They’ve got three really good players, and they’re all kind of wing players — even though Kevin Durant is 6-10 or 6-11. Russell Westbrook is unbelievably competitive and still getting better, and James Harden, to me, plays an old-fashioned game. I really like him a lot as a player. I think he’s really good.”

3-0n-3 at ESPN Chicago where Scoop Jackson takes KD over Derrick Rose: “But not by much. Maybe KD is 1 and Pooh is 1A. The only reason at this point is due to the fact that we’ve seen Rose has a defensive nemesis: LeBron. In the Eastern Conference finals — and in the one game that they’ve faced one another this year — Rose has allowed LeBron to bring his game down a notch and Rose hasn’t figured out how to escape that … yet. With Durant, that one person or team hasn’t stopped him yet. With the exception of his own teammate (Russell Westbrook) there has really been no one player or team that has made life miserable for Durant on the court … yet. But keep in mind who originated the list: ESPN.com. The same place/site/people that ranked Kobe Bryant No.7 on the current “Best Players” list. I’m just saying.”

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