Tuesday Bolts – 2.14.12

Via John Rodhe: “Meanwhile, reserve point guard Eric Maynor was spotted on the court Monday holding a basketball. He was wearing practice gear and socks, but no shoes. Maynor spent the end of practice at the same basket with fellow Thunder guards, where there was plenty of laughter.”

Marc Stein of ESPN.com’s power rankings: “OKC responded to what some would call a way-too-steep drop to No. 7 — especially since it was triggered in part by losses to the smokin’ Clips and Spurs — by going right into Portland and handing the Blazers just their second L at home. To which we say, in our best Kobe System voice: “You’re welcome.”

KD is second in CBSSports.com’s MVP rankings.

I assume it was a joke, but this SportsNation poll asked who the best point guard was and had Jeremy Lin but no Russell Westbrook or Deron Williams.

NBA 411 talking about Future Power Rankings.

Best possible playoff opponents.

Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas: “If the Clippers and Thunder are indeed the greatest threat to dethrone the Mavs in the Western Conference, there is work to be done by both. Yes, the Mavs’ 2-3 record against these two high-flying outfits might suggest otherwise, but remember, OKC needed a 27-foot Kevin Durant buzzer-beater to win up there in the third game of the season and then squeaked one out here more recently against a depleted Mavs roster that strangely felt more like a Dallas win.”

Putting perspective on Ibaka’s blocks.

Russell Westbrook won his third Western Conference Player of the Week award yesterday. KD has taken it just once.

Nets Are Scorching on screaming: “My challenge, to whatever base can mobilize and feels like listening to me: at the apex of a contest, with the game hanging in the balance at the free throw line, just stare at the shooter. Don’t say a word. Not a whisper in the arena. Just 40,000 eyes piercing the soul of one man, now wildly aware that everyone is staring at him — and no one is speaking. Throw him off by throwing off expectation altogether. I understand that it’s hard to put together, but with the pull of an understanding arena, it’s not that hard.”