Wednesday Bolts – 1.18.12

John Hollinger of ESPN.com: “But mostly, it’s a failure of the Thunder to prevent shot attempts. Oklahoma City is falling short on two levels — forcing turnovers and gathering rebounds. The Thunder are only 25th in forcing turnovers, creating miscues on 13.74 percent of opponent possessions. This has never been a strength of theirs — a year ago they were 19th — but with so much youth and athleticism dotting the roster, you’d think they’d be getting better and not worse in this category.”

Ian Thompson of SI.com on James Harden: “If Harden had been starting for the Thunder, it’s likely he would have served as a spot-up afterthought behind the ball-dominating Durant and Westbrook. Not that Harden couldn’t have managed that role — he has the potential to be a terrific shooter — but the Thunder drafted him with the No. 3 pick in 2009 with the idea that he would be much more. “He’s Paul Pierce version 2, except that he’s a better passer,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers before a 97-88 loss to the visiting Thunder on Monday. “He plays at a great NBA speed — he came into the league playing at that speed. I don’t think a coach has ever said he’s going too fast. He has a great tempo about him, an unbelievable feel.”

And check out this actually great quote from Sam Presti on Harden: “James is somewhat of an artist for our team. He sees things a little bit differently. It’s almost as if he’s a right-brained player. He’s an abstract thinker on the court — he’s not simply connecting the dots, but he’s seeing things and that gives us a different dimension.”

James Harden Tebowing in DC.

Here’s the team in front of the MLK Monument. Please note Perk in that picture.

Eric Koreen of The National Post: “Russell Westbrook is one of the most divisive players in the league, especially after last year’s playoff run when he was accused of hijacking the offence and not deferring to Durant enough. Still, you would rather have him than not have him. He outplayed Boston’s Rajon Rondo, can be a defensive nightmare when he wants to be and has no fear of taking big shots. (Of course, that last item is where part of the criticism comes from.)”

It’s the annual story about the Thunder being a model for a bad team.

Want to be in KD’s new movie? You can apply for a couple of parts, including playing one of the Thunder players.

Russell Westbrook’s highlights from the Celtic game are awesome.

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