Wednesday Bolts – 12.10.08

  • A first look at Kevin Durant’s first signature Nike Shoe, the KD 1: “They feature a bright orange upper which is paired with yellow accents and blue shoe laces, all of which are reminiscent of the Oklahoma City Thuder’s team colors. Some nice details include the use of a speckled design on the midsole, swoosh, and inner lining, along with his KD logo at the ankle area.”
  • Harlan Schreiber of Pro Basketball News: “While I’m not a huge Carlesimo fan, Phil Jackson or Red Auerbach would stink coaching this team too. As for Scott Brooks, he was a heady player but we have no idea how he’ll be ultimately as a coach. In the short term, it seems like he’ll be in the exact same boat as Carlesimo, taking lumps with a chance for modest improvement near the end of the year. While Thunder management doesn’t really have to worry about being fair to its coaches, this job is rigged for failure in the short term and any deck shuffling is only meant to distract the fans.”
  • Ask and ye shall receive – USA Today has a statistical look at the Thunder under P.J. and now under Scott Brooks: Under Brooks, OKC is scoring average is up from 88.9 to 97.0, but the team is giving up over three more points a game. Field goal percentage is up six points, but opposing field goal percentage is up six as well. Assists per game are up 5.8 to 21.5, but rebounding is down from 44.7 per game to 34.1. But strangely, opposing rebounds per game are down from 45.5 to 40.5. So it’s pretty clear, other than actually winning games, OKC has improved quite drastically under Brooks.
  • And because some are oh-so-interested: “In an effort to quell what he believes to be unfounded rumors about Chesapeake’s financial stability, CEO Aubrey McClendon first addressed a conference call for analysts and reporters – which he said drew about 600 listeners – then spoke by phone with a handful of media outlets, including The Associated Press. His message: Chesapeake is making money and will continue to do so in the coming years.”
  • Thunder players offer a hand for those in need: “Jacob Franks raced his bicycle down the aisle with Kevin Durant. An unsuspecting customer leaped back, unaware last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year and Jacob, 6, were test driving bikes at a Target in north Oklahoma City.”
  • The Thunder has started to hug it out: “In this most desperate time — a 2-20 record and current four-game losing streak entering tonight’s game against Memphis — Thunder players have turned to the most desperate of measures. Hugging.”