Thunder Links – December 16, 2011

<a href=”http://newsok.com/tnts-nba-analysts-say-oklahoma-city-thunder-must-settle-russell-westbrook-situation/article/3632323″ target=”_blank”>TNT’s Analysts talk about the Thunder</a>. Charles Barkley said: I think there is so much uncertainty in the West (conference). They are one of the four best teams in the West. … But you’ve got to look at their youth and they’ve got to answer the big elephant in the room thing — the Westbrook thing. (<a href=”http://newsok.com/tnts-nba-analysts-say-oklahoma-city-thunder-must-settle-russell-westbrook-situation/article/3632323″ target=”_blank”>cont…</a>)

<a href=”http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sports/fantasy-nba/2011-nba-fantasy-basketball-preview-oklahoma-city-thunder” target=”_blank”><!–more–>Opposing View’s season preview</a>. The shooting guard situation over at OKC is going to something to watch. Last season’s playoff run allowed us to see what happens when <strong>James Harden </strong>gets a lot more usage by his coach. His impressive post-season performance has marked him as a potential starter in the Thunder’s future. (<a href=”http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sports/fantasy-nba/2011-nba-fantasy-basketball-preview-oklahoma-city-thunder” target=”_blank”>cont…</a>)

<a href=”http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7353823/thunder” target=”_blank”>Grantland’s Season Preview. (by far the best one yet)</a>. Which, given that this is a franchise that was uprooted just four years ago, following a 20-62 season, and moved to a city without deep basketball roots, is pretty remarkable. I don’t know what would happen to the Thunder’s connection to the city if, say, they coughed up a losing season this year, or if one fateful morning Durant were to call up a radio station and say he wanted to play for the Knicks. (<a href=”http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7353823/thunder” target=”_blank”>cont…</a>)

<a href=”http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/15/2011-12-preview-oklahoma-city-thunder” target=”_blank”>NBC’s season preview, short and sweet</a>. <strong>Best-Case Scenario:</strong> The slimmed-down Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka are one of the best defensive frontcourts in the league.  Russell Westbrook continues to be one of the league’s most most explosive and productive point guards while improving his shot selection and becoming a more efficient player. (<a href=”http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/15/2011-12-preview-oklahoma-city-thunder” target=”_blank”>cont…</a>)

<a href=”http://newsok.com/thunder-okc-needs-to-start-games-the-way-it-ends-playing-good-defense/article/3632497″ target=”_blank”>Newsok’s John Rohde wrote a really good article on OKC’s defense</a>. In the third and fourth quarters of games last season, opponents shot 43.6 percent and 42.3 percent from the field. That’s extremely good. Overtime was even better, when opponents shot 37.1 percent against the Thunder. If OKC can maintain its defensive course in the second half and find its path in the first half, a world title might be in the offing. (<a href=”http://newsok.com/thunder-okc-needs-to-start-games-the-way-it-ends-playing-good-defense/article/3632497″ target=”_blank”>cont…</a>)

Read more: <a href=”http://newsok.com/thunder-okc-needs-to-start-games-the-way-it-ends-playing-good-defense/article/3632497#ixzz1giaxdm73″>http://newsok.com/thunder-okc-needs-to-start-games-the-way-it-ends-playing-good-defense/article/3632497#ixzz1giaxdm73</a>

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