Thunder Links – December 28, 2011

Memphis could test what the Thunder learned in the postseason. Just the physicality of the series is what I remember most,” said forward Nick Collison of the Grizzlies series. “I think it was good for us. We really hadn’t had to do that in a series before. I think we grew up some in that series.” For the Thunder, Wednesday’s game is only Game 3 of a 66-game season. So by no means can this showdown be considered a rematch. Last year’s series was too riveting, too emotional and too intense. But in many ways, this game can be a barometer. (cont…)

A look at what’s going on Memphis. something could be coming together like the Thunder are. Now we’ll see how long the Grizzlies are taken care of by Memphis. The team and city have had an odd and mostly detached relationship. As the only pro team in town, the Grizzlies often found themselves playing second to the University of Memphis. In the last five years the Grizzlies ranked no higher than 27th in home attendance and once were dead last. (cont…)

Paul Flannery of WEEI ranks the Perk trade #4 story in 2011 for the boston area. It happened without warning, although the signs were clear enough. With minutes to go before the end of the NBA’s trading deadline on Feb. 24, Celtics team president Danny Ainge sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a first-round pick via the Clippers that carries a top-10 protection through the 2016 season. (cont…)

James Harden is ready to breakout. 1. James Harden, Thunder. It’s become such a staple to have Harden at the top of this year’s list of breakout guys that you have to wonder if he hasn’t already broken out. Harden hit his stride after the Thunder traded away Jeff Green, and he continued to blossom (13.8 points) in the postseason. (cont…)

A Cleveland blog thinks the Cavs should go after Harden by offering him a max deal, uh oh. So the Cavs convince Harden that a max contract and his ability to be a focal point of the offense make Cleveland his best destination. (cont…)

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