Thunder Links – March 20, 2012

Susan Bible writes that OKC needs Thabo Sefolosha’s defense. With the end of the regular season approaching – just 22 games left – the Thunder needs his defensive prowess.  They are currently ranked 13th in Defensive Rating at 102.9 (estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions) and 17th in Opponent Points per Game (96.7).  With their defensive specialist back, the Thunder are eager to build upon their proven defense-first mentality. (cont…)

Barry Tramel points out that Nick Collison is in rare company. Nick Collison was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2003 NBA Draft. The Sonics became the Thunder in 2008. Collison made the transition to Oklahoma City. He’s with the Thunder still. Collison is in his ninth NBA season, all with the same franchise, a mark of stability rarely found in the league. With Denver’s trade of Nene Hilario to the Wizards, only eight players have continuously been with their franchise longer than Collison’s nine seasons: (cont…)

Oklahoma City wants Derek Fisher, we’ve heard you people want him too. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, is still trying to fill the void created by Eric Maynor’s season-ending knee injury and, according to sources with knowledge of the Thunder’s thinking, is intrigued by the prospect of adding Fisher’s championship know-how to a group that’s leading the Western Conference but still young. (cont…)

This guy doesn’t think Westbrook is a Point Guard. I guess he doesn’t like change. In the last 30 years, there has NEVER been a team that has won a title where the point guard has taken more than 19% of his team’s total shots, adjusted for any games he didn’t play in. “But Coach,” you’ll say, “the Triangle offense was the reason the numbers are like that.” Fine, take out those Bulls and Lakers teams and it still doesn’t matter. When you have a player whose responsibility is to be in charge of the ball, and he tilts the shot distribution too far in his favor, it hurts the team. That team might win a lot of games, they might get through a round or two of the playoffs, but sooner or later, after enough of his teammates hustle down court to their spots only to get whiplash watching Westbrook’s shots go up so fast, they’ll stop playing hard. It might be imperceptible, just barely noticeable, but it’s there. Enough trips down the court where Ibaka doesn’t get to at least touch the ball, he might not soar as high as he needs to get that next block, Durant might not fight around a weakside screen as hard (“What’s the point, he might ask himself, Russ is gonna toss it up anyway?), and the Thunder stop making winning plays. (cont…)

HoopsWorld has Kevin Durant #2 on their MVP list. The biggest difference between Kevin Durant now and Kevin Durant a year ago is that he’s a more complete player in 2012. He’s averaging career highs in rebounds, field goal percentage, assists, and even blocks this season, which has taken a great scorer and turned him into one of the league’s best all-around players. (cont…)


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