Loud Links: 01/05/2010

After Westbrook's past few games people are starting to take notice. Additionally there's a piece on Ollie, concern noted about Jeff Green, and the usual slew of articles detailing how we're a year ahead of planned/playoff bound/etc.

Thunder's Russell Westbrook on a roll | NewsOK.com
[Yes, please continue to attack the rim. Isn't it nice when Westbrook realizes his shot-in-progress isn't quite there yet ... and goes back to driving to the hoop?] Westbrook wanted to revert to his strength, better yet to what he does best — applying pressure with aggressive attacks to the rim. "I wanted to start the game off that way," Westbrook said. "In other games, I’ve been settling for jump shots, and there was no reason for me to do that." Welcome back, Mr. Westbrook.

Ollie Among the NBA's Most Traveled -- NBA FanHouse
"People were looking at me funny,'' Brown said. "I was like, 'Why is everybody looking at me like this?''' Finally, Suns assistant Paul Silas walked up and told Brown he had been traded to Milwaukee, and it might be wise to go pack. Until then, nobody had bothered to tell Brown he had been dealt. Such is life when you have played for a record number of NBA teams. Brown, who now coaches the D-League's Los Angeles D-Fenders, suited up for 12 teams from 1989-2002, a mark that later would be tied by Tony Massenburg and Jim Jackson. That record, though, is in jeopardy. Oklahoma City reserve point guard Kevin Ollie has been with 11 teams, and a trade of Ollie by the Feb. 18 deadline could make him a part of NBA history.

SLAM ONLINE | " Dimes All Around
[I'm somewhat more of the mind that we're winning more games because everything has improved (well, everything except for Green) -- most notably the defense (improving on zero isn't that hard of course, but that's a huge and very much marked improvement)] Over in the West, though, the Thunder are proving that the future many predicted for them may come sooner than expected. A good amount of experts proclaimed the Thunder to be a contender in the next few years, that is if Kevin Durant lives up to lofty expectations. Only in his third year at age 21, Durant is playing out of his mind and has the Thunder off to an impressive 18-14 start. The rebuilding process in the NBA can be quicker than other leagues–you just need to get lucky by drafting a franchise centerpiece to build around. The Thunder should be thanking their stars that Portland selected Greg Oden instead of the former Longhorn.

66ers Top Flash At Showcase For Fourth Straight - OurSports Central - Independent and Minor League Sports News
Guard Mustafa Shakur scored 24 points and dished out nine assists, while Oklahoma City Thunder assignee D.J. White added his third straight double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, as the Tulsa 66ers defeated the Utah Flash 99-96 at the NBA D-League Showcase in Boise, Idaho.

Where was Pargo? - Inside the Bulls
[It's funny how Pargo is mentioned here. He's yet another of those contracts that makes me scratch my head and look at the Bulls as a confounding team both from a business standpoint (fiscal) and from a basketball product standpoint. Every once in a while I mull upon what Chicago is trying to do over there. And leave confused.] During his first stint with the Bulls a few years ago, Jannero Pargo often entered games like Monday night's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder late and provided an offensive spark. But with the Bulls struggling to score in the third quarter and early in the fourth, coach Vinny Del Negro opted to stay with his three-guard rotation of Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons -- even though were struggling. I would have used Pargo to see if he could hit a couple of three-pointers to get something started. That's why he's on the team, right?

NBA At 2: Aggressive Trade Talks - Basketball News & NBA Rumors -
Russell Westbrook wasn't the top name on anyone's rookie list last season, despite being picked 4th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics, who then became the OKC Thunder. Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley were the media darlings, and Westbrook was happy to stay in the shadows. His rookie season didn't start with a bang, either, though be the end of the season he was starting to look like a very special player and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Now, two months into his second year, Westbrook is recognized as one of the best young point guards in the NBA.

Jeff Green has limped into 2010 and is losing minutes at the moment, as well - ESPN
While Kevin Durant dominates and Russell Westbrook dazzles, Jeff Green is skidding into 2010. Monday in Chicago, Green managed six points and just one rebound while playing a season-low 14 minutes. In his past six games, Green is averaging 9.3 points, 3.8 boards and is shooting 39.3 percent. More significantly, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is showing he won't hesitate to sit Green when he struggles.

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