Mayberry's post-game notebook following the win against the Rockets. One of the more peculiar things he highlights - Sefolosha grabbed 13 rebounds, while Green grabbed zero. Mayberry also notes the excellent one-on-one matchup that was going on between Durant and Shane Battier (Battier had a few comments about the match-up yesterday). If you weren't able to watch the game, it was exquisite. Battier held Durant to only 17 shots, and aside from a few point blank dunks that Durant had, I don't think he had a wide open jumper all game. And yet, Durant hit 10 shots and scored 30. And so, we have something truly special growing - Battier's defense is causing Durant to raise his level of play. Pretty cool stuff.
Barkley has apparently not held up his end of the bargain to visit OKC, throwing out a few barbs in the process. You can take him seriously, or just realize he's this generation's version of Bill Walton.
Mayberry's post-game report that takes a look at Coach Brooks' ability to refocus his team at halftime. A quick glance at the box score might indicate that the Thunder were down with the same old, same old in the 1st quarter, but I actually liked their intensity this time out. Their undoing was playing a tad bit too relaxed in the last two minutes.
A little of the good, a little of the bad. And as Young highlights, those last 30 seconds - very, very bad.
Not Thunder-related (although as we've laid out, could impact the Thunder), but Simmons weighs in on his take regarding the Carmelo sweepstakes. His arguments have merit, but what it highlights the most for me is how there is a chasm a mile wide between what players think is their best self-interest and what the rest of the world thinks is their best interest.
More links after the jump.
Admit it - your heart was in your throat when, up only two with 20 seconds to go, Shane Battier almost got the steal off of the inbounds play. Game of inches.
The Thunder's D-League team, the Tulsa 66ers, also escaped with a harrowing win during the D-League showcase. The 66ers have now won eight in a row.
Oh, Bleacher Report, how you could desperately use a copy editor. There is in fact a difference between the phrase "phoned in" and "dialed in." Shocking, I know.
For a team like the Thunder, who has been uncanny at closing out close games, there is a team like the Rockets on the other end of the spectrum. They are 4-10 in games decided by six points or less. Also, an apt quote from the reporter:
For those that wonder why Daryl Morey is still chasing a trade for Carmelo Anthony when it is such a long shot, the Thunder's fourth-quarter combination of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant should offer a vivid example of what the Rockets lack. The Rockets did not lose because they lack stars. They lost because they lack defense. The Thunder won, however, because they do have stars.
This is a pretty compelling story about 27 year old police officer Katie Lawson, who was shot multiple times in the line of duty.