WTLC Daily Loud Links: Monday November 18, 2013

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Various and sundry from around the league as we kick off a new week.

The Thunder got back on the winning trail Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, and tonight they take on the Denver Nuggets, who are also in a bit of a rebuild mode. No matter; one thing for certain is that OKC vs Denver is always an entertaining affair, so let us prepare for it by checking out what is going on around the NBA.

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Darnell Mayberry writes that Serge Ibaka is finally getting his groove going after 2 shaky performances to start off the season. We knew that his shot would eventually come around, but what impresses me most is the work he's been doing on the boards.

After shooting just 27.5 percent and failing to score in double digits in his first three games, Ibaka appears to be figuring out how to be a consistent force. More importantly, the production he's given the Thunder in these past five games has provided a reason to believe Ibaka can blossom into the third scorer the Thunder sought and sorely needed coming into this season.

Are the Thunder displaying a bit more attitude this season?

Are the Thunder players a bit more edgy than last season? Westbrook got ejected on Sunday for pushing against Washington. Ibaka got tossed Wednesday against Los Angeles and then Durant mixed it up with Andrew Bogut of Golden State late in the second quarter Thursday.

Not mentioned in this post - Nene Hilario, Matt Barnes, or the fact that Durant accumulated 12 techs last year.

Saturday night's win over the Bucks wasn't pretty, but OKC finally did what was necessary to push themselves to a double-digit win. I understand that sometimes a team will play to the level of competition, but I was satisfied in how the Thunder eventually pushed forward. Mayberry writes:

But the fourth quarter was the key. The Thunder hounded the Bucks into four turnovers and five missed shots on their first nine possessions. It turned a seven-point lead after three quarters into a 12-point advantage.

The Loss of Cool. If you think the Thunder have had to undergo some radical changes in their team identity this past season, you need to check out Jeffrey Morton's piece here.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. If you don't get Hickory High's title reference, well then you'd best get educated on the topic. Do the Brooklyn Nets actually have a shot to finish sub- .500?

The hair of the dog - the Indiana Pacers finally get un-did by the Chicago Bulls, thus knocking the final NBA team from the rankings of the undefeated. 8 Points, 9 Seconds examines how it happened.

I know the loss is still a bitter pill, but in reflection I hope that we can agree that last week's Thunder-Warriors spectacle was something special. Chris Ryan begs the basketball gods to let this be our Western Conference Final, and that sounds all right with me. Also all right with me - this GIF:

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That's right dot-com dude, pull that arm back in there inconspicuously and hope that paying top dollar to get on the court didn't inadvertently set you up for the whole TV- watching world to see you get left hanging.

Lastly, Pearl Jam's front man Eddie Vedder attempted to make peace with the citizens of OKC:

Then, with Ament sporting a Seattle jersey with "Durant 35″ stitched across the back, Vedder made peace with the Thunder, but slyly winking throughout.

I think I'll still take Chris Cornell.

More from Welcome to Loud City:


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