WTLC Daily Loud Links: Friday November 22, 2013

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder head into the weekend wrapping up a strong series of games. Check out what people around the league are saying about the team.

Various and sundry from around the league.

Darnell Mayberry initiates his post game nuggets with a bit of surprise:

Can’t say I saw that coming…

Perhaps nobody did, but I can't say that the performance is surprising. In fact, that is kind of what we expect from the Thunder.

After initiating with some turrible Jay-Z references, Royce Young gets to the meat of last night's game:

It was a thorough performance by the entire team, and maybe most positively, it wasn’t just about Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant being spectacular. Durant was, scoring 28 on 10-19 with eight assists and six rebounds, but Westbrook struggled a little offensively, scoring just 12 on 5-13 shooting with five assists. Enter Serge Ibaka, who was tremendous in staring down Blake Griffin, scoring 17 on 8-10 shooting with five rebounds and three blocks. Reggie Jackson was excellent with nine points and three assists in 21 minutes off the bench. Jeremy Lamb knocked down a few second half jumpers, scoring 11 on 5-10 shooting in 20 minutes. Steven Adams was strong — literally and metaphorically — pulling in seven rebounds with three blocks and six points in 24 minutes.

At the flagship, Young expounds some more on the Thunder's 2nd unit. He notes that what is most important is that they are not the weak link for the team:

But in the Thunder's win, OKC's second unit was the one doing the damage and extending leads. The Thunder led the game wire-to-wire, but the Clippers made a few pushes, threatening to make it close. Reggie Jackson answered those pushes with a couple of finishes in the paint and Jeremy Lamb splashed pretty jumpers off of pindowns. In total, OKC's bench accounted for 35 points, which is good, but the real impact can be found in these numbers: plus-9, plus-10, plus-11 and plus-14, the plus/minus for the Thunder's four key bench contributors -- Lamb, Steven Adams, Derek Fisher and Jackson, respectively.

If you read nothing else today, read this. The Denver Stiffs get some amazing inside access to the Nuggets' analytics guy, Tommy Balcetis. Not only is this some amazing insider kind of detail about how teams use analytics, it is also a big time step forward for our SB Nation network as we strive to provide you with facets of the game you won't find anywhere else.

In the NBA, as in life, the middle class is everything. Superstars get their coin. Young players and aging veterans get their piece of the pie. The key to long term success though is how each team manages all of the guys who want to be able to justify a bigger payday than their play warrants.  Hickory High digs in.

Apparently the New Zealand national team wants Kendrick Perkins to play for them. Are we going to see a foreign exchange student kind of thing?

Adorable of the Day: a Chicago Bulls young fan decides to give Derrick Rose a report card of how he is performing so far this season.

Lastly, courtesy Ben Golliver, Byron Mullens leaves Kiwi Strong hanging, so Steven Adams gives himself a handshake.


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