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Loud Links | 11.17.2009

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So today's links are going to be a tad haphazard, what with the game ongoing as I throw this up. Nonetheless ... what's new for the day? For one, lots of stuff harping on how OKC isn't ready for the big stage. You know -- getting trampled by the Clippers was .. well, to put it another way -- who gets destroyed by the Clippers (or more importantly, the Kings)? There's also news regarding Livingston's knee (which was noted earlier on here by ElectricPencils), stuff from some of our recent opponents detailing their success against us, an article on Kevin Ollie, stuff on Beasley's relationship with Durant, and more. We're going to start with Kevin Ollie, since it was the most interesting one to read (at least for me).

Kevin Ollie: From Player to Coach? | hoopsworld.com
[With the way Westbrook is playing, I'm starting to wonder if Ollie can possibly do any worse (okay, joking here) ... then again mayhap we can blame his terrible coaching ...] Westbrook and Ollie have already developed a special relationship based on mutual respect. "I've learned from him and he's learned from me. I that's the big thing, we trust one another," says Ollie. "I know I'm here for him, for his best interests and he does the same for me. Anything he sees that I'm doing wrong, he's able to come up to me, and it's the same way [that I help him]."

Kevin Durant is still rooting for Michael Beasley | NewsOK.com
[Interesting story, since we don't often get any sort of information from this sort of angle.] "I didn’t want to be the guy that said the same things everybody else had said," Durant said. "So I just prayed for him. That’s all I could do because I didn’t know what to tell him." Durant does know how close Beasley came to not being here, in sound mind and spirit as his Miami Heat gears up to take on the Thunder tonight at American Airlines Arena. That’s why, for Durant, tonight’s contest will take on greater significance.

More after the jump.

Thunder's Shaun Livingston to have knee surgery | NewsOK.com
[So here's the first of three news releases regarding Livingston's knee.] "Recently, Shaun has experienced an increase in swelling following activity," said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. "Although his knee is structurally sound, after consulting with the Thunder medical staff and Dr. James Andrews, it was determined that the best course of action was to perform a minor procedure to resolve the swelling and allow Shaun to continue full activity in the coming weeks."

Thunder's Livingston has staples removed from surgically repaired left knee | The Canadian Press
[Part 2.] "Everything went well," coach Scott Brooks said before the Thunder played the Heat in Miami. "It was minor surgery." Brooks said there's no timetable for the return of Livingston, who has spent nearly three years trying to recover from tearing three ligaments in an ugly spill during a game in February 2007.

Thunder's Livingston to have knee staples removed | SI.com
[And ... Part 3.] OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -Oklahoma City forward Shaun Livingston was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to remove staples from an earlier procedure on his left knee. No timetable for his return has been set. Livingston had the knee rebuilt after he tore three ligaments during a gruesome spill in a February 2007 game. Dr. James Andrews, who performed the earlier procedure, was scheduled to handle his operation Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala.

Thunder notebook: Scott Brooks pleased but not satisfied 10 games in | NewsOK.com
[Yeah, obviously you're not so happy when you lose to the Kings and the Clippers. I wouldn't be either. I like how these articles sometimes state the obvious.] Thunder coach Scott Brooks refused to say he was content with the Thunder’s 5-5 record through 10 games, but he does see progress in his team. "I wouldn’t use the word happy, but I like what we’ve done," Brook said. "We went into training camp and focused on defense, and I see that being pretty consistent...And guys are giving effort. I can’t complain about the effort."

OffshoreInsiders | Sports Betting Picks
[I guess we'll see right?] The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat will both be gunning for a victory on Tuesday when they meet at AmericanAirlines Arena. Oddsmakers currently have the Heat listed as 5-point favorites versus the Thunder, while the game’s total has not yet been posted.

Al Thornton weighs in on woes | latimes.com
[In case you wanted a reminder of ultimate failure ... here's what the Clipper's are saying. I'm not sure it was so much Thorton doing anything, but rather the Thunder playing terribly. Perhaps both?] Thornton's most complete game came Sunday, when he scored a season-high 20 points in the Clippers' 101-93 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which ended the team's three-game losing streak. The scoring was one thing but his teammates noticed his focused aggressiveness. One play, in particular, stood out for Marcus Camby.

The Orlando Magic remember their loss to Oklahoma City Thunder well | Orlando Sentinel
How couldn't they remember? The defeat occurred just nine days ago, and Thunder humiliated them 102-74. The Thunder shot 57.1 percent from the field, while the Magic managed to shoot just 36.8 percent. The Thunder also out-rebounded the Magic 45 to 30, although that's a bit misleading when you consider that Oklahoma City made so many more shots, giving the Magic fewer misses to collect on their defensive end.

Game #10: Oklahoma City Thunder (5-5) vs. Miami Heat (7-2) | Peninsula is Mightier
Durant leads a promising but underachieving young core for Oklahoma City. In just 3 short years he has become one of the more exciting swingmen in the league and will be a handful for Quentin Richardson, who is more then likely going to draw Durant as a defensive assignment. In 10 games this year he is averaging 28.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing in over 40 minutes a game. He's 5th in the NBA in scoring just 1.6 points behind Dwyane Wade who sits in 4th.

Page 2 — NBA Week 3 Power Rankings | BetUS Locker Room
13. Oklahoma City Thunder 6-4 (up 4) The Thunder have future all-star-quality players at point guard, shooting guard and both forward positions, not to mention the fact that center Nenad Kristic is also a very impressive player. The Thunder beat the Spurs this past week, but followed that also split games with the Clippers to move up four spots.

Vote: Who is the NBA's best player under the age of 23? | Orlando Sentinel
[So of course an Orlando Sentinel article thinks Howard is the best under 23 player. I love polls like that ...] Led by 21-year-old Kevin Durant and 21-year-old Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder will play the Orlando Magic tomorrow night at Amway Arena. That leads me to ask a simple question: Who is the NBA's best player under the age of 23? I chose that number because Dwight Howard is 23, and he's already an All-NBA first-team player.