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Loud Links: 12/01/2009

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The big news of the day is that Hardin is headed to the D-League. And some other roster movement updates -- Collison might return for the next game and Livingston might be ahead of schedule. And more people are starting to take note of Ibaka. All of which are good things!

Thunder draft pick Hardin headed to D-League |
[Highlight of the day. Good to see Hardin get in some solid playing/development time.] TULSA, Okla. (AP) � DeVon Hardin, a second-round pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, has joined the team's NBA development league affiliate in Tulsa. Hardin played overseas after being drafted 50th overall by the Thunder last year. He has yet to play in the NBA, but was included in a trade to the New Orleans Hornets last year that was later rescinded when Tyson Chandler failed a physical.

Thunder notebook: Nick Collison could return tonight against Philadelphia |
[Yay, good news. I'm more interested in seeing Livingston or Weaver make it back earlier though. But either way -- potentially good news all around!] "As long as I don’t get any swelling or pain through the night or shootaround I’m going to try and go," Collison said. "It’s still day-to-day. As of now I feel good about it.

Roundup: Sergio Rodriguez’s career-high, Serge Ibaka |
Serge Ibaka, a 6-10 center from the Congo has been receiving consistent minutes in the last several games for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Outside of one DNP, the first year player that was drafted with the 24th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, has averaged 21 minutes in the last five games. Ibaka recorded career highs of 11 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks in 31 minutes during the Thunder’s 101-85 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

More after the jump!

76ers-Thunder Preview |
[Yes, yes the whole Iverson ordeal. Honestly, whatever. It'll be a fun game regardless, but you can bet the game visibility will go through the roof if this works itself out in time.] The Philadelphia 76ers could be on the verge of welcoming back one of the best players in their history. There will be no reinforcements coming, however, before the team takes the court trying to avoid its first eight-game losing streak since Allen Iverson's acrimonious departure three years ago. With Iverson mulling a one-year contract offer from his former club, the 76ers look to end their skid Wednesday night when they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Landry Powers Rockets Past OKC |
[Right, so lets recap for the millionth time just how the Rockets went about winning against us. Wait ... we already did that on this very blog.] Aaron Brooks scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half, Carl Landry had 21 points and 10 rebounds after replacing injured Luis Scola and the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-91 on Sunday night.

Moreau: The Education Of Jennings |
[Jennings is going to have to start adapting. This is a good article highlighting how easy it is to come out and score in bundles ... only to get stopped cold once teams adapt. Welcome to the NBA Jennings!] The Thunder picked up between the circles with Russell Westbrook and went behind almost every ballscreen, often switching the action – leaving longer, taller defenders like Kevin Durant and Jeff Green contesting. They backed off, didn't get greedy, and used their length to contest. Jennings missed most of his mid-range attempts. Westbrook had a block on a Jennings lay-up attempt at the rim.

Thunder Head Into December |
[Thunder? Defense? Two words that absolutely didn't go together last season. It's nice to see that slowly start to change ...] Oklahoma City has firmly established itself as a solid defensive outfit that is in the NBA's top ten in seven, count 'em SEVEN important categories. With that it has positioned itself in a pack of teams like Houston, New Orleans, the L.A. Clippers, Utah and Sacramento who could well be jostling for the Western Conference's seventh and eighth playoff positions. That reality is the unspoken one within the ranks of the Thunder, which is a healthy thing. One of the key elements in this team's continued growth and development is a 'nose to the grind-stone', 'focus on improving everyday' approach. So far it's working beautifully.