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Loud Links: 12/15/2009

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So today we have articles on Westbrook's well-documented turnover struggles (as well as all the positives) from, the usual articles from our last few games against the Cavs and the Nuggets, stuff comparing Durant to the rest of the top-tier talent in terms of three-point shooting, and much more. Westbrook taking his lumps as he learns point guard trade |
[Yes, same stuff. Glad even Westbrook realizes he's making turnovers. Too bad he's also quoted with the whole, "But other people make just as many turnovers as I do" bit. Comparing to others regarding your own area of weakness is stupid -- fix it rather than explaining why it's not that terrible ... sheesh] Make the basic pass, Scott Brooks tells Russell Westbrook. Westbrook listens and understands and even agrees. "The simple play is always best," he says at another time, when Brooks is not around. This has been going on for months. Brooks using his background to teach Westbrook, and the risky decision playing out. The final major act of the Seattle SuperSonics -- before the most major act of hitting the lights -- was to use the fourth choice in the 2008 draft on a point guard who had never really been a point guard.

Cavaliers: Mo's halfcourt shot had full effect - The News-Herald Sports : Breaking news coverage for Northern Ohio
[Okay, that shot was great, but I don't know if Mo Williams felt any sort of "arrogance" go out of the arena. What the heck was he referencing here? I'm totally lost. Really.] When Mo Williams' 48-foot, halfcourt shot dropped through the hoop on Sunday night, he said he could feel it deflate the Oklahoma City Thunder. "You could feel the arrogance go out of the whole arena and the bench," the Cavaliers' point guard said. "You just feel it. 'Ahhhhhh.' "

Nuggets storm past Thunder |
Oklahoma City Thunder (12-10) came into Denver (17-7) on Monday night looking to ride their star, Kevin Durant, who has become the leading active scorer against the Nuggets, but left instead with a 102-93 loss. Durant is only 21 and is also the third-leading scorer in the NBA. Oklahoma City is a young, up and coming team. They are a good road team, as they are one of three teams in the Western Conference with a winning road record. They came in sitting in fourth place in the Northwestern Division and four games behind Denver.

Durant, Wade scoring big, but not from way downtown |
[The later point noted in this article is probably more important -- it's how good of a three-point shot it was that was attempted. That counts for something too.] Two of the NBA's most prolific scorers, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, are shooting blanks from long distance. Durant, third in scoring average (28.3 points), and Wade, sixth (27), are among the worst three-point shooters who qualify for the statistic. They are well below the NBA average of 35%. Wade is last at 24.1% (19-for-79) and Durant sixth-worst at 28.1% (27-for-96) through Sunday.

Durant turns focus from hoops to holidays |
"That's all it takes. We have a busy schedule but we might be off one day," said Durant, who kept tight-lipped about plans to unveil his new Nike sneakers on Wednesday night. "This is the perfect time to help, especially around this time of the year. Whenever we can give back to the community, that's what we do." A constant stream of people willing to help out kept Durant signing autographs and smiling for the camera for two solid hours, with a line of bags filled with donated gifts eventually spilling out of a back room and into the main area where Durant was seated. "We've been meeting with all the families that have been coming through today wanting to provide Christmas and meet Kevin Durant. They get the thrill of meeting a superstar, and our kids get to have a holiday that they'll remember," said Kelli Dupuy, director of marketing and development for Sunbeam. "It's really a win-win."

NBA teams with their stocking stuffed early |
Oklahoma City Thunder: Last year Kevin Durant statistically hurt his team when he was on the floor, having an exceptionally poor PER. This year he has made one of the biggest turn-arounds the NBA has ever seen and, in doing so, has put his team in great position to make the playoffs. Happy Holidays, OKC.

Carmelo Anthony lights up Thunder |
The NBA’s second-youngest team looked like it was still suffering from a hangover from LeBron James’ dazzling 44-point game and Mo Williams memorable half-court 3-pointer Sunday night as Cleveland beat Oklahoma City in the Ford Center. "We learn so many things about ourselves every game," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "From tonight’s game, we learned we have to come out with energy to start the game. I didn’t think we did. We got away with it in the first quarter.

Mavericks-Thunder Preview |
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have made big strides this season after posting one of the worst records in the NBA in 2008-09. Their last two games, however, showed that they still have a ways to go. Durant and the Thunder will try to contain Dirk Nowitzki, who had two 40-point performances against them last season, when they host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.