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Loud Links: 12/17/2009

So the recap of the news for the last day is headlined by the loss to the Mavs along with KD's Creamsicle shoes. Then we have another Oden/Durant article, some snippets of news from John Hollinger, an article noting how oddly troubling this three-game losing streak is, and other stuff. Read on!

Durant's shoes only bright part of his game against Dallas Mavericks |
OKLAHOMA CITY – It was a night of orange shoes for Kevin Durant. But his footwear was the only hot thing he had going Wednesday night. The former Texas Longhorns star has never had a seriously strong game against the Mavericks, and they continued to befuddle him in the form of a 4-of-18 shooting night in the Mavericks' 100-86 win.

Kevin Durant’s KD2 Creamsicles |
Yesterday against the Mavs, Kevin Durant debuted the outrageous "Creamsicle" colorway of his second shoe in the KD signature line, the KD2. The flashy kicks boast an all orange upper with a hint of "Oklahoma Thunder" blue on the swoosh and forefoot strap. Nike Basketball blessed other players on the squad with the Creamsicles as well so that the Thunder could style in sync. Unfortunately it takes more than footwear solidarity to get a W, as Dallas went on to win the game.

Durant Struggles; Thunder Fall |
There were some bright spots for the Thunder as Jeff Green finished the game with 15 points and 11 rebounds, however all of those points came in the third quarter. The bench played well for the Thunder, a component of the team that has struggled for the most part this season. Nick Collison, James Harden and Serge Ibaka combined for 26 points and each added six rebounds to give the Thunder a boost keeping the team in the game for three quarters.

ESPN: Chat with John Hollinger |
I think the Hornets and Thunder will be the two that don't get in, with Portland just squeaking into #8. I really like OKC and they're WAY ahead of schedule defensively, but their lack of depth scares me and at some point in the next 50 games I think it will come back to bite them.

Draft picks are destiny’s children |
There are so many examples of teams making the wrong choice between players that it almost does not even qualify as a legitimate debate to use hindsight to evaluate the draft order of players in the NBA. With that being said, basketball fans in Portland should at least consider the possibility that their team made a mistake in selecting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. The two players are forever linked because they were in the same NBA draft year. Oden was the incumbent star of his draft year, while Durant came out of nowhere to be one of the top players in the NCAA in 2006-07.

Storm clouds over Thunder |
Well, things are pretty sour right now for the Thunder, and coach Scott Brooks didn’t hesitate in going to the well following his team’s 100-86 loss to Dallas on Wednesday at the Ford Center. "I said a couple of games ago that we were going to have some ups and some downs during the year," Brooks said. "We’re no different than any other team. And we’re in a little bit of a rut right now."

OKC Thunder players, SandRidge employees deliver shoes, cheer to students |
National Basketball Association’s Oklahoma City Thunder players Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison along with SandRidge Energy employees gave away Nike athletic shoes to Dunbar Elementary students Dec. 17.