Ladies and Gents, 4D reporting for duty! I've been scouring the internet to provide you with some Thunder-related goodness. Maybe it should be "possible" Thunder- related goodness, since most of today's links are about possible draftees. One quick quote before we get started. The Maloof brothers just spoke about a discussion they had with President Obama:
"Phil asked him (Obama) who we (the Maloof-owned Sacramento Kings) should take in the NBA draft," George Maloof said. "He liked Blake Griffin, of course; (Hasheem) Thabeet from Connecticut and he loved the kid from Memphis -- Tyreke Evans,"
So, if President Obama is okay with Thabeet, maybe we should give the kid a chance? I dunno, maybe the President is biased against Spaniards? So without further ado, let the Loud Links begin!
Jrue Holiday: "I'm a Floor General"
Draftexpress | Joey Whelan | May 28, 2009... I’m really trying to improve my jump shot because people don’t think I have one. You can always improve ball handling too. I’m working on being able to shoot coming off of screens and just making better decisions. Being at these workouts isn’t always 1-on-1 stuff, there’s going to be 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, so it’s important to make smart decisions.
NBA teams scope out prospects in Chicago
The Sacramento Bee | Sam Amick | May 28, 2009... Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, the consensus No. 1 pick, is here like most of the big-name prospects for the June 25 draft in New York. He will be weighed, measured, asked to jump and perform agility drills. And he will be interviewed, which is perhaps this event's most relevant aspect in its current structure. Teams can request 18 interviews, as they try to learn more about each player's mental makeup while conducting the session in a hotel room.
Draft Offers Quality Far Beyond No. 1
Thunder.com | Chris Silva | May 27, 2009... As far as point guards go, there’s Orlando’s Rafer Alston, who was the 39th pick of the 1998 draft. Through the first four games of the Eastern Conference Finals, he’s easily outplayed his counterpart, Cleveland’s Mo Williams, who garnered attention for guaranteeing a Cavs’ trip to the NBA Finals. Williams, by the way, was drafted 47th in the 2003 draft, and was widely considered one of the biggest acquisitions of last summer.
Examining Birdman and other playoff anti-heroes
Fox Sports | Randy Hill | May 28, 2009... The Nuggets' Birdman looks something like a prehistoric peacock in the midst of a sartorial crisis. After serving a two-year suspension for violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, Andersen has carved out a niche as a poor man's Dennis Rodman. While earning the nod for hero in Denver, he's a real villain to Lakers fans who've been witnessing "Birdman" flying around for rebounds and dunks while the big guys they're supporting remain ground-bound.
Some telling stats for Russell Westbrook and his point guard-ness
Daily Thunder | Royce | May 27, 2009... Now it’s easier for a point guard to take shots early in the clock, because they have the ball first. But Russ taking so many shots early shows his “shoot first, pass later” mentality. It’s something that he absolutely has to overcome if he wants to be a successful point guard in this league. I thought the last month and half he was much, much better at looking to set his teammates up first and looking to shoot later, but he sacrificed his ability to score and his efficiency numbers took a hit. He’s a scoring point guard, whichever way you want to look at it. But he can also be a guy that makes players better around him too.
Will Birdman fly south to OKC?
Daily Oklahoman | Berry Tramel | May 28, 2009... The Birdman is just what the Thunder needs, an interior defensive presence. Despite making just one start and averaging just 20.6 minutes per game, the Birdman placed second in the league in blocked shots, his 2.5 per game trailing only Dwight Howard’s 2.9.
Is Jrue Holiday a Top 5 Pick?
Hoopsworld | Alex Raskin | May 28, 2009... Prior to landing a pick in Ricky Rubio territory (third overall), the Thunder were rumored to be enamoured with Holiday's play. When I spoke with Head Coach Scott Brooks about the possibility of moving Russell Westbrook to create a two-point guard offense, he seemed very open to it. The people who have Holiday lower on the draft boards are probably skeptical of his outside shot (he made only 30% of his 3-pointers at UCLA) and equally concerned about his poor assist to turnover ratio (1.72).
Ex-OCS star preps for NBA
Edmond Life and Leisure | Steve Gust | May 28, 2009... Earlier in the day, Griffin appeared on ESPN in an interview and was again his humble self, somewhat stunning the interviewer calling him "Sir." The prospect of further fame, endorsement deals and eight and nine digit salaries haven't changed the former Edmond basketball player. He's still the son of Gail and Tommy Griffin and younger brother of Taylor, who he played with at both OCS and OU.
Tyson Chandler has surgery for injuries
Associated Press | May 27, 2009... The New Orleans Hornets say center Tyson Chandler and forward James Posey both had successful surgeries for their injuries. Team spokesman Dennis Rogers said late Tuesday that Chandler had a procedure on his left ankle to relieve inflammation and another on his left toe.
Gortat Pricing Himself Out of Orlando?
Hoopsworld | Jason Fleming | May 26, 2009... But what about Gortat? He was a forgotten man much of the season, playing just 12.6 minutes in 63 games (after just six games as a rookie) and averaging 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds on 57% shooting. Those are solid numbers in those minutes, and the Magic liked what they saw enough to want to keep him, but they were hoping Gortat could slide under the radar and they could lock him up for a few years at minimal dollars.