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Loud Links: 01/07/2010

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If it wasn't obvious enough, All-Star voting is pretty much a terrible indicator of much of anything. That said, Durant is going to end up as an All-Star this year -- just probably not as a starter. Kudos to him in advance. Then we've got all the harping on OKC needing another shooter, and reiterates how we're all looking towards an internal option to fulfill that role (*cough* Harden). And then there are a smattering of other articles for your enjoyment.

American Chronicle | OKC Thunder's Kevin Durant unlikely to be named All-Star starter
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant still could be an All-Star this season. But his chances of being named a starter in the annual mid-February exhibition game are slim. Durant remains fifth in NBA All-Star voting among Western Conference forwards, the league announced Thursday in its fourth and final returns before the game's starters are announced on Jan. 21. The top two vote getters at the forward position will earn starting spots. Durant, with 556,847 votes, trails Denver's Carmelo Anthony by more than one million votes and lags behind Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki (826,130) by more than 250,00 votes. San Antonio's Tim Duncan (776,22 votes) and Los Angles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (754,070) also rank ahead of Durant.

Thunder Fall to Hornets | KSBI Thunder TV | News Sports Radar Weather Cams | Oklahoma City | Sports
The Thunder have been playing great defense during its win streak, but last night Oklahoma City struggled to get stops. New Orleans shot 49 percent from the field on the night adding 19 assists. New Orleans only made seven threes on the night, but seemed to get them at key times. Kevin Durant paced the way for the Thunder scoring 27 points adding five rebounds and three assists. Jeff Green also played solid for Oklahoma City adding 20 points and five rebounds to the total. Russell Westbrook, who has been playing well of late, scored just 11 points but did have nine assists on the night.

Tulsa World: White aims for return to Thunder
"Last year was definitely hard, but being out also made me want it (playing in the NBA) more," White said. "It was a complete shock, but I realize it was a setback and those happen in life. I know I can't make up for lost time, so I have to keep working hard." Once cleared to play, White spent four games with the Tulsa 66ers last year getting back into shape. When he debuted with the Thunder, he made an immediate impact. He accounted for 14 points in 18 minutes of action in his first game and finished strong, recording his first NBA double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds in a season-ending win over the Los Angeles Clippers. "That last game was a great feeling because I thought I might miss the whole season," White said. Now White is fully healed and was reassigned to Tulsa on Dec. 26. Before joining the 66ers, White saw action in eight games for the Thunder, averaging 4.8 points in 9.1 minutes per game.

NBA At 2: Griffin's Return Unknown - Basketball News & NBA Rumors -
There is this myth that keeps being perpetuated that U.S. players haven't done as well in international competitions like the World Championships or the Olympics (up until 2008 in Beijing) because they simply don't care as much. People seem to think the U.S. players don't have that same fierce desire to play for their flag and represent their nation as, say, players from Spain or Argentina. Honestly – do you really believe that? If so, here is exhibit A to change your mind, from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant's own personal blog, in his own words. When I wasn't picked for the last Olympic team I was kind of upset with myself. I thought back to the minicamp and how maybe I could have played harder on one possession. Maybe I could have done a little bit more to be on that team. But it wasn't my time, and hopefully my time is this summer at the World Games. So I'll be praying for it. I know I can go out there and contribute to the team.

Kevin Durant needs an ally, McDyess isn’t done, and more | Dime Magazine ( : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers
After Chris Paul shredded their D for an easy layup with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter, OKC trailed by three. Obviously they would have to go to Kevin Durant, as he’s not only their go-to superstar, but also the only real three-point threat on the court, with James Harden (35% from deep) running a distant second. (True, Durant is shooting 31% on threes this season, but numbers go out the window for true clutch players.) KD had a chance to take a game-tying shot over the shorter Paul, but instead gave it up to Harden before N.O. deflected the ball out of bounds. On OKC’s next chance, Durant couldn’t get open, and Russell Westbrook, Harden and Thabo Sefolosha played hot-potato; it was clear none of them felt comfortable taking the big three. Westbrook missed just before the buzzer and the Hornets closed it out at the line.