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Afternoon Loud Links 1|19|11

Rematch against the Nuggets tonight, this time with a potentially distracted Carmelo Anthony. Get ready, everyone.

You too, Kevin. I'm as big a fan of the Avengers as the next guy but uh...TMI.

Kevin Durant | Twitter

Grading the Thunder Players | NewsOK

Mayberry evaluates the each of the Thunder players. Royal Ivey: A+!

Thunder is Winning, But Not the Way It Wants To | NewsOK

Mayberry takes a look at how most of the Thunder wins have not come by way of their constant mantra: DEFENSE. The team isn't going to change its spots in the 2nd half of the season, but there are places where things can be improved marginally.

The NBA Age Limit, Does It Work | Bleacher Report

A good analysis on the impact the NBA's age limit has had on the NBA during the past five years. My only quibble with the piece is the question raised as to whether or not it violates a person's right to seek employment. This question has no bearing on the situation at all. Federal courts have consistently held that a pro sports league has the right to contract with its players' union and set mandatory age limits as part of its collective bargaining agreement. This law was settled in the second circuit by Judge Sonia Sotomayor (now on the Supreme Court) a few years back when NFL prospect Maurice Clarette tried to enter the NFL draft early. Certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court. 

More links after the jump.

Lakers Show Void in OKC Halfcourt Offense | NewsOK

Trammel suggests that it was more offense than defense that cost the Thunder the game against the Lakers. His cure - play Eric Maynor and Russell Westbrook in the backcourt together. Not a bad idea, since Sefolosha is practically invisible on offense at this point.

Backing Up the NBA Moving Trucks Never a Good Thing |

A brief look at the cities who may be looking at receiving a new NBA franchise.

Westbrook the Best Point Guard in the NBA | Bleacher Report

An argument that so far this season, Westbrook is the best at the PG spot. I'd probably argue for a few other guys ahead of him, but one thing is certain; the NBA is truly blessed with a ton of talent at the 1-spot.

Who is the MVP of the Thunder? | Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report follows up its Westbrook argument with a look at who has been most valuable to the Thunder this season. I'd probably argue that it has been Westbrook, but for the team to succeed, the long-term answer has to be Durant.

Thunder Shows How Rebuilding Is Done | Denver Post

'Melo is going somewhere soon. And when he does, the Nuggets' season of rebuilding immediately begins. The Post points toward the Thunder for lessons on how to rebound without abandoning your principles or your fan base.

Catching Up With Cole |

A good Q&A with Aldrich, where Cole reflects on his time in the NBA, how it differs from college at Kansas, and where he thinks his future is headed.