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OKC Loud Links: Sweet, Sweet (Pre-Season) Basketball

The Thunder were finally back in NBA-sanctioned action last night, defeating the world champion Mavericks in convincing fashion. While the actual outcome tells us very little, since both Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd sat out this game, it is still a useful lens for us to start peering through the looking glass. The two teams meet up again in two days for their second and final pre-season game. Let's hope both teams give us at least a quarter of full strength basketball so we can fill in the picture a little better.

Thunder-Mavericks Post-Game Nuggets | NewsOK

Welcome back, Mayberry's post-game nuggets. How I have missed you so.

Five Thoughts From OKC's First Pre-Season Game | Daily Thunder

Young notes that the starting lineup remained the same. He thinks that James Harden still might be the starter, but knowing Scott Brooks, at this point I'm going to wager, 'no.'

Mavs' Post-Game Quotes | Mavs Moneyball

One of my favorite Mavericks post-game themed posts returns. My favorite lol-Mavs pic from their post is after the jump.

The Inside Story of the Rare MegaDeal |

This fine piece of journalism is a perfect reason why Aldridge is one of the best.

How to Get Kevin Durant Open | HoopSpeak

Mason writes another great piece on the Thunder's offensive system, this time pointing out that if Kevin Durant learns to make better screens, he'll find the space he needs to operate.

Chris Paul Deal: Instructively Infuriating | ESPN

Wilbon reminds us that in the end, there were more unhappy parties as a result of the Chris Paul trade than contented parties.

How CP3 Will Make Jordan Better | Off the Dribble

Much of our Clippers focus has been on the future play of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but DeAndre Jordan too stands to benefit greatly from Paul's influence.

Kobe: Looking Forward to CP3 Rivalry | Ball Don't Lie

It will be especially enjoyable when Blake Griffin dunks on White Mamba's head.

Did Stern Lie to Rockets Re: Chris Paul? | SB Nation

Sharp digs in to find out how both the Rockets and the Lakers were hurt not only by the trade that wasn't, but by accusations of dishonesty coming from the league office.

New Heat Offense Could Create Defensive Vulnerabilities | HoopSpeak

This good post, which juxtaposes a more dynamic offense with the potential slippage in defense, reminds me of a conversation that Bobby Knight once had with former Trail Blazers GM Stu Inman. Knight was trying to convince Inman to draft a young player named Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Inman already had Clyde Drexler on his roster, and so he told Knight that he didn't need Jordan, he needed a center.

Bobby Knight: "Then draft Jordan and play him at center!"

Season Preview: Northwest Division | Behind the Basket

All told, if the Timberwolves can get a bit more competitive, the Northwest should be an exceptionally enjoyable division to watch.

Hello, Ricky Rubio | SB Nation

I really, truly hope Ricky Rubio works out. The Timberwolves could use a bit of good mojo.

More links after the jump.

Shiny Objects | HoopSpeak

Nice use of Veruca Salt, Zach.

Jeff Green Tweets About Lost Season | CBS Sports

Jeff Green thanked his supporters and promises to be back next year.

Gordon, Kaman, Aminu Super Happy to be Hornets | SB Nation

You can practically feel the New Orleans energy seeping through their pores.

Why Hasn't Anyone Signed Kris Humphries? | Wages of Wins

It's a realistic question, since most grown men like to make fun of their whipped contemporaries to their face.

Nick Young Signs Qualifying Offer | Bullets Forever

This may be the first time that I've ever heard the ideas "lose-lose" and "probably the right move" in the same narrative. That indeed is the Nick Young experience.

Chauncey and Mo: Two Cats, One Court | Hardwood Paroxysm

Suddenly, the Clippers have a 2-guard problem.

Grizzlies' Arthur Suffers Injury | CBS Sports

Probably the only team other than the Thunder who were super-excited to get this season started was the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately, it looks like they have lost one of their key front-court players for the season.