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OKC Loud Links: Where Talking About NBA Games Happens

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The lockout business is fading into distant memory, while irrational thought toward overpriced acquisitions abounds. It's good to have the NBA back, isn't it?

The More Westbrook, the Better | Daily Thunder

Young writes about Russell Westbrook's true contributions to the Thunder team, and those contributions are considerable. As we've mentioned here in the past, despite Westbrook's notable struggles, he is still the difference between OKC being a playoff team and a championship-contending team. More Westbrook = better team. The reason is of course because the honey badger is an absolute terror to try to match up against.

Teams, Free Agents Can Talk Today | CBS Sports

Here comes the tidal wave.

Lockout Cost OKC $18 Million | NewsOK

Rhode writes that Oklahoma City has a hefty estimate of how much it lost during the two weeks of missed season.

Season Preview Sets: Part 1 | The Basketball Jones

Pruiti offers up some new season dishes and begins to break down each team's best plays that they run out of time-outs.

Thunder Not Pursuing Battier Yet? | Daily Thunder

Young has it right - OKC should pursue Shane Battier, but only if they can get him at their price. If not, they need to walk away. Isn't that the basis for all good investing?

Stars Act Like Stars Because They Are | ESPN

Abbott gives us a reality check in the way the world works.

NBA Sets 5 Game Christmas Slate | CBS Sports

Merry Christmas, OKC residents. You get an opening night NBA game in your home town.

Lineup Optimization: The Search for Rigid Flexibility | Hickory High

Levy is back with another chapter to add to his lineup optimization study. If we think back to last year, many of us were frustrated at Scott Brooks' seeming unwillingness to change his lineup, even when it seemed fatal not to do so. We never ask ourselves the question though, what if he were a tinkerer rather than rigid in his rotation? How might that have undermined the entire team's foundation?

The First Day of NBA Christmas | Grantland

Simmons writes that it is just a matter of time before the bad contract ink starts to flow again.

More links after the jump.

New Qualifying Offer Shenanigans | Wages of Wins

I'm always up for more shenanigans.

Who Does a Compressed Season Help? | Gothic Ginobili

You like spreadsheets, right?

These Are Moments: Toronto Raptors | Hardwood Hype

I feel for our Raptor friends. It must be incredibly conflicting knowing that some of your greatest moments are held captive by the player you hate the most.

Deal Expected To Pass, But Not Without Drama | CBS Sports

A new CBA still has to be signed, and there are some jots and tittles that need to be addressed.

Dwyane Wade's New "Flight" Video | CBS Sports

I dunno...I kind of like it, especially with the defensive focus.