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Loud Links 4|1|11

We have finally reached the final month of this long and windy season. The Thunder sit at 50-24, a mere eight games remaining on the schedule. The team has several very good tests to see how they stack up against future playoff teams. It begins with the Blazers tonight, and in the near future the Nuggets and Lakers loom. I personally can't wait to see how Kevin Durant responds to last game's thrashing by Gerald Wallace.

Westbrook is Shooting What Percent? | NewsOK

Here is a look, both playful and serious, at Russell Westbrook's 3-point game. What I really like the most about his shooting is his overall discretion for the shot. He knows that he can knock it down when necessary, but Westbrook also knows that it is the weakest part of his game. He'll raise up and knock it down when he has to, but only when the situation calls for it.

Comparing March Madness Resumes of the Thunder and Their Opponents | Daily Thunder

Here is a great look at the pedigree of the Thunder players to show how many of them had success in the NCAA tournament. 

Kevin Garnett's Metaphors | CelticsHub

This is just delightful. I'm now eagerly awaiting for Kendrick Perkins to start comparing himself to a poached egg or a battle-unicorn.

A Bizarre and Wild Fight Between the Lakers and Mavericks | Ball Don't Lie

Last night's big match-up between the Lakers and Mavericks turned into a mis-match midway through the 3rd, and then got ugly in the 4th. You might be shocked to hear that Matt Barnes was involved. If you're into this sort of thing, check out Mavs Moneyball for the full lowdown.

More links after the jump.

The Last Time George Karl Had a Killer Defense...| Hoopspeak

Part of the Nuggets' big turnaround this season has been their renewed commitment to team defense, something that the Thunder will likely be encountering at least six more times this season. 

Darryl Dawkins Q&A | SLAM

If you're a youngster in following the NBA, the name "Chocolate Thunder" might not have much meaning to you. However, I would encourage you to learn about the legend of Darryl Dawkins. It is a story worth telling. 

Lakers Privately Admit They'd Like to Avoid Portland, Memphis | ProBasketballTalk

I'm surprised that the Lakers are concerned about Portland, since they'd match up favorably. Memphis though has got to be scaring everyone because they just seem to have a knack for staying in games and then making winning plays in the end. The Thunder, 3-1 against the Grizzlies, know this all too well.

Rose for MVP Support is Insult to Chris Paul | At the Hive

SB Nation's Hornets blog also takes issue with the "Derrick Rose for MVP" talk. It is of course a self-interested argument, but the more evidence that comes forth, the more clearly the media narrative becomes.

Ron Artest, Others Nominated for Citizenship Award | SB Nation

Ziller points out that Ron Artest has been nominated for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. The selection might seem strange, but there is a difference between the Indiana Pacers Artest and the Lakers Artest. Phil Jackson once described Artest as a pure soul without pretense. I can see that.

One and Done Rule Has Changed Balance of Power |

Here is the latest argument against the NBA's age limit rule. 

Who Wants Some Popcorn? | Twitter

What do you do when you play for one of the most moribund franchises in existence? Apparently you sell gourmet popcorn.