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Loud Links 4|13|11

 

Today is the final day of the regular season. I doubt we will see many surprises tonight, but to be sure, if things don't go the Mavericks' way against New Orleans, then OKC could amazingly find themselves in the #3 spot. Even in an 82 game season, every game does matter. Raise your hand if you'd like to have one of those Clippers or Raptors games back.

Thunder Always Get Support From the Bench | NewsOK

I've repeated it ad nauseum - the Thunder bench is one of the best in the league and is a huge reason why they've been able to sustain their play despite uneven seasons from both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Aside from their play though, it is the attitude and support the players provide each other that makes the team so special.

Thunder Contrast Seattle Departure to Sacramento's Pending Fate | SB Nation

This story is a great look, using the players' voices themselves, at how it feels to play on a team that is about to be relocated. The Kings take on the Lakers tonight in what could be their final game in Sacramento. Said Kevin Durant:

"I wish I could be here to watch that. I'm sure I'll see it on TV. But to be here, it's going to be unbelievable."

NBA Season Awards | Behind the Basket

An offering of one web site's assessment of this year's best and brightest. We definitely got to see an infusion of some amazing talent this season, which will carry the league a long way.

The Dirty Secret Behind "Dwight for MVP" | Hoopspeak

This is a great post on the inherent duplicity of the Dwight Howard MVP push. Stat-heads love Howard this year and argue that on an objective basis, he is superior to Derrick Rose. There is, however, a fly in that ointment, and it is not too far away from where Orlando resides.

More links after the jump.

When Playoffs Begin, X-Factors Emerge | NBA.com

OKC makes the list twice, so you'll have to forgive the writer for not quite getting one of the names right.

Derrick Rose, Putting On a Show | Ball Don't Lie

MVP or not, who cares? His performance prompted this reaction from Durant.

NBA Playoff Teams Looking for "Love" | Daily Princetonian 

The great thing about college is that it offers you a chance to write stories like these, in which the Thunder are compared to a 2003 British cinema ensemble. Snark aside, it's actually pretty well written.

2010-2011 All-Defensive Team | Basketball Prospectus

Here is an offering of the best defensive talents in this past NBA season. You will see a lot of familiar names in this list, but surprisingly, a few Thunder players are starting to get some notice.

NBA Awards: And the Winner Is? | CBS New York

Here is yet another offering of opinion on the league's best.

NBA Awards: Pick 'Em Now | TrueHoop

Henry Abbott comes up with a novel idea - he offers readers to help him come up with new season-end awards. Weigh in on it here.

Joel Anthony: The Spectacle Who Works | ESPN

Not Thunder-specific, but this is a great read on the Heat's Joel Anthony, who has worked himself into a major contributor on a team with championship aspirations. It seems like in the NFL every team has a handful of guys like Anthony, but in the NBA, it is so much more difficult to earn a spot on the much smaller roster.