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Loud Links 4|2|11

The Thunder's loss last night was tough to watch but not wholly unexpected. The Blazers are in a more crucial situation, still working for a playoff seeding. I think what was the most frustrating though was to see how the team's offensive flow in the first half was completely abandoned in the 2nd. 

Thunder Rumblings | NewsOK

Mayberry's post-game nuggets. He remarks at how Kevin Durant seemed dead-set on atoning from last game's poor performance. I think I agree that the bench seemed to play more deliberate but more consistent.

Thunder Offense Falls Flat, Blazers Win | Daily Thunder

Young recounts the missteps that happened in the second half. He still thinks that Durant stepping into a wide open 3-pointer is a shot always worth taking, but I'd probably disagree if the shot has not been falling. I don't think Durant attempted a single free throw in the 2nd half, and that was in part due to his passivity on offense.

Media Row Report | Blazers Edge

SB Nation's own Trail Blazers blog analyzes last night's game. They make an excellent observation - in the 4th quarter alone, the Thunder attempted nine 3-pointers while the Blazers went to the free throw line 12 times.

Durant Goes Cold, Thunder Lose | NewsOK

I like the fact that the team continued to compete until the end. Lesser mentally strong teams would not have. However, I'm still looking for some better in-game adjustments to shift things around.

Blazers Lock Up Thunder | Basketball Prospectus

This piece is a much better look at the defenses the Blazers employed against Durant. Sometimes it is as simple as "he missed shots," and other times, it is because the defense forced him to miss shots. This was the type of game that required a much better team offensive effort, and that effort was not there.

Detroit Thanks Dennis Rodman | Ball Don't Lie

This is a great write-up to Detroit's retiring of Dennis Rodman's jersey. If you're new to the game and don't have recollection of Rodman's play before he became a latter-day Mike Tyson, he represented a style and way of life that is seldom seen in pro sports 

Voters Getting Testy in MVP Race |

In the season long argument between "storyline" and "statistics," this particular season has had an unusual amount of twists and turns in deciding what it means to value an MVP.