Now that we're in the off-season, it's time to start looking about how the Thunder as well as other teams are going to adjust themselves to be competitive next season. The Thunder are in a remarkably strong position in this regard, but there are still some decisions to make.
Young makes a point similar to the one I've been making for a while now - Russell Westbrook is essentially a smaller version of LeBron James. But as Young points out, Westbrook had the hunger and desire to chomp up the Mavericks badger-style, whereas LeBron kept wondering how he was supposed to kill the bunny with those huge freaking claws.
I missed this post earlier in the week, but it is well worth reading because David Dwork, the GM there, shares a little bit about his personal involvement with the Miami sports scene and how their worlds got turned upside down this season. He's done a great job covering the Heat this year, and I'm sure his blog will be covering the Finals loss fallout with great interest.
The Mavs' site gives some credit to Chris Bosh, who probably received more vitriol than he deserved this past season and is the odds-on favorite to be the scapegoat in the end. Really, he's a pretty good guy.
Dallas has a huge task ahead of it in trying to keep its nucleus together for another championship run. Their window of opportunity is very small.
In putting the final touches on the Finals, here is a look back at some of the statistics that underlay the outcome. I was particularly impressed by the author's calculation of the Mavs' on-court effectiveness regressed over their total minutes together played. Apparently putting the best players possible on the court at the same time is harder than it looks.
If you're looking for an Eastern Conference underdog to adopt next season, consider the Bobcats. Their new GM is Rich Cho, the former Seattle/OKC executive who helped change the paradigm for how the franchise was built.
More links after the jump.
Michael Jordan's famous commercial, re-imagined in the likeness of a goofy looking seven-footer.
An interesting proposition - Sam Presti brought in James Harden and Eric Maynor precisely because he knew how talented but raw Westbrook was.
The Cavs are on the clock, and the two players that they are debating are Kyrie Erving and Derrick Williams. While the promise of a LeBron James as the #1 pick is no more, there could still be a Derrick Rose lurking.
Young draws out the relevant information from ESPN's rankings. It is remarkable that a franchise so young in OKC years could have such a surprising early impact. The bar is set high.
Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker held their long-awaited workout match-up in Utah. By all accounts, Fredette acquitted himself well.
The BtB guys continue to do a great job looking at the draft classes, and reveal that while this season's NBA draft might be a let-down, it is potential prelude to a great draft in 2012. It might behoove some teams to try to roll forward their picks to pick up players when the players are good.
A trip down memory lane. Yeah, these draft classes were ridiculously loaded. It's amazing how certain types of players come along in groups.
The Nets are looking for big men, and four out of the six players they worked out play on the front line.
It is interesting how the Heat are suddenly viewed as colossal failures, when in fact they were two games away from winning it all. Their adjustments should be minor, not major.
Daequan Cook is a restricted free agent heading into this summer, and he has expressed as strong interest in staying with the club. At his price, I think that's a pretty smart move for all parties involved.
If you're a Mavs fan, a fan of scribe Rob Mahoney, or just the NBA in general, you might want to pick up this new book.
In which Kobe shows remarkable lack of self-awareness, just like LeBron did. What is the saying? The difference between crazy and eccentric depends on how much cash (championships) you have in your bank account? That's kind of how this is.
Here is a short video of Serge Ibaka spending some of his off-season hanging out at a kids' basketball camp and signing a poster with Chewbacca on it.