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OKC Morning Loud Links: Something to Build On

The Thunder's Saturday night win over the Nets was not a thing of beauty, as we once again saw the offense struggle to put together good possessions. However, we should be encouraged that the defense finally woke up in limiting the Nets to 74 points. New Jersey had to "explode" for a 23 point 4th quarter just to make it that far; through three quarters they were sitting at a paltry 51 points. Granted, the Nets are a struggling team, but as we saw last week in DC, even a poor team can put together offense when the opposition isn't focused. OKC was focused on Saturday, and they would do well to remember that any team, elite or lottery, can always play good defense.

Westbrook Signing Proves OKC is Willing to Spend | NewsOK

Russell Westbrook's contract really confirms what we already know - the Thunder are an organization that is not afraid to spend, despite their small market status. What makes them good though is not how much they spend, but how they spend.

Westbrook Happy to Be in OKC | Daily Thunder

Young gets a number of great quotes here that flowed out of Westbrook's press conference over the weekend. Of course, he got asked about he and Durant. To nobody's surprise (except maybe Skip Bayless) their relationship and admiration for each other is sound.

Durant In Contention for MVP? |

Kevin Durant has demonstrated a much more dynamic repertoire this season, and this growing game is represented in this early ranking.

How Do Rookies Stack Up? | Hoopism

Aside from this great little study on rookie of the year candidates, they also have a graphic that makes Ricky Rubio look like the 5th Beetle. Hard day's night, indeed.

Stretching the Four | HoopSpeak

Mason writes a great post here about the evolution of the power forward position, and how it disrupts the traditional structure of a team's defense. The Thunder are one of the teams susceptible to this weapon, since Serge Ibaka, while athletic and capable, is still learning the ropes to playing defense in open space.

Top 10 Ranking of Injured Players | Negative Dunkalectics

The injury bug is already hitting some key players this season, and for some specifically (like Dwyane Wade) it could have a massive effect on teams' championship potential.

Games Could Get More Technical, Personalized | Ball Don't Lie

Mark Cuban had a post where he pushed back against this trend, but it is going to happen. The reason why isn't even necessarily demand, but rather the kind of money the league would be taking in via the partnerships and sponsorships that would flow out of it.

Disarray and Distrust in Knicks-Land | CBS Sports

I'm not sure why I am enjoying the reporting on the Knicks' unraveling this season, because I'm a Carmelo Anthony guy, but their squad is such a train wreck that I can't look away.

Chris Paul Buys Avril Lavigne's House | Ball Don't Lie

Nice house. I wonder if there is a Golf-n-Stuff amusement park inside.