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OKC Morning Loud Links: Looking for Balance

Tonight the Thunder welcome the Memphis Grizzlies into their home arena. The Thunder are still looking for consistency on both ends of the court, and Memphis will prove to be a challenge because they are very good at disrupting other teams' rhythms. The Grizz are coming off a huge win last night against the Hawks, and before that they took down OKC's division rival in overtime, defeating the Nuggets Tuesday night.

Perkins Doesn't Regret Being on Receiving End of Griffin Dunk | NewsOK

Kendrick Perkins was on the receiving end of what will be a year-end highlight. It's clear here that he has no problems putting himself in the position to do it again if that is what it takes for him to protect the rim.

Re-Thinking "Start Harden" | Daily Thunder

Young reconsiders the summer push to get James Harden in the line-up. We can't forget - James is still only a 3rd year 22 year old player (even though he looks like a 45 year old R&B singer). Scott Brooks knows better than anyone what it takes to get the most out of his young emerging star.

Judging the Western All-Star Votes | Ball Don't Lie

Dwyer is on board with every choice except maybe the power forward spot. He's probably right, but still you can't go wrong.

The Epic Handshake | SB Nation

Monta Ellis and Corey Magette give further credence to my notion that NBA players have a lot of free time on their hands. Even so, that's a pretty cool move.

Lou-For-1 | Sports Illustrated

Lou Williams, the 76ers guard, is becoming known for his ability to convert two-for-one opportunities at the ends of quarters. Interestingly, we see this move from the Thunder all the time, and I have to be honest, I can't think of a single moment when I've seen it work. Usually it just results in a rushed 3-pointer, a bad defensive sequence, and then a bad buzzer-beating attempt. It seems to me OKC would be better served to just run a normal play.

Charles Barkley Embarrassed by NBA Play | CBS Sports

Charles Barkley, critic to all things, is playing the contrarian here, says Golliver. I would agree with that. I also like his take on what Chuck's comment says about fans, who are coming out in droves to watch these games.

Pau Gasol - "Soft" Mocking Fueled by Jealousy | Ball Don't Lie

An alternate reason - calling Pau Gasol "soft" is a lot of fun to do.

The Power Forward Generation | CBS Sports

We seem to be in the age of the point guard, which is a truly blessed thing, but Moore writes here that we also have an abundance of talent at the power forward spot that is pretty remarkable.

Free Darko Checking Accounts | SB Nation

It sounds like a great idea for a banking promotion, right? Well, Darko Milicic might have other plans with grandma's $25 birthday check.

LeBron Considering Slam Dunk Contest Again | Ball Don't Lie

LeBron James needs to let this go. There is nothing good that could possibly come by him participating in this contest, which is so overproduced and practically predetermined at this point that even if he won, he'd still lose.

Blake Griffin: Person of Interest | Grantland

Since apparently this is the Blake Griffin week, Kang posts a great piece on where Blake is in terms of his development on the court and the dangers of the expectations that surround him.