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OKC Afternoon Loud Links: Suns in Town Tonight

The Thunder resume action tonight as the Phoenix Suns are in town looking to continue their three game winning streak. The Thunder fought hard to overtake the Mavericks on Monday, so despite Phoenix's overall losing record, OKC had better recognize that the Suns are making a move to get into playoff position.

3-on-3: Backing Up | Daily Thunder

Are the Thunder going to be making any moves by the trade deadline? Will Reggie Jackson finally 'get it?' Will Cole Aldrich earn rotation minutes?

Closing the Door | NewsOK

The Thunder have become much more successful at closing the door on opponents this season. The success has been due to a combination of both better offensive shot selection as well as defensive execution, and has begun to ease our fears that we feel when the final five minutes creep up on us.

Why the NBA Needs Twitter | The Classical

Shoals writes more about the ethos that is the NBA, writing how Twitter is necessary to chronicle a game that seemingly never stops. In setting up his premise though, Shoals offers some words to try and describe why Russell Westbrook cannot be described. In Shoals' words, Westbrook is "strikingly un-choreographed."

The Underside of Thunder Economics | Daily Thunder

We touched on a lot of these kinds of topics over the summer when we were trying to figure out what the NBA angle was in the lockout, and James at DT adds another element to the discussion here. The equation often has more variables than we realize.

Clutch-Time D Rides Again | Sports Illustrated

Lowe writes again about how the Thunder defense was able to not only keep the Mavericks from getting a game winning shot, but also put OKC in a position to come back as well.

Rookie Rankings VIII | Grantland

Kings guard Isiah Thomas works his way into the discussion at the top.

Kobe Bryant: the Next Step for Black Mamba | SB Nation

I think it is pretty reasonable, actually. If an NBA player is allowed to wear a mask during a game, why not have some fun with it the way NHL goalies do?

Kobe Has Great Feel in the Post | Ball Don't Lie

I am fighting the incredibly strong urge to start making Pulp Fiction jokes.

Understanding Advanced Stats | Hardwood Paroxysm

If you've never delved into the world of advanced basketball stats, this post is a great place to start, both in understanding, as well as where to look.

Points Over Par | Wages of Wins

The WoW guys have unveiled a new advanced metric, that is in a sense normalizing player contribution so that it looks kind of like a bell curve. We'll be revisiting this in the future with OKC numbers.

DeShawn Stevenson: Still Enjoys Digging at LeBron | Ball Don't Lie

He was right before, and he's right now. The Heat are the odds-on favorites.

Kidd Fined $25,000 For Criticizing Refs | CBS Sports

Jason Kidd wasn't too happy with the way the Mavericks lost to the Thunder on Monday night, and his verbal assessment resulted in a little bit lighter bank account. I personally like Rob Mahoney's take on the matter. But then again, OKC won.