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OKC Loud Links: Finally Here

Game 1 between the Thunder and Lakers is finally upon us. There are a number of compelling story lines that will manifest over the next few days that will help determine how the Thunder continue to grow in playoff situations. The most intriguing facet to me is of course the over/under on how many times we get to see the Kobe Bryant under-bite.

What Artest Taught Durant | NewsOK

In 2010, Metta World Peace (erstwhile Ron Artest) gave Kevin Durant a playoff lesson for the ages. It is time to learn whether Durant has heeded those lessons.

Thunder Grow Up, Ready for a Rematch |

Smith offers up his series preview, noting that the Lakers' margin for error is much smaller than it was against Denver.

Thunder Watch | Twitter

Per Nazr Mohammed's Twitter feed, here is a great pic of how the team watched the Lakers beat the Nuggets in Game 7. That's great.

Playoff Preview | Basketball Prospectus

Pelton thinks that a lot will have to go wrong for the Thunder in order for them to lose to the Lakers.

Notes, Facts, and Figures for the West | Behind the Basket

For all the attention that the All-Stars receive in this series, it may be OKC's bench that really provides the difference.

The Vulnerability of the Lakers | Hardwood Paroxysm

Last season the veteran Mavericks beat the veteran Lakers by playing a better and smarter brand of basketball. This time around, the Thunder are looking to supplant the Lakers entirely.

OKC Minor League in Major Way | Orange County Register

Far be it from me to engage in class and geographic warfare, but...

Give MWP the Silent Treatment | NewsOK

Novel idea, but I don't think the execution is possible.

A Response to Brian Phillips | HoopSpeak

Last week, Grantland's Brian Phillips wrote a letter to Sonics fans, trying to build a level of understanding between his OKC ties and the team's ties to the past. Here is Beckley Mason's response.

You Can't Just Throw it Into the Post | HoopSpeak

This is a great observation about the effectiveness of classic post-players in today's NBA. We will see it on display too in this series, as Andrew Bynum will look to control the offensive interior.

LeBron James Flails | SB Nation

During his MVP press conference. And then he flailed about in a game. He hit you in the stomach, dude.

The Clippers Survive the 1st Round | Ball Don't Lie

And we emphasize the word 'survived.' They may not make it through the supercharged Spurs, but they learned a lesson in perseverance against the Grizzlies, just like OKC did last season.

Marbury Has a Statue in China | Deadspin

Stephon Marbury now has a statue in China, and the statue was dedicated by Dennis Rodman. How perfect.

Stern: It's Time to Take Flopping Seriously | SB Nation

Somehow I highly doubt it.

Bosh-Time | SB Nation

Now that our Weekly McGee has come to an end, we replace it with Boshtime.