Various and sundry from around the league.
TNT analyst Steve Kerr has some things to say about the Thunder. He expects that they will be in the mix in the end, but would like to see some better shooting percentages from Russell Westbrook:
But I just don’t think he should be a 41 percent shooter, which he is this year. If you’re going to be a star in this league and win a championship as either the best player or the second-best player, I don’t think you can shoot a low percentage from the floor and he’s a 43 percent shooter for his career. And for me, it’s all shot selection with Russell. I think he takes a lot of really tough shots, contested long twos.
Berry Tramel notes that the Thunder defense has slipped significantly in the early going this season. There is no real reason behind it other than attention to detail, as Tramel writes:
The Thunder’s first quarters have been awful defensively. The Thunder has allowed at least 30 first-quarter points in four of its 10 games, and Utah poked OKC for 29 points in the first quarter.
The Thunder is allowing an average of 28.3 points in the first quarter. Teams are shooting 44.1 percent against OKC in the first quarter.
OKC is a small market team with small town values. So how is it then that they are near the top of the heap when it comes to the cost of games?
Can the Trail Blazers' hot start last? Zach Lowe gives it the Lowe-down (hey-oh!) to figure out if it is sustainable. I hope it is, because every single year I see them play the Thunder and I think to myself, "there's a contender," only to watch the wheels fall off. Again.
How does new Clippers guard J.J. Redick get open so well? Check out Rob Mahoney's breakdown of Redick's game.
His form is a model on instructional DVDs, fit for freeze framing to demonstrate his ideal vertical lift and the perfect placement of his elbow. Yet Redick’s work, too, begins with his feet, where he uses a slightly unusual cadence to both catch and square up to the basket in one fluid motion.
SB Nation gets an outstanding interview with Bulls center Joakim Noah. Says Noah:
People think it’s a game of math. It’s not math, it’s chemistry.
I'm pretty sure this might be a lame pickup line, but it works for basketball.
Kyrie Irving is quickly becoming a great spokesman for the league and his Uncle Drew spots are, well, spot-on. Here is his new Foot Locker commercial, where he pontificates that suddenly all is right with the world. You know what would really make things right with the world? Kyrie making it through a season without injury.
Kelly Dwyer follows up on a report from veteran reporter Howard Beck, who had quoted an anonymous source regarding the Brooklyn Nets' slow start. This source did not paint a pretty picture in regards to rookie head coach Jason Kidd, so the players came to his defense. I agree with Dwyer though - it seems really risky to put a rookie head coach, even one as brilliant a player as Kidd, in charge of a win-now team like the Nets only 6 months after retiring.
Klay Thompson does a lot with a little. We've already seen it once this season, so check out how HoopSpeak unravels how Thompson has been able to maximize his talents so well.
I happen to love Kevin Durant's dedication to his home town values in the DC-metro area. He loves the Redskins, has a Washington Nationals tattoo, and now he has sneakers designed to resemble a blue crab.
Hey, at least he's right. Maryland blue crabs are awesome.