The Thunder prepare for a big game tonight against the Lakers. As we note in our preview, either OKC sends the Lakers back to the mat after losing to LA recently, or the Lakers get over .500 and put the rest of the league (and potentially the #1 seed) on playoff notice.
Great quote from Kevin Durant on his teammate Russell Westbrook:
"That's the beauty of Russell," Durant said. "He brings it and everybody sees it. People might not like it, but he's not in it for other people to like it. That's what I really admire about him. He doesn't really care what people say on the outside, as long as (teammates) in this locker room respect him and he comes to work for us every single day. We can't ask for any more."
There are a lot of really great quotes in here, but this is perhaps my favorite:
"There’s no question he’s intense on the court, but when you see him in community events and when he’s visiting hospitals and with the young fanbase, he’s the most charming, friendly, lovable player that you can ever be around," says Brooks. "But on the court—and I like this—he doesn’t like 29 other point guards. That’s how you compete in this League. You don’t have to disrespect them, but you don’t have to be friendly with them."
It gives further credence to the idea that H.B. Westbrook is a warrior, reminding me of the Marine ethos - optimus amicus, pessimus hostilis, a Latin phrase that translates to, "no greater friend, no worse enemy."
This should come as no surprise, as David Stern has been pushing for more overseas presence for some time now.
Wait a second...Istanbul?
Nick Collison's contract is an absolute bargain, and it was made by virtue of the rare technique of front-loading it so that Presti and the gang would spend money on Collison before Durant and Westbrook hit their max-contracts.
SB Nation's own Mike Prada stops by Beckley Mason and the gang's video chat. Check it out.
J.J. Barea's foul on Ray Allen was originally called a flagrant-2 foul, which resulted in Barea's rejection. Despite the fact that the league later downgraded it to a flagrant-1, what does it mean for Serge Ibaka's likely outcome?