3 min read

Friday Bolts – 12.7.12

Friday Bolts – 12.7.12

Tom Ziller of SB Nation looks at why no one scores 50 anymore: “The well-rounded superstar is the highest ideal. During the Kobe era, being well-rounded was perhaps not as valued as being incredible at what you do. I imagine Durant doing the Kobe-McGrady-Vince Carter era … and I imagine him taking many more shots, and maybe having a 60-point game under his belt. These days, we opine about completionism in our stars — LeBron and the post game, Durant and the assists. Coaches do, too, and so we have better players. But fewer big game scorers. It’s a net good with a drag on something we enjoy. Are there any current players who could signal a return to prominence for the 50-point game? Durant is an obvious choice, but it’ll take an injury to or trade of Russell Westbrook to make that happen. And vice versa: Westbrook could have a few big nights if Durant misses any time.”

Tony Manfred of Business Insider on how KD is trying to LeBron himself: “His assist numbers have increased as a result. In addition, his slightly reduced scoring role has allowed him to attack the boards more freely, and he’s grabbing a solid share of rebounds despite playing alongside two rebounding specialists in Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. Look, we’re not saying Durant is going to be as good as LeBron. But it’s clear that he’s making an effort to expand his game by mimicking some of the ways LeBron plays.”

Tyler Parker of Baller Ball writes a story of how Serge Ibaka finds a trampoline: “He jumps and jumps and jumps for what feels like hours until his legs and lungs betray him and he must rest. He starts to walk back to the stream, stopping every so often to look back at the trampoline. Oh, how he loves it. When he reaches the stream, he cups his hands and dips them into the water and sips. Then, when his thirst is quenched, he sits and leans his back against the rough trunk of the shade tree. His eyes are heavy and they want to close. He fights them. He turns to look at the trampoline once more.”

Serge Ibaka takes and makes pretty good shots.

Darnell Mayberry on the Lakers: “L.A.’s average points, opponent points, assists, steals, field goal percentage and point differential are nearly the same as three years ago. They’re averaging more steals and blocks this season, while also holding opponents to a lower field goal percentage. The biggest differences are turnovers and free throws. The Lakers are averaging three more turnovers this year than in 2009-10 and are shooting a league-worst 66.7 percent from the foul line compared to 76.5 percent three years ago. So who are these Lakers? Contenders or pretender?”

Via John Schuhmann of NBA.com on schedule strength: “Toughest schedules thus far using our adjusted formula: TOR, NOH & MIA. Easiest: PHI, MEM & OKC.”

Kobe says he’s never buying an NBA team, but for a pretty funny reason.

Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal on KD closing the Nets: “The undermanned Nets made it close, but it never really felt like they had enough to unsettle the clearly superior Thunder. It’s a little cruel, watching an elite team pull away from a good one, a turbo car putting a commuter in the rear view. After the game, Durant described Brooklyn as a “great, great, great venue,” but it was obvious to everyone that the Nets, while stirring, aren’t yet ready to be a headliner. Oklahoma City is ready. And so is Kevin Durant.”