Nick Collison sprained his ankle Friday: “Nick Collison sprained his right ankle Friday and did not finish practice. Collison was battling what team officials called soreness in his left ankle in Tuesday night’s game, limiting him to 15 minutes against the Clippers.”
CBS Sportsline supports the Bump: “In a sports-crazy part of the country usually concerned only with football at this time of year, Oklahoma City is embracing its first major professional franchise, the NBA’s Thunder.
Jeff Green = Scottie Pippin? Mike Baldwin makes the comparison: “It would be unfair to compare any duo to Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player in NBA history and Pippen, who collected six NBA championship rings. But if Oklahoma City is to evolve into a playoff team, much less a Western Conference contender, Durant and Green must improve in upcoming seasons. There are similarities between Green and Pippen. Both were selected No. 5 overall. One reason Green admired Pippen was he played multiple positions and was a perennial all-defensive player best known for his all-round game.”
Q&A with Kevin Durant: “What have you learned about this team so far? We work hard and play hard and we play for each other. We love being around each other. That’s one thing that always helps a team out, and we didn’t have as much of that last year. Now you can see the camaraderie and us jelling together. We should be good throughout the year. “
If you’re an ESPN Insider, you can read about John Hollinger’s second year studs: “Second-year players always make great breakout candidates, particularly in the backcourt. The hard part is choosing a horse — you can make a case for darn near anyone based on what he showed you on a given night. But four players in particular have the strongest case for making an upward ascent this season. Each one has strong college numbers and at least a halfway-decent rookie campaign on his side.”
Blue Blitz put together a monster season preview post for the upcoming year: “Our #1 skill is, undoubtedly, rebounding. Our lineup, quite simply is huge. Durant is big enough to play PF, but he’s an SG. We have a log jam of inside tendencied SF/PFs (Mason, Collison, Wilcox, Smith, Green), and our Centers (Swift, Petro) are like sticks. I mean, we don’t have a Troy Murphy like rebounding star, but we can rebound the ball simply because we’ll have so many tall guys with hands in the air.”
Joe’s final installment of his position breakdown: “The Center position as it was played last year is nothing short of a train wreck. By the numbers it wasn’t the worst statistical position of the five (that dubious honor goes to the Small Forward position), but it was the second worst. It would have been much worse than it was if PJ hadn’t played Kurt Thomas and Nick Collison (both rugged Power Forwards) 53% of the team’s minutes at Center. The remaining 47% went to Johan Petro for the most part (33%), and a bit of Francisco Elson, Robert Swift, Chris Wilcox and Mo Sene.”