3 min read

Monday Bolts – 3.12.12

Monday Bolts – 3.12.12

Darnell Mayberry on OKC making a trade: “It’s more likely, therefore, that any improvements will be made organically. Don’t be surprised if the backup point guard spot continues to be manned by Jackson. The Thunder drafted him 24th overall and maintains belief in him and his ability to get better in the final 25 games. Defensive rebounding, meanwhile, will just have to be more of a focus from here out, as well as the team’s turnover problem.”

Bill Simmons has KD No. 2 in his trade value column: “You’d never think of these guys as our next Bird-Magic rivalry … but when you remember their ages (23), mind-sets (basketball-only, all the time, nothing else matters), positions (one’s a guard, the other’s a forward), conferences (one East, one West), situations (contenders for each), characters (everything they do is about their team), styles (balls-to-the-wall all the time), crunch-time chops (significant) and humility (you never hear either of these guys talk about himself as a brand, just a basketball player), suddenly that Bird-Magic tag isn’t so farfetched. Kobe mentioned recently that he never had a “rival,” which was technically true (although I blame Vince and T-Mac for not holding up their ends of the bargain). Rose and Durant have each other. Maybe. Regardless, whenever I think to myself, I love this season, I love the league and I love where we’re headed, I think of these two guys first. A good sign for the future.”

Simmons trade value column has James Harden and Serge Ibaka 33rd and 28th.

Jemelle Hill of ESPN giving the Thunder some dap.

Former Chapelle Show writer Neal Brennen: “If every member of the Roots had a baby together, it would look like James Harden of The OKC Thunder.”

Chris Palmer of ESPN.com breaking down Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook: “Westbrook is a phenomenal offensive talent with the potential to rack up points from anywhere on the floor. While he’s a virtually unguardable highlight machine Westbrook suffers from a basketball identity crisis. The last couple years he’s struggled to find a happy medium in which he doesn’t detract from Kevin Durant’s effectiveness while doing what a point guard is supposed to do — run a team and make those around him better. Westbrook will get the All-Star votes and the lion’s share of the nightly highlights but Rondo — balky jumpshot and all — can be secure in the knowledge that he’s the better player.”

A solid quote from Nick Collison about the so-called Westbrook-KD rift: “People talk about it, it generates interest, ratings go up, the BRI goes up. All good.”

KD is selling his Seattle home.

NBA.com’s race to the MVP: “If you want a true measure of the force that Durant has become, just take a peek at his shooting percentage in four of the Thunder’s last five games. Only once did make it above 40 percent and yet he still averaged 29.6 points during that stretch. It certainly helps when you shoot free throws as frequently (11 per game) and as well (.855) as Durant does. Lost in the glare of his offensive arsenal is Durant’s significant improvement on the defensive end. He’s a much more complete player than he gets credit for.”

And power rankings: “Overall, the Thunder have more issues defensively, but their offense has been the problem in their last three defeats, including Friday’s loss to the Cavs, when they struggled from deep and from the line. Two days after Bulls-Heat, we get Thunder-Spurs from OKC. Both matchups trump any amateur hoops this week.”