Monday Bolts – 6.6.11
An awesome video from Nazr Mohammed of his son shooting a free throw with KD’s signature shimmy. I watched this close to 50 times.
Darnell Mayberry on how the criticism of Westbrook could help: “Ironically, Kendrick Perkins had a front-row seat to similar scrutiny that landed on another point guard’s front stoop three years ago. His name was Rajon Rondo, then in his second season with Boston. The Celtics had just acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to team up with Paul Pierce, and Rondo became a giant question mark to the team’s title hopes. Eventually, Rondo silenced the critics that season. “Rondo’s (criticism) lasted for a little bit. Russ’ lasted throughout the whole playoffs, no matter if he played good or bad,” Perkins said. “He still was getting criticized on something. And I thought he handled that, as I say, like a G.” Perkins, who joined the Thunder in mid-February, was impressed with how a much younger Thunder team avoided the perils of outside noise. In Boston, one of the league’s biggest pressure cookers, Perkins had quickly learned to tune out most of it. “I don’t even talk basketball with my own wife; seriously, because it can break up a locker room,” Perkins said. “It can break up a team.”
Does size matter in the NBA? The Dream Shake looks at it: “The Thunder and the Hawks stand to show your big man need not be much better than Scola if you want the SG/PF tandem. The Thunder demonstrate that you’ll need more to go with a two wing system but if your center can intimidate some shots AND provide some offense you ease the burden on the backcourt.”
Ziller grades the NBA playoffs with a cool chart.
Draft Express’s mock for Yahoo! Sports has OKC with Singler: “Many teams feel like Singler is as safe of a pick as you’ll find at this point in the draft, which is why his stock has risen over the past few weeks. Singler can space the floor at both the 3 and the 4, will compete defensively and on the glass, and won’t need a great deal of schooling to make the transition to the pros.”
Awesome feature on halftime acts in the NBA, specifically on Red Panda. You might be surprised, but there’s nothing about “Let’s Make a Thunder Deal” or Jazzercize in there.
Chris Mannix of SI writing about Russell Westbrook: “The coach has told him that he wants him to limit his turnovers to fewer than three per game. And Westbrook’s personal trainer says that a big part of Westbrook’s summer training program will focus on changing speeds and diversifying his low-post game. Teams hoping Westbrook might be available in a trade this off-season can forget it. He’s eligible for an extension—three rival team executives say Westbrook is a max contract player—and the Thunder is fully prepared to give him one. Westbrook says he “definitely” wants to stay.”
Udonis Haslem is getting a bunch of credit for his defense on Dirk but John Hollinger thinks Nick Collison’s was better.
Bright Side of the Sun: “Oklahoma City’s five-game series loss to the Dallas Mavericks was not Russell Westbrook’s fault. It was a systematic failure by the entire team. Dallas just proved that it was the superior team. But that does not mean the Thunder should make any major roster changes like many believe. It just means they have to get back in the gym, and grow together as a team.”