3 min read

Wednesday Bolts – 10.3.12

Wednesday Bolts – 10.3.12
HoopSpeak on the best pindown players

: “Durant is a tough cover in any situation, but it’s coming off screens where he is a real handful. Because the super-skilled, 6’11” superstar has such a sweet stroke, it’s easy to forget that his jumper isn’t the only thing defenses have to worry about. Durant also has the jaw-dropping ability to catch coming off a screen from nearly anywhere inside the the 3-point line and finish at the rim with one or no dribbles. That incredible combination of length, coordination and athleticism leaves defenders scratching their heads.”

Sean Deveney of Sporting News comparing KD to George Gervin: “That mindset has shown itself on the court. Last year was Durant’s fifth in the NBA, and though he won another scoring title, what was most impressive about him was that he found other ways to contribute. He averaged 8.0 rebounds, a career high and the most of any small forward. He averaged a career-best 3.5 assists, ranking fourth for his position. He continues to get better as a defender, learning to use his long arms and quickness to his benefit. That is ultimately what could separate Durant from Gervin. While Gervin is a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, his teams rarely got anywhere in the postseason. The Spurs reached the conference finals three times with Gervin, but never got any further.”

Darnell Mayberry with an unfortunate post about Royce White and the Thunder: “Thunder fans, or at least those who chomped at the bit for White, should let this be a lesson. In Thunderland, for as long as Sam Presti is running the show, character wins out every time over talent. Love it or hate it that’s the way it is. But it sure beats the alternative, which the Rockets find themselves stuck with now — having no idea whether one of their three prized first-round picks will show up to their preseason opener against the Thunder in eight days.”

Evan Dunlap of SB Nation on Royce White: “Even as someone who shares White’s affliction, I cannot imagine dealing with the pressure White does every day. As a professional athlete, he’s in the public eye year round, and with any luck at the NBA level, he’ll remain in the public eye for a decade or more. Therefore, his struggles will also be public. The scrutiny he will face — and already faces, in articles like Mayberry’s — must be terrifying.”

Eric Freeman of BDL: “However, the maturity and professional seriousness we associate with NBA success has very little to do with anxiety. For most of my life, I’ve dealt with occasionally crippling anxiety episodes that manifest themselves both physically and mentally. While I don’t suffer from quickly manifesting panic attacks, as White does, my experience has always been that anxiety can get out of control with little warning — that a small feeling of uneasiness can compound itself and eventually turn into a debilitating situation filled with nausea, a lack of self-confidence, and the general sense that focusing on fixing anxiety only makes things worse.”

A little Thunder preview from The Pro Basketball Talk.

SI.com on must-see preseason games: “No one was more disappointed to see Andre Iguodala traded to the Nuggets than Kevin Durant, who now has to face Iguodala on a regular basis as a division rival. With his length and quickness, the new Nugget is an ideal defensive matchup for Durant. We’ll get a glimpse of what’s soon to be the most interesting rivalry in the Northwest when the teams face off on Oct. 21.”

So maybe Russell Westbrook hasn’t signed with Adidas.

Eddie Maisonet of SB Nation on OKC’s offseason: “A great American hero named Benjamin Franklin once said that, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” It seems like year over year, Presti’s been living handsomely on his dividends, as the Thunder continue to rise to elite status in the Association. Will Presti be able to cash in on the Thunder’s latest investments? Only time will tell, but if they do, then the Thunder will be able to swim in their money bin like Scrooge McDuck did, hopefully all the way to an NBA title.”