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Wednesday Bolts – 3.23.11

Wednesday Bolts – 3.23.11

Britt Robson of SI: “As well as the Thunder are playing — and they’re a better team than the one that stretched the Lakers to six games in last year’s first round — they’d be much better with wiser shot selection from Durant. He attempts an NBA-high 14 shots per game from 16 feet and beyond, according to Hoopdata, but Durant is below the league average for accuracy from those distances. By contrast, he’s deadly — way above the norm — from inside 16 feet.”

ESPN awards: “Durant is leading the league in scoring, and his other stats mirror those from a year ago. But even more was expected this season after a breakthough year in 2009-10.”

David Thorpe has which veterans rookies should study and he has Wesley Johnson watching KD. Funny thing is, Johnson is a year older than KD: “All season I’ve been writing about Johnson’s lack of free throws — he’s taken 83 total this season. Durant had that number beat by Nov. 15. When studying Durant, Johnson will see that earning free throws is part of KD’s overall plan — setting guys up to draw the foul. Johnson has the stuff to be worthy of a top-four pick, but there are questions about how close he already is to his ceiling. (He’s actually older than Durant.) Emulating Durant and getting five-plus free throws a game will help him raise that ceiling.”

Eric Maynor and James Harden singing “This Is How We Do It” at fan appreciation:

Shaun Powell on how the NCAA tourney helped some player’s stock: “Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love: A sophomore and freshman took UCLA to the Final Four, then wound up the No. 4 and 5 picks in the 2008 Draft. Only one of them, though, is still used to winning.”

Talking magic numbers.

Ryan Costello of Hoops Addict: “The painted area under the Thunder’s basket is a scary place these days. The same trade that marked a complete turnover in the Oklahoma City frontcourt marked a similarly total change in the Thunder’s identity on the defensive end. Gone are the days when opposing big men could exploit the undersized pairing of Jeff Green, who now primarily plays at the small forward position behind Celtic stalwart Paul Pierce, and Nenad Krstic, the offensively-minded seven-footer. Lying in wait for slashers and drivers now is the abundance of hip checks and length in the form of newly-acquired center Kendrick Perkins and freshly-anointed starter Serge Ibaka.”

Kevin Durant on the loss to Toronto: “It felt like I (was) a senior in college and we lost in the (NCAA) Tournament. I could have done so much more to help us win.”