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Kevin Durant

  1. Thunder/Spurs Game 2: The rise of Westbrook, Harden

    May 29, 2012, 1:41 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

    I said going into this series Russell Westbrook was the key to Oklahoma City’s chances against the Spurs — he needs to attack off the pick-and-roll, get into the lane and finish. Or kick it out. But he needs to disrupt the Spurs defense and put a lot of points on the board in the…

  2. Thunder-Spurs: The life and times of Kevin Durant in Game 1

    May 28, 2012, 2:05 AM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

    Momma said there’d be days like this. Kevin Durant had a pretty bizarre Game 1 vs. San Antonio. He couldn’t get it going in the first half, shook loose in the third quarter, and then was bottled up by San Antonio in the fourth. He hit free throws, a result of the Spurs’ defensive approach…

  3. Popovich reaches into toolbox, makes adjustments, Spurs win Game 1

    May 28, 2012, 12:18 AM EST

    San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan celebrates in the final seconds of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in San Antonio

    There’s a reason the Spurs haven’t lost a game since before you sent your taxes in (19 in a row now) — they can adapt and take what you give them. Gregg Popovich is the master of adjustments and this roster is a huge toolbox of options for him to choose from. He and the…

  4. Report: Magic ‘targeting’ Thunder, Spurs executives

    May 27, 2012, 11:24 AM EST

    Dwight Howard

    Now this is more like it. No more Shaq nonsense. No more ridiculousness. The Magic are reportedly in pursuit of interviews for three members from the Spurs-Thunder tree for their open GM position. From Yahoo! Sports: Thunder vice president and assistant general manager Troy Weaver and Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey have been targeted, and…

  5. Video: Larry Bird and Magic Johnson remind you what everyone’s playing for

    May 26, 2012, 5:00 PM EST

    Larry Bird Magic Johnson

    ESPN’s rafters commercials have been really good. The Kevin Durant one held the promise of future, the Paul Pierce one held the reminder of glory for a franchise that hasn’t seen a title since 2008. The new “A Champion Will Rise” commercials speak to the league’s history, and feature two of the greatest to ever…

  6. Playoff Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    May 25, 2012, 2:54 AM EST

    duncan-parker

    SEASON RECORDS San Antonio 50-16 (1 seed) Oklahoma City 47-19 (2 seed) SEASON SERIES San Antonio took the season series 2-1, however Manu Ginobili missed all of them (which might worry Thunder fans), the games were in March and earlier, bottom line these teams are different now. OFFENSE/DEFENSE RANKINGS (points per 100 possession)
 San Antonio:…

  7. Thursday And-1 links: Dirk Nowitzki thinks Popovich is the best

    May 24, 2012, 7:19 PM EST

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points. • Tradition says you say your coach is the best in the league, but…

  8. Kevin Durant, LeBron James head All-NBA Teams

    May 24, 2012, 2:39 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

    Here’s the problem with nitpicking the All-NBA teams — there are no bad players on any of the first three. You can argue if you want (and as I would) that LaMarcus Aldridge deserves a spot on the third team more than Carmelo Anthony or Dirk Nowitzki, but that doesn’t make the guys on the…

  9. Lakers-Thunder Game 5: Thunder all business in win over Lakers to advance to Conference Finals

    May 22, 2012, 2:10 AM EST

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    The future is now. It can be said that the Thunder have done nothing more than advanced to the same position they reached last season before falling to another team from Texas in the Western Conference Finals. But this doesn’t feel that way. The Thunder exorcised their Mavericks demons in the first round, then took out…

  10. Lakers look to find their old selves, avoid Game 5 elimination by Thunder

    May 21, 2012, 6:34 PM EST

    Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook, Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol

    Two years ago, when they won the title in 2010, the Lakers were the team that came back and won games like the one they lost Saturday. Back then it was the Lakers closing on a 25-7 run and getting the defensive stops. It was Kobe Bryant hitting the big shots. It was their opponents…

  11. Lakers-Thunder Game 4: The scapegoating of Pau Gasol

    May 20, 2012, 4:18 PM EST

    kobe-game-3-thunder

    Someone has to go down for this. It might as well be Pau Gasol, I suppose. Because it sure isn’t going to be Kobe Bryant. When the Lakers lost to the Thunder Saturday night, blowing a nine-point fourth quarter lead to do down 3-1 in their Western Conference Semifinals series with OKC, it was Kevin…

  12. Westbrook, Durant find the perfect balance in Game 4 win over Lakers

    May 20, 2012, 5:16 AM EST

    westbrook-game 4

    During the Thunder’s playoff run last season — one that ended in a loss in the Conference Finals to the eventual champion Mavericks — there were constant questions about whether or not Russell Westbrook was a good long-term fit to play alongside Kevin Durant. One year later, now on the verge of taking down the…

  13. Lakers-Thunder Game 4: Kevin Durant and a new era dawning

    May 20, 2012, 3:17 AM EST

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    Things change. It’s inevitable. And on Saturday night, you have to wonder if the guard changed officially in the Western Conference, and the NBA. 103-100, Thunder over Lakers. Kobe Bryant was the closer. The dagger. The Black Mamba. As recently as Friday night, he was the ultimate clutch weapon (as long as we’re only talking…

  14. Video: Kevin Durant hits the game-winning three to beat Lakers in Game 4

    May 20, 2012, 2:40 AM EST

    Durant-game-4

    As Russell Westbrook led the charge offensively for the Thunder in their Game 4 win over the Lakers — finishing with a brilliant 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting — Kevin Durant seemed pleased to let that happen. But once the Thunder had made it all the way back from a deficit that hung at around…

  15. Lakers-Thunder Game 3: L.A. wins free throw contest by a lot, wins game by 3

    May 19, 2012, 3:15 AM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three

    Forty-two free throws is a lot of free throw attempts. Forty-one free throws made is a lot of makes. The Lakers got one, made the other, and walked out of Staples with a win in Game 4, 99-96. We can talk about a lot of things. The way that the Lakers attacked the Thunder defensively,…

  16. Is Game 3 must-win for the Lakers? Yes, yes it is.

    May 18, 2012, 3:53 PM EST

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    One last time we can thank the lockout for the joys of a condensed schedule — the Lakers and Thunder are going to play the rare playoff back-to-back the next two nights. Which clearly favors the younger legs and better athletes of the Thunder. It’s going to be a lot harder for the Lakers to…

  17. Andrew Bynum says Lakers know how to slow down Thunder

    May 18, 2012, 1:14 PM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers' Bynum drives past Oklahoma City Thunder's Perkins during Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semi-finals in Oklahoma City

    The Los Angeles Lakers contained the Oklahoma City Thunder offense in Game 2 — Russell Westbrook shot 5-17, the Thunder shot just 42 percent as a team, they averaged just 90.6 points per 100 possessions in the game, and the Lakers slowed the game down to 85 possessions. And the Lakers still lost. That should…

  18. Anatomy of a meltdown — it wasn’t Steve Blake, Lakers blew game before that

    May 17, 2012, 10:23 AM EST

    Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol

    The Lakers were up 7 points with 2 minutes to go. And lost. And by lost, I mean lost any real chance at the series. Do you really think the Lakers can win four of the next five games? The Thunder are the better team, the Lakers could not afford to give away a game,…

  19. Video: Kevin Durant’s game-winning bucket to beat Lakers

    May 17, 2012, 2:42 AM EST

    Kevin Durant

    The Lakers had this in the bag, up 7 with two minutes to go. But then the Thunder went and won a game that felt a lot like how the Lakers used to win games — a little bit of luck and some great shots. The last of the those shots is above. Kevin Durant…

  20. Lakers-Thunder Game 2: A Thunder magic trick, a Lakers disappearing act, and a change of the guard

    May 17, 2012, 1:40 AM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    In Game 1, everything went wrong for the Lakers, everything went right for the Thunder. Thunder won. In Game 2, for 46 minutes, at least some things went right for the Lakers, everything went wrong for the Thunder. The pace was slow. The defense was incredible for the Lakers. The Thunder weren’t hitting jumpers. A…

  21. Lakers-Thunder Game 2: Let’s try this again, Lakeshow

    May 16, 2012, 5:00 PM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    So what do the Los Angeles Lakers need to do to improve in Game 2 vs. the Thunder? A brief list: 1. Do not be terrible 2. Defend jumpshots better 3. Have Pau Gasol act like an NBA player 4. Work the ball inside to draw more contact and get to the line 5. Again,…

  22. Lakers-Thunder Game 1: Lakers suffer a Thundertality

    May 15, 2012, 1:24 AM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    This was a beating. A smackdown. A trouncing. A demolition. A boat race. A blowout. A “hit ‘em in the head with a shovel and drag their team to an unmarked grave,” “nail ‘em with a 2X4, watch them stagger around and then slam the door on them on the way out,” downright unavoidable-to-say butt…

  23. Orlando is in trouble now because it’s not good at drafting

    May 14, 2012, 6:38 PM EST

    Miami Heat v Orlando Magic

    More and more research is showing, if you want to build a sustainable winner in the NBA you need to do it on draft day. Look at the teams still playing. Miami had to draft Dwyane Wade, which made it possible to bring in Shaq to get them one title (and LeBron James doesn’t come…

  24. Lakers-Thunder Western Conference Semifinals Preview: No longer a feel good story

    May 14, 2012, 4:42 PM EST

    Russell Westbrook, Matt Barnes

    Two years ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the first-round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. It was supposed to be a nice learning experience for a team on the rise, a quick lesson from the reigning champs as to how the playoffs work. Instead, the world was introduced to the…

  25. LeBron James and an award we’ve made hollow

    May 12, 2012, 11:49 AM EST

    Miami Heat forward James reacts after his second quarter dunk against the New York Knicks during Game 2 of their first round NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff in Miami

    For just about anyone else winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Award would be a good thing, with no downside. It’s an award that carries legitimate weight, not just in terms of current cultural cache, but longer-lasting greatness in the context of a player’s legacy. It should be cause for celebration. But for LeBron James, it’s…

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