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Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. Quote of the Day: LeBron thinks the Thunder could have done some things better

    May 24, 2011, 7:38 PM EDT

    LeBron Sunglasses

    Before Game 4 of the Heat/Bulls series, Heat forward LeBron James was asked about Oklahoma City’s Game 4 collapse against the Dallas Mavericks last night, and he responded thusly: “I don’t want to sit here and be the coach of OKC but I seen a lot of things that could have been done better.” It’s…

  2. Video: Watch Nowitzki shred the Thunder

    May 24, 2011, 8:54 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 2

    It was an epic performance. The Thunder defended him well, but Dirk Nowitzki — the single best player in these playoffs — saved some of his best for the Mavericks fourth-quarter comeback Monday to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals. Dirk was a machine, and because of it he and the…

  3. NBA Playoffs: Thunder learning lessons. The hard way.

    May 24, 2011, 3:53 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Four

    These are hard, painful lessons for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are the hard, painful lessons virtually every championship team has had to learn. Michael Jordan and his Bulls were knocked out three straight years by the Detroit Pistons, teaching him hard lessons. It’s true of champions since. Even the two-time, soon-to-be-dethroned Lakers had to…

  4. NBA Playoffs: Nowitzki closes out Durant, Thunder in Game 4

    May 24, 2011, 3:37 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Four

    Shortly after Kevin Durant entered the NBA, he was given the label of the NBA’s Next Great Closer. Everything about him suggests that he should be able to close teams out. He has a quiet confidence about him, is never afraid to shoot the ball, and never seems to break a sweat as he coldly…

  5. NBA Playoffs: Efficient Westbrook, Thunder need to show up

    May 23, 2011, 4:10 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six

    Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are putting up numbers against the Dallas Mavericks: Durant is averaging 29.3 point per game (up from his league-leading 27.7 during the regular season), while Westbrook is at 22.7 per game. But they are not efficient about it. Durant is shooting 44 percent and is 2-of-18 from three. Westbrook is…

  6. James Harden had a fine-worthy flop in Game 3

    May 22, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    James Harden

    I’ve come a long way on flopping. The natural human instinct towards flopping is to treat it with bile-ridden disgust, turning to effusive outrage in egregious cases. Fans complicate this. Your guy flops and it’s a “savvy, veteran move.” The other guy does it and he’s a “stinking cheater who flops like a (European).” In…

  7. NBA Playoffs: Mavericks defense looks good thanks to Thunder offense

    May 22, 2011, 1:41 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three

    “Tonight we played championship-level defense for the first time in the series,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after the game in an interview broadcast on NBA TV. Maybe. But the Oklahoma City Thunder really helped them out with that — it’s a lot easier to cover a guy who is standing still. And the Thunder…

  8. Tyson Chandler: Mavs took Thunder ‘lightly’

    May 21, 2011, 3:16 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two

    You would think that if you were to face a team with the NBA’s scoring champ the past two seasons, you’d recognize that they are a threat. You’d think that if you were facing a team with a diverse set of skill players with energy and youth, you’d understand that they have something going for…

  9. Russell Westbrook freaked out over a blown play

    May 21, 2011, 1:18 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two

    The popular storyline coming out of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals was the benching of Russell Westbrook and his perceived frustration on the bench, despite his obvious celebrations of the team’s success in winning the game down the stretch. ESPN has the scoop on what exactly happened that made Westbrook so upset during…

  10. NBA Playoffs Thunder vs. Mavericks Game 3: Anyone’s Series

    May 21, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Mavericks forward Nowitzki shoots a fade-away jump shot in the second half against Oklahoma during Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Final basketball playoff in Dallas

    What has made the Western Conference Finals so compelling, especially when compared to years past is the simple fact: we don’t know who’s going to win. In years prior, we flirted with the idea that San Antonio, Denver, or, sure, maybe Phoenix could knock off L.A. but in our heart of hearts we knew it…

  11. No grand conspiracy, Scott Brooks just rode hot hand

    May 20, 2011, 12:20 PM EDT

    Scott Brooks

    Today, Thunder coach Scott Brooks is getting lots and lots of praise for leaving his bench (with Kevin Durant) out on the court throughout the fourth quarter. Some see it as a rebuke of Russell Westbrook, some as Brooks asserting his authority. Not from where I sit. To me it’s more simple and pragmantic —…

  12. New, quieter Mark Cuban still doesn’t like referees

    May 20, 2011, 10:48 AM EDT

    Mark Cuban

    Mark Cuban still is not talking to the media during these playoffs — unless you want to hear how ABC picked up Shark Tank for 13 more episodes — but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talking. And it doesn’t mean he is happy with the officiating. Did you really expect him to be? Tim MacMahon…

  13. Video: Kevin Durant’s monster, win-sparking slam

    May 20, 2011, 8:47 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two

    The best line I read about this dunk (and I couldn’t find the tweet later to credit the person) was that Kevin Durant used Brendan Haywood as his own personal Kia. The Thunder were struggling and this dunk sparked them and was the first step to them evening this series. One dunk does not a…

  14. NBA Playoffs: Westbrook sits, maturity level now tested

    May 20, 2011, 1:28 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two

    Russell Westbrook was emotional, he was hot when taken out in the third quarter. The plays that the Thunder were supposed to be running nobody was executing so he was left solo, and that led to some ugliness. He was yelling and we’re guessing they were words on George Carlin’s list. He was hot enough…

  15. NBA Playoffs: Can anyone slow Nowitzki, Durant?

    May 19, 2011, 3:08 PM EDT

    Mavericks forward Nowitzki shoots a fade-away jump shot in the second half against Oklahoma during Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Final basketball playoff in Dallas

    One player does not win a basketball game. But if Dallas or Oklahoma City can figure out a way to slow the other’s star player in this series — starting with Game 2 Thursday night — they will have a huge leg up. Because in Game 1 those two pretty much scored like Wilt in…

  16. Nike to start selling Kevin Durant backpacks. Of course they are.

    May 19, 2011, 10:28 AM EDT

    kevin-durant-backpack

    Kevin Durant shows up to his post-game press conferences dressed like an eager student ready to walk across the University of Texas campus to his Europe in the Twentieth Century history class. Complete with his backpack. Straps buckled across the front. That he leaves on the entire time. A backpack that you can soon own,…

  17. How good was Dirk in Game 1? Historically good.

    May 18, 2011, 8:27 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game One

    48 points on 15 shots isn’t something that happens every day. You don’t need me to tell you that. But Alok Pattani of ESPN Stats and Info did some research, and he found out that Nowitzki’s performance in Game 1 was actually one of the best scoring nights in playoff history: Dirk Nowitzki‘s 48-point game…

  18. Is Westbrook’s perceived ‘selfishness’ a result of Brooks?

    May 18, 2011, 3:28 PM EDT

    Russell Westbrook

    Russell Westbrook has caught a lot of heat over the past couple weeks for his perceived “selfish” play, with many Twitter commenters suggesting the best defense against Kevin Durant is the fact he plays with Westbrook.  And while Tuesday’s 3-for-15 shooting performance isn’t going to help Westbrook’s cause, Durant’s struggles against Memphis, or the fact he took fewer shots than Westbrook…

  19. NBA Playoffs: Thunder should be optimistic, they were in it

    May 18, 2011, 1:04 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Durant drives ball past Dallas Mavericks small forward Marion in Dallas

    It was close. After Kevin Durant drained two free throws it was a five-point Mavericks lead with 4:18 left. Get a stop, knock down a shot and it’s a one possession game. Tuesday’s Dallas win didn’t feel close — Dirk Nowitzki went off, the Mavs got 53 points from its bench and with each big…

  20. NBA Playoffs: Dirk dominates, but this series is just getting started

    May 18, 2011, 1:22 AM EDT

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Coming into this game the biggest matchup issue, the biggest strategy question that both teams faced was “Who can stop Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Durant?” Turns out nobody. Durant had 40 points on just 18 shots — and he was the second best player in the game. And his team lost. Nowitzki finished a redonkulous…

  21. NBA Playoffs: Stopping Durant, Nowitzki just the start for Mavs, Thunder

    May 17, 2011, 4:13 PM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 2

    It starts with the big questions — if the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder can’t answer those questions, the little ones will not matter. That leads us to the big things to watch in Game 1 between the Thunder and Mavericks Tuesday night — can Dallas slow Kevin Durant, and can Oklahoma City slow…

  22. Memphis Grizzlies owner: “We’re not trading Rudy Gay”

    May 17, 2011, 9:53 AM EDT

    Rudy Gay

    It defies all logic, but there has become a “the Grizzlies should trade Rudy Gay” movement. The theory goes that since they won their first playoff game ever, their first playoff series ever and pushed the Oklahoma City Thunder to seven games while he was out injured that they are better off without him. I’m…

  23. Memphis’ Sam Young had a bad day

    May 16, 2011, 1:55 PM EDT

    YOUNG_SAM

    The Memphis Grizzlies did not have a great Sunday, with their fun run of a season coming to an end. But no Griz player had a worse Friday than Sam Young. First, for Game 6 Young lost his starting job to O.J. Mayo. Coach Lionel Hollins had seen the Thunder adjust and slow Zach Randolph,…

  24. Ainge: Perkins trade not the reason team lost

    May 16, 2011, 12:03 PM EDT

    Danny Ainge

    The moment the trade of Kendrick Perkins went through, you knew this is how it would go down — when the Celtics fell out of the playoffs the trade was going to be blamed. Danny Ainge was going to get blamed. Throw in an early second round exit and you have Ainge getting a lot…

  25. Western Conference Finals Preview: Mavericks vs. Thunder

    May 16, 2011, 3:21 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant hands the ball to Dallas Mavericks head coach Carlisle in the closing seconds of the second half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas

    SEASON RECORDS Mavericks: 57-25 (No. 3 seed in Western Conference) Thunder: 55-27 (No. 4 seed) SEASON SERIES Dallas won the regular season series 2-1, but the most recent of the games was Jan. 6 — back before the Kendrick Perkins trade, and when Caron Butler was healthy. Nowitzki didn’t play in the Thunder win. So…

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