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Tag:Oklahoma City thunder
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Jason Kidd fined $25K for blasting refs

Jason Kidd was hit with a fine. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Everyone seems to agree that Jason Kidd will one day make an excellent NBA coach. He got a jump on his future this week, when he blasted off on a group of officials for doing a poor job and for not paying his Dallas Mavericks the respect they deserve as defending 2011 NBA champions.

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Kidd has been fined $25,000 for comments he made following a Monday night loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks led late but wound up losing 95-91 and shot just 10 free throws while Oklahoma City attempted 33. Kidd was upset about that free throw disparity as well as a late, questionable foul call.

Here are the offending quotes via ESPNDallas.com.
"We don't get the benefit of the whistle," Kidd said. "I don't think we're looked upon as champions, but that's a whole other story. Dirk [Nowitzki] should live at the line if they would call it the way it's supposed to be. But, he doesn't."

"He didn't foul him. It was a bad call. Clean block," Kidd said. "I just said [to referee Pat Fraher] it wasn't a foul. He blocked the ball and after the play he said he bumped him with his body. I don't think so. It was a bad night for the officials. It happens."
According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Kidd, 38, is on the books for $9.6 million this season.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:56 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 5:55 pm
 

Westbrook will play Saturday versus Hawks

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE: Westbrook will make it 283 straight as he's set to play tonight against the Hawks.

---

Russell Westbrook has never missed a game as pro. Or in college. He's played 282 consecutive games for the Thunder, but that could be coming to an end Saturday night.

In the fourth quarter of OKC's win over the Magic Westbrook stepped on a defender's foot and rolled his left ankle. He walked it off, sinking two free throws right after and playing pretty much the rest of the way. He exited the game with about 30 seconds left and went to the locker room.

Said Westbrook after the game, via The Oklahoman: "I'm much more focused on my career ... I think missing a game instead of missing (more time) in the long run won't hurt you. So we'll just see how it feels and hopefully I'll be able to play."

(If you're wondering, the all-time NBA record for most consecutive games played is 1,192 set by A.C. Green.)

This ankle injury comes just over a week after he rolled his other ankle in a game against Golden State. Westbrook didn't miss any time because of that one, but it certainly sounds like he's taking a cautious approach, which is wise.

If Westbrook can't go Saturday against the Hawks, Scott Brooks will have an interesting choice between Reggie Jackson or Royal Ivey. Jackson is the de facto backup as of now, but would Brooks really trust his inconsistent rookie with big minutes? Or would he split time between Ivey and Jackson with Harden running a healthy amount of point?

Hopefully for the Thunder's sake, they don't have to find out.

Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:25 am
 

Report Card: Flying fast breaks rule

Posted by Royce Young

 No-look oop? No big.

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Kevin Durant
How's this: Durant: 18 points on 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter. Orlando, 21 points on 8-of-25 shooting. The Magic had Oklahoma City beat, but that KD guy hit a couple tough shots, one impossible shot and closed out Orlando, finishing with 38 total. It's really no coincidence that the Thunder are 29-7. They just figure out how to win.
Awesome fast breaks
The two best fastbreaking teams in the league both put up nominees for "Fast break oop of the night." The Heat's (above) included a Dwyane Wade no-look lob to a flying LeBron. The Thunder's featured a no-dribble break that went Durant-Westbrook-Durant for a soaring finish. Take your pick. Both were awesome.
Steve Nash
The ageless one piled up 17 assists to go with 13 points as the Suns took down Minnesota. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, how about eight rebounds too. I really don't know how Nash is doing it. At this point, if you told me he'd be averaging a double-double when he's 58, I'd believe you.
Jimmer Fredette
The Kings lost, but there were small flashes of brilliance from Jimmer. It's March, so it might be Jimmer Time. He scored only 11 points, but hit 3-of-4 from 3 and started to play with a little of that BYU swag that made him such a scoring machine.
Dwight Howard
Howard finished with 33 points on 20 shots, but was a non-factor as the Orlando offense sputtered to a halt late in the game. Howard only got a couple of baskets -- a lob, a putback dunk, another cutting dunk and a couple free throws. He wants to be a part of the late game offense, but it's really hard to see how he can be. The Thunder used Kendrick Perkins on Howard one-on-one in the post and Perkins basically stopped him.
Orlando Magic's fourth quarter As mentioned above, the Magic scored only 21 points in the fourth. The problem with that being Oklahoma City had 35. Orlando blew an 11-point lead as the Thunder came back and took a tough one from the Magic. The offense had no idea where to look for baskets outside of just chucking a deep 3 and hoping Howard could clean up the glass.
Beasley and Williams
A night after going for a combined 54 on 20-25 shooting, Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams combined for nine points on 3-15 shooting.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:58 am
 

Report Card 2.29.12: Rose takes over

Russell Westbrook worked the Sixers on the glass Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Chicago Bulls Even without Manu, that's a statement win. On the road against an elite team with a few matchup advantages and several Hall of Famers, the Bulls took care of business in an efficient and rambunxious way. They held off several runs by the Spurs and in the end, it was Derrick Rose making plays with an off-glass floater, a pull-up jumper, and pass out of the double to kickstart a rotation for the Luol Deng dagger that sealed it. They attacked the glass, they challenged the Spurs at every turn, and they made big shots. Great win for the Bulls.
OKC offensive rebounding They only pull in a B because the Sixers simply don't have a good team to control the glass with, especially against the athletic riot the Thunder employ, but Russell Westbrook did some downright incredible things in tracking down misses, both his and others'. The Thunder ground the Sixers into dirt late in this game when the Sixers were in a great position to steal it. It's the kind of game they would have lost last year, albeit only by a handful of points. This time they won it in emphatic fashion, and their ability to create extra possessions and frustrate the Sixers was a big reason why.
Cleveland Cavaliers Back-to-back road losses without Varejao are usually pretty acceptable. The Cavaliers played well enough in the first half to set themselves up to roll out but let the Knicks back in it in the third, then watched them fly by. They played well enough in the first half and more importantly, gave Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson minutes, which may be more important than how they played.
Charlotte Bobcats You lose to Detroit by double digits, you get an F. The end.


E FOR EFFORT
Kobe Bryant (31 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, one concussion played through, one mask used)
Russell Westbrook (22 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, monster board work)
Greg Monroe (19 points, 20 rebounds)
Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:58 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 12:00 am
 

Check that trophy off: Durant wins All-Star MVP

Posted by Royce Young



ORLANDO -- There are certain boxes a player needs to check off while building an all-time resume. And Kevin Durant just pulled out a big red marker.

The 23-year-old superstar has already accomplished quite a lot in his four-plus NBA seasons. He's won two scoring titles. He's been named to the All-Star team three times, twice as a starter. Been named to three All-NBA teams. He's played in the Western Conference Finals. He won the HORSE competition twice in a row. OK, so that last one's not so prestigious.

But now he's got an All-Star MVP. That's a bunch of checks for a guy that only started driving seven years ago.

Durant took home the trophy with a 36-point, seven-rebound, three-assist performance in the West's 152-149 victory over the East in the 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando. He tied with LeBron James for the game-high in points, but taking nine out of 13 possible votes, Durant took home the award.

"It's just exciting to be named an All-Star, but to step it up another level and become MVP, it's only something that as a kid you dream about," Durant said. "Coming from where I come from, I didn't think I would be here. Everything has just been a blessing to me. I'm excited. I'm glad I'm taking this back to Oklahoma City."

It was obvious early on that Durant was serious about this glorified exhibition game. He attacked often, slowed into his gorgeous pull-up game and became the West's offensive focal point. Which is saying something when you're sharing the floor with Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin.

Durant had 21 points at the half, 34 at the end of the third quarter and when he checked back in with 7:53 left in the fourth quarter, he had a realistic shot at Wilt Chamberlain's 1962 all-time mark of 42 points in an All-Star Game.

"I didn't know. I didn't know," he said about Chamberlain's mark. "But you know, MVP is something that you want to get in this game, and I'm glad I got it. It made me feel better, all the guys congratulated me. It's just crazy now that I can hoist this trophy."

One thing that helped? Durant's coach, Scott Brooks was leading the Western All-Stars, which meant Durant basically could call his own game. He got a game-high 37 minutes and it was pretty clear that he had an eye on that MVP trophy.

"I wasn’t surprised at all,” he said. “Me and Scotty have been talking about this for a couple of weeks.”

Said Brooks about his golden calf: "He just comes in and does his work. He's a tremendous kid as well as you all know. Off the court, he's classy, he's a special teammate. What he does doesn't surprise me other than he did well at the Three-point Shooting Contest last night. That actually surprised me."

The All-Star Game always has an open feel to it and high point total aren't anything to get excited about. That's just part of it. Players have big games, piling up points on easy dunks, layups and open jumpers. But it does say something about who's getting those looks. It's about who's deferring to who, who's taking control. For instance, with Kobe Bryant on the floor with Durant and the East pulling within a point, it was Durant's running floater that put the West back up three. Durant took the most shots (25) and basically controlled the offense. That's the power of the Durantula -- he pushed the Black Mamba aside and owned the game. Not an easy thing to do.

You can say it was a changing of the guard, a passing of the baton or whatever metaphor you feel like working in, but as Kobe set the all-time mark for points in the game, passing Michael Jordan, Durant took home the MVP and was the West's alpha dog. With three games under his belt, Durant's off to a good start. Bryant sits on 271, Durant 186 shy of that and a lot of years ahead of him.

Said Dwyane Wade, “With KD in the league, I don’t know how long it’s going to last.”

Durant has always preferred to stay humble and quiet about his own other-worldly game, choosing to just let his play do his talking. He's never called himself great, never pointed at anything he's done. And even on one of the NBA's biggest stages after winning one of the game's most prestigious pieces of hardware, he still wouldn't just finally admit he's a real superstar.

"I wouldn't say that yet. Hopefully. Hopefully soon I can say that," he said. "Once I grow old, I can tell my kids that I got an All-Star Game trophy."

Trust me, KD. You're going to be telling your kids about a whole lot more trophies than just that one.
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:55 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 11:18 pm
 

Kevin Durant wins 2012 All-Star MVP

By Matt Moore 

Kevin Durant won the 2012 NBA All-Star MVP with 36 points on 14-25 shooting, with seven rebounds and three assists Sunday as the West won 152-149. It is his first All-Star MVP and a clear demonstration of the next level Durant is at. You have to wonder if the actual MVP is far behind this season. 

LeBron James also had 36 but turned the ball over on the final possession out of a double-team. Because, really, you knew that had to happen for us to have something stupid to write about tonight.

Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:53 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 3:06 pm
 

A clip from KD's movie 'Thunderstruck'

Posted by Royce Young



ORLANDO — It's definitely going to win any awards and it's probably not going to be scoring high on Rotten Tomatoes. It might not even be going to theaters, but Kevin Durant made a movie and there was a promotional press conference for it Friday in Orlando.

Durant was there with his two co-stars Tristan May and Taylor Gray as well as with a producer and the director. He answered some questions about it and when the clip rolled, he looked a little uncomfortable watching himself. Because originally, Durant didn't want to do the movie. It wasn't him, he said.

"When they first came to me with it, I was like 'No, I'm not going to do it,'" Durant said. "But after a while I wanted people to see a different side of me other than just playing basketball. And I'm glad I did. I had a lot of fun and stepped out of my comfort zone."  

The synopsis for the movie, which is definitely aimed for kids, is  "fun and energetic family basketball movie" starring Durant, as himself, playing a "basketball star who switches talent with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. When Brian, a hopelessly uncoordinated young fan, magically switches basketball  skills  with his hero, Kevin Durant, he becomes the star of his high  school team ... while Kevin Durant suddenly can’t make a shot to save his life. But with the playoffs approaching, Brian learns that being a true winner  involves working hard at your own game, and he tries to make things right in time to prevent a catastrophic end to his hero’s season."

Sounds awesome, huh? So why did Durant decide to do it?  Other than just doing something different (and I'm sure because of the money), he said one of his main goals was to help put OKC and the Thunder's name out there a bit more.

“That was one of my main goals when I first got to Oklahoma City," Durant said. "Whatever I do just try and represent it as much as I can. Because we are always underrated as a city and people always look down on us. So like I said, I just try and represent as much as a I can. With the film, seeing Thunder everywhere makes me feel good.”

But KD talked about the movie some, they showed a clip and they gave me a free mini basketball. So overall, score.

Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:54 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 10:57 am
 

Video: James Harden and Kobe get into it

By Matt Moore 

Last night as the Thunder were running away from the Lakers, James Harden and Kobe Bryant got into it. It was another horrible shooting night for Bryant, who scored 24 points on 24 shots as Harden was about as high up in his grill as you can get. Harden was also dropping threes and dunking in transition, essentially running the Lakers and Kobe out of the building. Bryant did not take well to it. The Orange County Register reported that Harde was yelling in Bryant's face after a three, and kept at it. Then this whole situation developed, courtesy of @Jose3030 on Twitter

 

Fun times!

The obvious response from Kobe is to say "Count the rings!" and the obvious respone from Harden is to say "That's ancient history, old man." The Thunder continue to make a statement this season that the power rests in the West with OKC and the Lakers are yet another team past its prime trying to hang on.

If these two meet in the playoffs, that's going to be a lot of fun seeing if Bryant can teach Harden a lesson in humility, or if Harden gets to have the last laugh with that beard of his.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com