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Thunder fans, please stop embarrassing yourselves with Skip Bayless sensationalist comments. The Thunder had the second best record in the league with the an historic point differential. Why did they lose in the playoffs? Oh yeah, because their second best player, a top 5 player in the league, and who the Thunder have built their offense around with KD was injured. And despite that massive loss they still hung with the Grizzliea in every game. You're telling me Russ doesn't make a 6 point difference? Please. This team was primed to go back to the Finals at worst and it sucks that he got hurt but in proud of the way the guys fought.
1 year, 3 months ago on OKC’s season ends early as Memphis moves on, 88-84
It's not that you shouldn't care, it's that the overreaction and sensationalism, even for online standards, is absurd here.
1 year, 6 months ago on Reports: Eric Maynor traded to Portland
@Gyella I'm confused how we've forgotten about the present....
I swear most people that write on here don't seem to know basketball very well. The Thunder got something back for a player that wasn't playing nor was in the future plans of the team. Win.
@tygablood That's retarded. Martin scored 15, just below what Harden averaged. We played horribly and lost on a buzzer beater. Oh well. If you're really making extreme rationalizations after one game, then please devote your attention to something besides basketball because you clearly have no idea what you're talking about.
1 year, 9 months ago on OKC falters late in San Antonio, 86-84
@kdub Huh? The team is still extremely talented. Whatever you're smoking though, I'll have.
@justin_mia @alvarex @S4TISF4CTION @tydude He's a better spot up shooter. Doesn't demand the ball or pound the ball. Different offense.
1 year, 9 months ago on Five leftover questions from the Harden saga
@alvarex @S4TISF4CTION @tydude You know, except the fact Martin has been top percentage in the league at getting to the free throw line most of his career
@tydude Exactly. For one, people are REALLY underselling Kevin Martin. This is a smooth scorer who might ultimately fit in better with Durant and Westbrook because he is a spot up shooter.
@justin_mia You forget he's battled injuries. It happens. And you forget how much better he's made Ibaka. Harden took off after the trade as well. You extend him because he is a role the Thunder need. Until a better option presents itself, I'm fine with it.
@MisterJohnsonOKC @justin_mia Ibaka has looked a lot better having Perk cover his weaknesses.
@justin_mia We were told? It's like you didn't watch basketball before the Thunder became good. Perkins was a big part of a championship team, an elite defense, and was a big part of almost winning the title for a second time until he got hurt. He's battled injuries. That's sports. But he is good, and he's properly paid. Maybe you have never played basketball, but statistics and metrics are not everything. Hell, I wish we had Marcin Gortat in there, but it's not realistic. The market for big men is not good. With him, the team has gone to the WCF and gone to the Finals. I'm fine with that. When there is a better alternative let me know. So easy to armchair QB and say let's amnesty Perk....when who exactly is filling that role? Thabeet?
@Lost Ones @justin_mia It equates to having a better season than you otherwise would have had?
@justin_mia Steve Nash and Kobe are below average defenders at this point, so I'm not sure their defense is really all that much better than it was last year when it was already pretty highly ranked. I favor the Thunder in a series with the Lakers. Maybe not as favored as they'd be pre-trade, but still favored.
@justin_mia He has earned his money. Look at the salaries of big men in the NBA. Big men get paid more. His salary is reasonable and he serves a purpose. Again, we don't win the Grizzlies series without him the year before. He wasn't bad until the finals last year, really. I'm not going to complain about series we won, and a lot of what he does isn't statistically tracked. And being better defensively in 2009-2010 has a lot to do with the assistant coach we had who then went to the Bulls.
@justin_mia It's not optimism. It's basketball. The Lakers ARE a threat, but you can't ignore match-ups. No one on the Lakers can guard Durant. No one on the Lakers can guard Westbrook. This hasn't changed. Conversely, Kobe is getting older and has struggled against Thabo. Gasol struggled mightily against Ibaka. And Perkins can guard Howard without double help. It's simple match-ups. The Thunder's bench is still much better, they are still much more athletic and faster. Yes, Howard helps in that regards, but Howard is smaller than Bynum, so the Lakers lose advantages they did have with Bynum they don't have now.
@justin_mia For the one millionth time, Perkins has made his money and this team wouldn't have been as good these past two years with freaking Nenad Kristic at center
The biggest mistake the Thunder ever made was failing Chandler's medical, not trading Harden.
People so scared of the Lakers need to realize that their off-season didn't do much in improving their match-ups against the Thunder. They lost to the Thunder because they were old and slow. News flash, they're still old and slow. Their bench still is horrible. They still don't have anyone who can guard Westbrook. I think Durant proved last year that Artest doesn't really bother him anymore. Did Gasol do anything against Ibaka? Oh, and Perkins is about as good as you can hope for in guarding Howard, who mind you ISN'T that big an upgrade offensively than Bynum, a legit 7 footer mind you.
Come on guys, name recognition, sure, scary. But Nash, Gasol and Bryant are not in their primes. In fact, Nash and Bryant are at historically high minute marks. This isn't 2006 for them. Still great players, but not what they were. And this idea that we somehow don't have continuity or chemistry issues...we still have the same starting line-up. Howard has done nothing in his career to prove to me he's a true competitor or "wants it". Sorry, he just doesn't and has never scared me.
@SilenceTheLambs @RRRWHATEVER Ridiculously untrue, and Jason Terry is told too
@justin_mia @kdub Losing one guy does not change the group.
@anonymous12345 You mean the guy whose team got swept out of the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks two years ago? That guy?
Bench last year (actually got minutes): Harden, Cook, Fisher, Collison, Nazr
Bench this year (could get minutes): Maynor, Reggie Jackson, Collison, KMart, PJ3, JLamb, Thabeet
One of the last things about Simmons, but this is the guy who repeatedly said the Thunder made a huge mistake drafting him over Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry. He said he didn't fit and his skills overlapped too much and he wasn't sure if he was that good. Can we stop acting like Bill Simmons is some kind of basketball genius?
@MisterJohnsonOKC He does what the team needs him to do. Not beating the Grizzlies in 2011 without him, and have a much tougher time against the Lakers without him last year. The problem is in Brooks knowing when and when not to play him. That's not on Perkins.
Simmons article is a joke. Money over winning? Seriously?! We lost Harden and we're the Sacramento Kings all of a sudden? Please, his take is so ridiculous to me. Our starting line-up is exactly the same! Our bench is better than it was last year, at least in terms of depth. Our best players are already the top echelon of players in the league, despite them being years away from their prime and still improving. Every GM save the Lakers, Celtics, Heat and Spurs (and all but the Heat might even) would trade their entire roster for ours in about .02 seconds.
And can we stop, for the love of Christ, acting like Perkins is some second-rate bum. Truth is, we don't make it as far as we did the last two years without Perkins. He serves his purporse. He might still be amnestied, but I'm 100% fine with him being on the team.
James Harden just came into his own last season. It was breakout year. But he was definitively the Thunder's third best player. Their starting line-up hasn't changed. Maynor is back. Martin is a very good replacement. Lamb and PJ3 are potential studs. Not role players. Studs. Especially in this set-up. Things are just fine.
I do find Simmons to be kind of obnoxious about this. And I do find most media obnoxious about this as well. Listen, this team has Durant (Top 2-3 player) and Westbrook (Top 10-12). Harden was not this team, and any team with 2 of the top 12 players, at worst, in the league is going to be able to contend for titles. Pretty simple.
It was right thing to do to trade him now. You don't let that hang over the team all season, you cut the chord, you move on. Jeremy Lamb was a Top 10 pick if he comes out one year early, and the organization is proven to develop him. Remember that everyone thought the Thunder made a big reach and mistake in drafting Harden, including Mr. Bill Simmons. Harden wasn't even that big of a factor on the team until after the Jeff Green trade. Let's chill.
As far as money goes, the Thunder didn't think he was worth the max. Harden had every right to go get the max. Fair enough, but as Royce said, this idea that you grab as much money as you can is not applied to every day life. And this idea that just because the Thunder made profit they should pay whatever it takes for a player is laughable to. Is that real life? Pretty positive most companies make profits and you are not getting a bump in salary solely because they can afford it. That's not justification for paying someone more.
End of the day, this organization has done nothing but build your trust. It deserves it. Look around the league. Don't be petulant and spoiled. Thunder up.
@Lambchop Nerlens Noel Orton is a very interesting prospect, and they liked him a lot. I'd be shocked if he isn't back.
1 year, 9 months ago on Chin Up: Moving on from James Harden
Remember, Ibaka and PJ3 give them flexibility with their line-ups as well
I think they'll pick up Daniel Orton
@justin_mia @SB718 We lose Harden and gained Maynor, PJ3, Lamb, Kevin Martin, and draft picks. I think the Thunder will be better off next June than they were this past June.
1 year, 9 months ago on Sunday Bolts – Bye-bye Beard Edition
@rednuht @SB718 James Harden should not be mentioned in the same breath as those two players.
@justin_mia Houston offense also didn't have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Listen, before last year Maynor ran the second unit. He's really good and would start for a lot of teams. Not Harden good, but really good. It's not much of a downgrade.
@SB718 Exactly. Listen, if Durant is as good as we think and believe he is, and most people think and believe he is, this "supporting cast" is MORE than enough to win a championship. Didn't the Heat get to the finals when Bosh went down? Bosh is better and more integral to the Heat than Harden was to the Thunder.
Look, I strongly believe the Thunder have just as good a chance to win the title this year as they would if Harden was still there. You can disagree, but only time will tell. But long-term...
I love the idea of a Westbrook, Lamb, Durant, PJ3, Ibaka line-up. That is the most freakishly long and athletic line-up ever potentially. Plus Maynor, Reggie Jackson, some draft picks, etc. Love the thought of it.
@justin_mia Maynor/Martin will average collectively more points, assists, and rebounds than Harden as an individual would. Hence, production being equal. Neither are better players, but that's not basketball.
@rednuht No, just reality. Last time I checked, we still have Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka. It's quite realistic for us to challenge for another title this year.
@justin_mia Harden was extremely well-liked because he was so unique as a player and personality, but he honestly is getting a little too much credit for how good the Thunder are. Maynor/Martin = Harden in production.
@rednuht How are we not still contending for a title? Last time I checked we have talent most teams would dream of. There is literally ZERO reason other than callous overreaction and sensationalism to think the Thunder cannot contend for a title without James harden.
Some of you guys are consistently the most negative, reactionary, sensationalist fans I've ever been around. I don't know if it's because you didn't follow the NBA too close before the Thunder existed, or what, but this defeatist tone I see around here is ridiculous.
Look, I loved James Harden. He's my avatar. He was an exceedingly enjoyable player to watch and cheer for. But, seriously guys, he was the 6th Man and barely a factor in a Finals we were close to winning despite his bad play. This was a really good trade that got the franchise a lot in the short and long-term.
Short-term, Kevin Martin is good. Not James Harden good, but still, very good. He is a good scorer, a good shooter, gets free throws, and there is no clue how much better he will be surrounded by superstar talent. Until this trade, he had never played with a winning team, and this will be a good role for him. Also short-term, people seem to completely neglect that Eric Maynor missed last season, and they tend to forget how big a role he played in the offensive second-unit prior to his injury. Whatever numbers Harden provided, Maynor and Martin alone should be able to equal or exceed that.
Long-term, we are no longer strapped to the salary cap and we still have Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka locked up long term. We can probably resign Maynor (and this is without mentioning Reggie Jackson's upside). We have cap flexibility. We have TWO(!!!) potential lottery picks in next year's draft, plus Jeremy Lamb (a real talent) and PJ3 (a freak talent). That's cheap and young talent that will only get better with an organization proven to develop young players. There is HUGE upside to both Lamb and PJ3, and there is HUGE upside to the players we could potentially draft next year. That's potentially 4 very young, very good players coming into a mix with the second best player in the league (Durant), a top ten player in the league in Westbrook, and a very, very good player in Ibaka. Oh, and all three of those players are under 25 and still improving years away from what is considered a basketball players prime. 99% of organizations in the league wish they had what the Thunder have right now.
And this is a HUGE benefit to do this now instead of let it hang over the team all season, or trade him mid-season or get away for nothing in the off-season. The season is just starting, their starting line-up has not changed, and they'll have all season to tinker and perfect the rotation. Compared to nearly every other team in the league, the Thunder aren't adjusting but so much, lest you forget this team completely changed things up mid-season with the Jeff Green trade and made it to the WCF and then made it to Finals last year despite losing one of their most critical rotation players in the season in Maynor.
Breathe guys. We're fine. In fact, I love it. Takes a little pressure off the team by curtailing expectations, gets the team even younger, opens up cap space for the future, and just possibly puts an even bigger chip on their shoulder.
I'm pumped for this season. Thunder Up.
@ThunderCityUsa @tydude Ugh, Collison and Maynor
2 years ago on How does Dwight Howard to the Lakers impact the Thunder?
@bmuelle21 I never said he was washed up. He is really good. But he is still a 39 year old point guard who can't consistently player 48 minutes a night, and who has health issues. There are zero guarantees, when you get to that age, you can continue to produce at a high level, not to mention the Suns offense was designed to suit Nash's style of play, which won't be the case with the Lakers.
My main point is the upgrades the Lakers made, while making them better, don't make them better than the Thunder. They still don't have anyone to guard Durant. They still don't have anyone that can guard Westbrook. Bryant struggled mightily against Thabo and Harden. Perkins can guard Howard as well as anyone, and Collison/Ibaka have always done a good job on Gasol.
The Thunder are still younger (even moreso now), still faster, still deeper. They still hold the same advantages they did last playoffs.
@azzedinr Exactly. People act like Howard is a massive upgrade over Bynum, but that just simply isn't the case. Howard is more athletic and will both guard and run the pick and roll much better. But he is about 2-3 inches shorter than Bynum, and will not command the same attention in the low post that Bynum does. He also is a much more worse and unreliable free throw shooter than Bynum.
@tygablood And the Lakers are coached by Mike Brown...your point?
A great, rational perspective. Thunder are still deeper, still younger, still faster. No reason to believe they won't improve as they have every year. Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka are not near entering their primes. Maynor coming back is Big. And PJ3 might be the steal of the draft.
Lakers are better, but Howard over Bynum isn't that much of an upgrade, and a downgrade in some ways (free throw shooting, size, post play). Kobe is older. Nash is older. On paper, yeah, those names carry a lot of weight, but in actuality the 2012-2013 Lakers are only marginally better in my opinion. All of the advantages the Thunder had this past season, they'll have in any series next season.
Context people. Stop being irrational sensationalists based on Name Brands alone. Is this team really that much better than the one that the Thunder beat 4-1 last year? Better, sure, maybe, but that much? Come on.
Kobe Bryant is not The Kobe Bryant. He will certainly have his moments but age does take its toll, and more than anything Kobe gets his points off jump shots now. Thabo and Harden defend him as well as anyone and no reason to think that will change.
Last I checked Gasol was on that team we beat back in May, and last I checked Gasol isn't nearly as effective running the 4 than when he is running the 5.
Steve Nash. Great career. Still a very useful player. But. He. Is. 38. To act like he is going to come in and be the Steve Nash of Suns Yesteryear is just not realistic, especially being in an offense with multiple players who need the ball. There are no guarantees this unit will be cohesive, and that isn't to mention that the Lakers still have absolutely nobody that can remotely guard Russell Westbrook. Not even a prayer,
And as for Dwight Howard. Y'all realize that he isn't that big of an upgrade over Bynum? For one, he isn't 7 feet (he's 6'10) and his numbers really aren't dramatically different. Perkins can guard Howard, just as he guarded Bynum. And Bynum even makes his free throws.
So in the end Thunder fans. Chill. The Thunder should still be the favorites and if the media decides they aren't, well then, serves more fuel for our young guns fire. The Lakers lost to the Thunder last year because they couldn't guard Russell (still can't), couldn't guard Durant (still can't), and had old legs (guess what, they even got older with Nash and Howard being 2+ years older than Bynum). Oh, and Westbrook, Harden, Durant and Ibaka should all get better than they were last season, since, you know, that's what normally happens with players a few years AWAY from their primes.
The Lakers present a challenge to the Thunder, of course, but not one that the Thunder shouldn't be able to handle. So stop freaking out on name recognition alone, because you just sound like all the people going bonkers when Karl Malone and Gary Payton joined the Lakers in 2003.
2 years ago on Reports: Dwight Howard headed to the Lakers
Couldn't have worked out better for both the Thunder and PJ3. Organization and work ethic of the players will rub off on PJ3. He's a Top 10, Top 5 talent....Awesome.
2 years, 1 month ago on Thunder select Perry Jones III with the 28th pick
Still the team in West I think present the Thunder with the most problems.
2 years, 2 months ago on The Thunder’s top 20 plays from the playoffs
Threats to Thunder:
1) Heat. Pretty obvious. Think this is going to be The Rivalry of this decade. Don't really see any team in the East beating the Heat, barring injury, in the near future, so naturally, this will most likely be the opponent in the Finals.
2) Got to focus in the West, and in the West, I still think the biggest threat are the Grizzlies. Depending on what they do with cap space and all that, they present a big test for the Thunder in any series the two should meet in. Marc Gasol is a stud. Rudy Gay is a very poor man's Durant. Conley is a very good point guard. They have a lot of size and can hurt the Thunder inside, and slow the game down. Do I think they are better? Hell no. But they are certainly a big threat.
3) Clippers. Beat the Thunder 3-1 in the season series. Chris Paul provides problems. Who knows what they do with their cap space and if they can resign Paul and Griffin, but with the right pieces, this a team that can present the Thunder with problems.
Lots of variables out there that could change all of this. Where does Dwight Howard and Derron Williams end up? What happens with Pau Gasol? Can the Spurs pull more rabbits out of their ass with rotational players? Kobe, Dirk, Duncan, Ginobli...all getting older, naturally their production will decline, meanwhile...In the East, who is beating the Heat? No guarantee Rose is able to come back as the same player or that the Celtics will be able to move on from the Big Three era. I'll worry about Carmelo once he gets out of the first round again (only one time in his 9 year career).
The prime for a basketball player is generally considered 28-32.
Durant and Westbrook are 23. Harden is 22. Ibaka is 22. They are as close to the beginning of their careers as they are to hitting their primes (health permitting).
That's way scarier for the rest of the NBA than the rest of the NBA should be to us.