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Tag Archives: Harden

Game 32 Results: Dirkless Daggers

A perfect metaphor

Final Score: Mavs 103, Thunder 93

Record: 21-11

Stat Leaders

Points: Durant with 28, Butler with 21

Rebounds: Tyson Chandler with 10, Ibaka with 9

Assists: Kidd with 10, Westbrook with 7

You could probably subtitle this post with this image:

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12/14 Daily Links

A second off-day?  I don’t even know what to do with myself.  Good thing the Internet exists.

What the pros are saying:

What I’m saying:

  • Rohde’s piece is excellent because it perfectly exemplifies good coaching and bilateral trust.Story Time: A few years back, before I had ascended to this lofty sports-blogging perch, I worked in a finance department where I oversaw the operational reporting of a large sales force.  The chronic historical problem for this position and the department was that we couldn’t get the sales people to properly document their work effort.  This failure led to a doubly- adverse effect: we didn’t have accurate financial reporting, and the sales force did not get properly compensated.  And yet, the sales team thought they were operating in their own best self-interest, spending as little time doing paperwork and as much time as possible actually selling stuff.  How to convince them otherwise?

    Quite coincidentally, I also was taking a parenting class with my wife at the time to learn how to set a good foundation for raising our newborn daughter.  In this class we learned all sorts of things on how to deal with children who had yet to understand that boundaries, while seemingly restrictive, are actually the best way to learn how to operate happily and constructively.  How do you establish boundaries? Through lots of personal interaction and a mixture of encouragement, incentives, training, and sometimes discipline.  I was at my rope’s end, so I said to myself, “Why not?” So I began to apply these little parenting rules to establish better boundaries.  Through communication, training, accountability, and yes, occasionally discipline, the sales team began to realize that the boundaries we were setting up had a mutual and synergistic effect where we got what we wanted, and they got what we wanted.  Certainly if I ever told them I was applying parenting tips to the sales team they would have been rightly offended, but never the less I was amazed at how the basic principles took hold to help give the group direction and a higher morale.

    The moral of the story should be clear by now: Never volunteer to oversee the financials of a sales team.

  • Cool idea on the NBA credit cards.  I have an idea for one.  Here it is.

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12/2 Daily Links

Sixty-three minutes of NBA action can take a toll on you.  I bet the Thunder players were tired too.

What the pros are saying:

What I’m saying:

  • It really is kind of staggering as to how many times the Thunder found themselves in a hole in the 4th, and each of the OT’s.  What I really liked was the heightened concentration that resulted.  They were very impatient at the beginning of the game, but slowed down and focused when it mattered the most.  And nobody had greater concentration than Jeff Green and his three free throws at the end of the 2nd OT.  Pure ice.
  • Very interesting quote in Sheridan’s piece:
    “Our coaches did a good job of warning us what play they might run, and that’s what they ran and we played it well. We knew that play was coming, and we stopped it” – Russell Westbrook

    If that’s true, then WOW, that’s some pretty amazing game preparation and coaching by Brooks.  Because if you watch the play break down, Westbrook clearly sags off of Farmar as he’s driving to the rim.  Westbrook let him go, knowing that he’d kick it wide to the hot handed Morrow, and the Thunder then successfully trapped him in the corner.  It’s like a classic judo move – let the opponent go the way they want to go, and then use their own force against them.

  • Excellent point about the “Do we foul the man?” debate at the end of regulation.  It will take more coaching and practicing the scenario, but the good rule of thumb is, if the man puts the ball on the court, he cannot simultaneously be in the act of shooting, and it’s safe to foul him.  Morrow dribbled and then shot.  Opportunity missed.  Green caught, elevated, and shot.  Bad foul, even if the shot hadn’t even come close.
  • Green also provided a wonderful template for Durant of all people.  He was far more integrated in the offense, getting Durant-like shots, than Durant has all season.  He was posting up, curling, popping, and slashing to the rim with total control and balance.  He was patient in a way that Durant has not. (Which of course furthers my point that he’s the perfect guy to play 6th man by spelling Durant. They just don’t co-exist well since they play so similarly).
  • Westbrook, best PG?  Not quite yet.  The true test of an elite PG is whether he can dominate a game without taking a shot.
  • I loved the way James Harden stepped up in the game.  He has really good body control.  He started attacking the rim consistently in a way that reminded me a bit of hoops prodigy/NBA disappointment Kenny Anderson, right down to the lefty shot.  Contrast that against Westbrook, who goes at the rim the same way Dwyane Wade does – to inflict maximum punishment.
  • I don’t know if Mo Cheeks will get the nod this year for the HoF.  He had a solid career and is widely known as one of the better PG’s of the 80’s.  One thing that surprises me is how there has been very little discussion so far this year regarding his appearance on the Thunder’s bench and Westbrook’s meteoric rise as a Super-PG.  Correlation? Causation? A little insight would be nice.
  • Last note on Cheeks – even if he doesn’t make it to the HoF, in my mind he’ll be known forever for two things – helping Dr. J win his only NBA championship, and THIS.  Sometimes it is the small moments, away from the fanfare, that shows us who the true men of character really are.

Add another one to the Westbrook jam lexicon.

The 12 Best Sports Agents in the World

Apropos of nothing, here is a list of the top 12 sports agents as compiled by BusinessInsider.

The article relates to the Thunder because currently #’s 4 and 5 represent Russell Westbrook and James Harden, respectively, and Jeff Green is represented by the legendary (though not appearing on this list) David Falk.  All three of these players are still in their rookie contracts, so Mr. Presti is going to be dealing with all of them in the very near future.

The 12 Best Sports Agents In the World

Six of  the men on the list represent NBA players, a surprising number since NBA franchises operate under a soft salary cap (but with stiff penalties for overage).  Here are the sports agents appearing in the list that represent NBA players.

I gotta say, good work Messrs. Tellem and Austin, that’s some good hustle right there.

Rank Agent Agency Top Athlete Top Contract
#4 Arn Tellem WMG Management Joe Johnson (ATL) $124M
#5 Rob Pelinka Landmark Sports Agency Kobe Bryant (LAL) $83.5M
#6 Bill Duffy BDA Sports Management Carmelo Anthony (DEN) $80M
#9 Leon Rose CAA LeBron James (MIA) $110M
#10 Dan Fegan Lagadère Unlimited Dwight Howard(Orl) $80M
#11 Jeff Austin Octagon Rudy Gay (Mem) $80M

Source: BusinessInsider.com

Good News for Durant, Green

It looks like Durant and Green will be back in action for tonight’s game against Minnesota.

Greent, Durant to Return Tonight


They will both move back into the starting lineup for tonight’s tipoff.  This return also means that Serge Ibaka and James Harden will return to the bench.  Keep a close eye on how they look in the 1st quarter.

Game 8 Results: Offensive Fury

Final Score: Thunder 110, Blazers 108

Thunder Record: 5-3

Stat Leaders:

Points: Westbrook with 36

Rebounds: Westbrook and Ibaka with 7

Assists: Westbrook with 7

This is what is known as, “Filling up the box score.”

Postgame Analysis

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