I need to add — that play is not where Oklahoma City lost the game. They lost it when they fell behind 18-2 to open the game and had to fight and claw and expend a lot of energy just to get back in it so there could even be a final shot that mattered. They lost the game shooting 5-for-20 in the first quarter. The Thunder can’t dig themselves holes to climb out of against a team with the talent Miami has.
“When you get down 17, too many things have to happen well for you and perfect for you,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after the game. “I give our guys credit that we did fight back, but we can’t afford to have… that’s two games in a row where in the first six minutes we’re down 10-12 points.”
Both Brooks and Durant avoided talking about this play after the game. They took the high road (and avoided fines from DAvid Stern).
That play mars what had been one exciting game and fourth quarter before that.
NBA rookies name Kevin Durant their favorite player
This is the third straight year Durant has claimed the top spot, matching LeBron and Kobe for combined wins in the six years this question was asked of rookies:
This is further evidence: If you resent Kevin Durant for exercising his right to switch employers after nine years with a company that acquired him by producing an awful product, you’re out of touch. Follow the kids’ lead and get with it.
Jason Terry: Luke Walton ‘utterly declined’ my offer to provide Lakers veteran leadership
I called my good friend Luke. I told him if he needed any help, veteran leadership, in that capacity – Lakers – with an ability to coach at the end of my deal, then that was something I would be looking forward to. He utterly declined, and I respect him for that.
Gotta love a guy who announces to the world his pitch of providing veteran leadership was “utterly declined.”
Oklahoma City already had 15 players – the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries plus Semaj Christon (who’s likely headed to the D-League). Lauvergne’s salary is only partially guaranteed, but given his ability and cost, the Thunder surely plan to keep him.
The 6-foot-11 Lauvergne runs the floor well, and he can score in the pick-and-roll and on post-ups. He’s an impressive passer for his size, and he crashes the glass hard. But he’s not much of a rim-protector defensively. At age 24, he should produce well over the next several years – though he’s headed toward restricted free agency next summer.
Depending on the second-round picks, this might have just been a value play by the Thunder. They can figure out the rest later.
Henry – the No. 12 pick in the 2010 draft – never found his footing in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets or Los Angeles Lakers. He made some strides with the Lakers in 2013-14, but he tore his Achilles early the following season. That compounded the knee injuries that made Scott doubt Henry could meet the expectations placed on him coming out of Kansas.
Milwaukee now has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit. If Henry’s deal is unguaranteed, he’s obviously not a lock to stick. But the Bucks could use another wing. I’m guessing they’ll add more players to compete with Henry for that final spot.