Archive for the ‘ OKC Thunder Blog ’ Category

Sebastian Telfair to join Thunder

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on the Thunder:

Sebastian Telfair to join Thunder

Looking to add depth and experience at the lead guard position following the departure of Derek Fisher, the Thunder has agreed to terms with veteran point guard Sebastian Telfair.

Telfair, 29, was the 13th overall pick in 2004. He’s played for seven teams in nine seasons but spent last season in China. In 548 career NBA games, Telfair has averaged 7.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 21.6 minutes.

The deal is a one-year contract at the veteran’s minimum, about $1.3 million.

Nick Collison undergoes knee surgery

Thunder forward Nick Collison undergoes knee surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced today.

This past season, Collison appeared in 81 games and averaged 4.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 16.7 minutes per game.

Collison is expected to miss 4-6 weeks before returning to normal offseason activities.

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on the Thunder:

Kendrick Perkins has suggestion for Kevin Durant

Kendrick Perkins, Durant’s most outspoken teammate, didn’t mind offering up a specific suggestion.

Hit the weight room.

“I feel like he could get stronger, in my opinion,” Perkins said. “I think that would help him a lot. I told him all the good and great players that played the game, from Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, they all put size on them, and it helped them.”

More strength, Perkins said, will only benefit Durant’s body and set the stage for him to succeed in demanding times. For Durant, those include the need to be a better and more consistent defender, a more dependable low-post scoring threat and to persevere through seasons like this past one in which Durant’s minutes piled up to an outlandish league-leading tally.

“Seems like there was possessions he was tired,” Perkins said of Durant. “But, like I said, I think that’s (when) getting in the weight room plays a factor. Cause then you could let your body take over.”

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on the Thunder, who finished the regular season with a 59-23 record, second best in the league behind the San Antonio Spurs. OKC wound up losing to those Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti says coach Scott Brooks is coming back

In his first public comments since the conclusion of the Thunder’s season, Sam Presti on Thursday ended all speculation surrounding Scott Brooks.

The general manager said the coach is coming back.

“Scotty, I think, did an excellent job,” Presti said at his annual season-ending news conference. “I understand we all have a tendency to look at the last game or the last series. I respect that. That’s part of sports. I can’t do that. I’m looking at a body of work. I’m looking at an understanding of what drives our success and the way in which we’ve gotten to this point.”

Brooks, Presti believes, is a big part of the reason.

The Thunder has won at least 61 percent of its games in each of Brooks’ five full seasons at the helm, and the team improved its winning percentage in five straight seasons before this year.

Spurs beat Thunder in OT, advance to NBA Finals

San Antonio fought off Father Time, the league MVP and an injury to its best player to return to the NBA Finals.

The Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 in overtime Saturday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals to set up a rematch with the Miami Heat.

San Antonio will host Game 1 on Thursday night and will try to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss. San Antonio led Miami 3-2 before losing Game 6 in overtime, then dropping Game 7…

San Antonio pulled this one out despite All-Star point guard Tony Parker missing the entire second half and overtime with left ankle soreness. Popovich said Parker had been struggling with the ankle since Game 4 of the series. The Spurs overcame it the way they have for more than a decade — with teamwork, passing and great performances by role players…

Russell Westbrook had 34 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals, and MVP Kevin Durant added 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder. But Oklahoma City committed 20 turnovers that led to 33 points for the Spurs. Westbrook and Durant each had seven turnovers.

– Associated Press

Here are video highlights of the top plays from Spurs vs Thunder Western Conference Finals Game 6. The Spurs won 112-107 in overtime to advance to the 2014 NBA Finals, where they will face the Miami Heat in a rematch of last year’s matchup.

The Spurs won Game 5 of their Western Conference Finals series against the Thunder, 117-89 Thursday. Here are video highlights of some of the game’s best plays:

Here are video highlights of the top plays from Spurs vs Thunder Game 3, which took place in OKC last night. The Thunder won, 106-97:

Video: The playoff return of Serge Ibaka

Sunday in Oklahoma City, the Thunder won Game 3 of their Western Conference Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. OKC got a lift from the unexpected return of power forward Serge Ibaka, who in 30 minutes shot 6-of-7 for 15 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and a steal. Here are some video highlights of Ibaka’s playoff return:

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was supposed to be out for the rest of the 2014 NBA playoffs. Yet, he’s back, and played well in Game 3, helping OKC grab a win. After the game, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich cracked a good joke, which you can listen to here:

The Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night in OKC. The Spurs still lead the Western Conference Finals 2-1, but the with the return of Serge Ibaka, a shakeup in the backcourt, and a much-needed win, the Thunder have to feel better about the series. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on a change at the shooting guard spot:

reggie jackson

Serge Ibaka was back, which meant Serge Ibaka was starting. That was a no-brainer for Scott Brooks.

But there were two changes to Brooks’ starting lineup before Sunday night’s 106-97 momentum-shifting win for the Thunder — the second not as loud or heroic but nearly as impactful as Ibaka’s triumphant return.

For the first time in his career, Reggie Jackson started alongside Russell Westbrook. He replaced the previously ineffective Thabo Sefolosha and injected some needed offensive punch into the lineup, playing a game-high 37 minutes and scoring 15 points — six more than three OKC starters combined for in the first two games.

serge ibaka

The following statement was issued today by Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding the status of Serge Ibaka’s left calf injury:

“The abundance of blood and therefore swelling in Serge’s calf has reduced substantially and unexpectedly, allowing a level of movement and stability not thought possible after the initial diagnosis. Based on both imaging and physical exam, the considerable swelling in the calf indicated the likelihood of a certain degree of injury, and that established the original time frame for recovery.

At present, Serge has yet to complete a full basketball workout, but is walking and doing light basketball drills. With this new information, and in an effort to keep his status current, we are now listing him as day-to-day with the understanding that there is a possibility for him to play in this series.”

Wednesday in San Antonio, the Spurs easily beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-77 to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference Finals series. Here are video highlights of the game’s top plays:

Thursday night in Los Angeles, The Oklahoma City Thunder eliminated the Clippers in the sixth game of their second-round NBA playoff series. Kevin Durant shot 12-of-23 for 39 points and 16 rebounds in the win. Enjoy these video highlights of Durant doing his thing:

Serge Ibaka injured, out for rest of playoffs

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka underwent an MRI today that confirmed he suffered a left calf injury during the third quarter of last night’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced. Ibaka is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014 postseason.

This is a huge blow to OKC. Ibaka provides toughness, defense, and on offense he is able to stretch the floor thanks to solid range on his jumpshot. The San Antonio Spurs, who will face the Thunder in the 2014 Western Conference Finals with Game 1 Monday night, caught a break here. Though they still face a very tough opponent who certainly can still win.

Ibaka is averaging 12.2 points on 69-of-112 (.616) shooting from the field, 7.3 rebounds and 2.23 blocks in 13 postseason games.  During the 2013-14 regular season, Ibaka notched career-highs with 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds, while leading the league in total blocks for the fourth consecutive season with 219 blocked shots.

“We are obviously disappointed for Serge, as he is a tremendous competitor, and we know how badly he wants to be on the court with his teammates,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “At this point it is important that our team directs its concentration and energy towards preparation and execution for our upcoming series.  As with all teams, our group has confronted different challenges. It is our collective experience that we will call on to ensure that we play to our capabilities.”

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today. It is the first MVP award for Durant, who captured his fourth scoring title in five seasons, joining Wilt Chamberlain, George Gervin and Michael Jordan as the only players to accomplish this feat. Despite teammate Russell Westbrook appearing in only 46 games, Durant guided the Thunder to the NBA’s second-best record at 59-23.

Durant totaled 1,232 points, including 119 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 voters that consisted of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote, making for 125 total ballots. For the fifth consecutive season, the NBA gave fans the opportunity to submit their votes by ranking their top five choices through a dedicated Web page on NBA.com. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 124 media votes to determine the winner. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for each third-place vote, three for each fourth-place vote and one for each fifth-place vote received.

Rounding out the top five in voting are Miami’s LeBron James (891 points, six first-place votes), the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin (434 points), the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah (322 points), and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (85 points).

Durant averaged a career-best 32.0 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists, also a career high. In capturing his fourth scoring title, he joined Jordan (10), Chamberlain (seven), Gervin (four), and Allen Iverson (four) as the only players in league annals to win at least four scoring titles. He shot .503 from the field, .391 from three-point range, and .873 from the free throw line, leading all players in free throws made (703) and attempted (805). Durant authored two 50-point games, topped the 40-point mark on 14 occasions, and turned in 17 games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Durant’s consistency was highlighted by his streak of 41 consecutive games scoring at least 25 points, which ran from Jan. 7 through April 6, and was the longest streak since Michael Jordan did it in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season. It’s the third-longest streak (single season) in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in all 80 games during the 1961-62 season, and Oscar Robertson, who went for 25-plus in 46 straight games during the 1963-64 season. Chamberlain did it for 106 straight games over the course of the 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons.

The winner of four NBA Player of the Month honors in 2013-14 (October-November, December, January and March), Durant was also named Player of the Week six times (Dec. 2, Dec. 30, Jan. 20, Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and March 24).

The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times on Clippers point guard CP3 and the great things he did last night:

Chris Paul

Tired from a grueling seven-game first-round playoff series?

Not Chris Paul and the Clippers.

Exhausted from the dark cloud that enveloped them at every turn?

Not Paul and the Clippers.

Paul orchestrated an impressive show of force Monday night that carried the Clippers to 122-105 demolition of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of a Western Conference second-round playoff series.

His 32 points in only 27 minutes 44 seconds propelled the Clippers to a resounding win in the opener of the best-of-seven series at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Even more impressive was his shooting. Paul made his first eight three-point attempts and finished eight for nine, and hit 12 for 14 shots overall as the Clippers snatched the home-court advantage away from the Thunder.

Zach Randolph suspended for punching Steven Adams

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been suspended one game without pay for punching Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 6:42 remaining in the fourth quarter of Memphis’ 104-84 loss to the Thunder on Thursday, May 1, at FedEx Forum.

Randolph will serve his suspension on Saturday, May 3, when the Grizzlies visit the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game 7 of their first round NBA playoff series.

To view the play, click on this link.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on some drama in Oklahoma City:

A headline in The Oklahoman focusing on Kevin Durant’s struggles in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s series with the Memphis Grizzlies has caused a distraction before the team faces an elimination game Thursday night.

The headline, which read “Mr. Unreliable,” in part referred to Durant’s recent slump, which has him shooting just 40 percent in the series and 15-of-45 over the past two games. The headline generated strong reaction and led Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman to issue an apology, saying in a statement the “words were overstated and unduly harsh.”

He clarified that the headline was focused on Durant’s play against Memphis, rather than the NBA scoring champion’s body of work.

“I’m unreliable? Me, Mr. Unreliable?” Durant said Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, the Grizzlies beat the Thunder 100-99 in overtime to take a 3-2 lead in their first round playoff series. Here are some video highlights of Russell Westbrook and Mike Miller:

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