Sounds of Silence in Loud City

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – OK, science students. What’s louder than the sound of Thunder?

No question it’s the thud of 18,203 jaws and hearts hitting the hardwood floor at Oklahoma City Arena (aka “Loud City”) when Kevin Durant limped off the court last night.

In a heartbeat, Thunder fans everywhere saw their lives — or at least the rest of the season and playoffs — flash before their eyes when The Franchise bypassed the bench and headed straight to the locker room.

It occurred late in the third quarter when Durant drove through the lane, tried to plant his left foot, landed instead on top of Tyler Hansbrough’s foot and rolled his left ankle.

Just like that, all of the good feeling about the OKC debuts of Nazr Mohammed and Nate Robinson and the giddiness about how good the Thunder can become when the other new acquisition Kendrick Perkins gets into the lineup went right out the window.

But while he left the arena wearing a protective boot on what was diagnosed as a sprained ankle, according to Jenni Carlson of the Oklahoman, Durant said he’ll be OK after first tossing out a playful scare:

“I’m out for the year,” he said when asked how his ankle was.

He quickly flashed a Cheshire-cat grin.

“I’m just playin’.”

Deep breath, Thunder fans. The guy’s going to live to play another day, maybe even Friday at Atlanta.

“Hopefully, I’m ready to go,” he said. “Just a little tweak. I did it before. Just gotta see how I feel in the morning.”

Nevertheless, just the thought of a Durantula-less Thunder roster makes one wonder who is the most indispensable single player on an NBA roster at the moment.

After all, if LeBron James, Dwayne Wade or Chris Bosh go down, there are two more All-Stars behind them. Of course, Amar’e Stoudemire now has Carmelo Anthony. The Spurs are currently without Tony Parker, but still have Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. The Celtics have Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to fill the breach for one another.

No offense to fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook, but OKC without K.D. is just a place waiting for Bob Stoops’ team to kick off the next football season.

So who is the biggest dog that makes the biggest difference? Give us your pick. Here are the other three top suspects:

Kobe Bryant – Yes, he’s got an All-Star teammate in Pau Gasol. Yes, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher all have championship rings. But aren’t they just Fakers without Black Mamba?

Dirk Nowitzki – Remember, Dallas slumped to a 2-7 record when Nowitzki missed nine games in December and January with a knee injury. Take that tailspin off their current mark and the Mavs are 42-9 (.823) and playing at a clip that would have them ahead of S.A. with the best record in the league.

Derrick Rose – There’s no doubt that Tom Thibodeau has changed the culture and gotten everyone to buy into the significance of defense once again in Chicago. But isn’t it Rose climbing the ladder to become an MVP candidate who makes the Bulls a playoff threat?

7 Comments

  1. allaround baller says:

    howard left orlando : the decision part 2

  2. JMoon says:

    Hiw about Cleveland without LeBron? LOL!!!

  3. dude? says:

    seriously how can they leave out this years mvp in my opinion. Without superman the orlando magic would plummet right down the eastern conference, on so many of there losses he has big numbers but nobody else is helping him he makes that team. the bulls have another all star (not this year i know but he was injured) and one of the best centres in the league. the magic have a lot of decent role players but no star talent. I think the magic would suffer the most should dwight go down, touch wood that he doesn’t. @John i agree with everything you said basically apart from the bit about lebron. Theres so many haters going around saying that hes not even that good when lets face it, hes amazing, best player statistically in the league by far. If you don’t think hes that valuable why dont you just ask the cavs whether they think he is or not?

  4. KDEISEL says:

    OKC actually lost KD earlier this year during a stretch of some tough games and i remember them playing exceptionally well without him. although this was back when green was still around. i think the current MVP is ROSE, then SUPERMAN and then DIRK. for the mavs, their dirkless w-l record speaks louder than any argument.

  5. JOHN says:

    in my eyes no question the bulls would suffer the most and then the thunder second probably the lakers 3rd and 4th the mavs but 3 and 4 are a toss up . let me explain if the lakers or mavs lose either kobe or dirk i feel that the mavs have a lot of very good role player and 2nd tier talent like caron butler if healthy to make themselves viable in the west and the same argument goes for the lakers without kobe odom and gasol could shoulder some of that load and win a few in the west also . i say this because the west is a little watered down now . now as for the thunder , if they lose durant they lose the top flight scorer in the league but they do have westbrook and hardin and even perkins now although not a complete squad can do some damage in again the watered down west . but westbrook would not have the talent around him in durants absence that odom or caron would have the lakers and mavs are just deeper than the thunder . as for the bulls they are primarily a defensive team with an amazing scoring point guard who distributes and always looks for the hot hand or open man . basically rose runs that team on all plays without him the bulls would not be where they are if he goes down deng or boozer become the #1 option as opposed to westbrook in okc , odom in lakerland , and caron in dallas . rose is possibly the mvp for this very reason and in my mind durant and dirk and kobe all should be in the conversation for mvp moreso than say lebron , who is having a good year in miami but has 2 other olympic all stars to take the load . to me most valuable player is who is most valuable to a team if he went down and in this case i feel derek rose would be my choice . as i said before no one on the bulls can help in a east were all the power is without d rose , deng nor boozer can create their own shots whereas lamar odom , russel westbrook , and caron butler can this is a big deal and is another reason for any struggles the bulls have this year because they do not have a 2nd guy who can create a shot for himself . so 1. rose 2. durant 3. kobe 4. dirk . what do you all think ?

  6. Jesse says:

    Steve Nash. The Suns are probably one of the worst teams in the league if Nash misses time. Ever since he got back to Phoenix, people have career years around him. He makes everyone else better. You can’t say that about Kobe, Dirk or Durant. Rose might make people better but take him off the Bulls and Nash of the Suns and the Bulls would have a significantly better team with what’s left.

    • allaround baller says:

      hang nash jersey on phx and let him join a contender nex season (orlando to keep howard stay)