Posts Tagged ‘Daequan Cook’

Maynor Is Thunder’s Wild Card




HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Eric Maynor was forced to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder’s run through the Western Conference and to The Finals like the rest of us, from the sidelines in street clothes. A knee injury cost the Thunder point guard his chance at making a significant on-court contribution to the cause.

But he’s back now and seemingly better than ever, working as the Thunder’s resident wild card after a summer spent growing what’s already in the fold as opposed to adding new pieces to what Thunder fans hope is a championship-ready roster.

Derek Fisher was used in this same position last season, and proved to be particularly valuable in the postseason. He was only keeping the spot warm for Maynor, who reportedly faces a serious challenge for playing time from Reggie Jackson.

If what Maynor showed last night, however, is any indication, Jackson might spend more time watching Maynor work instead of stepping into his shoes.

Barry Tramel of the Oklahoman was there and loved what he saw from Maynor in the Thunder’s win over the Bobcats :

A cool hand. A settling force. A silky facilitator in a land of Olympians and all-stars.

Maynor had seven assists and just one turnover in 19 minutes against the Bobcats. Ten points on 3-of-5 shooting. Even had five rebounds.

“Really good to see him out there,” Scotty Brooks said. “He’s solid, as we all know. He makes good decisions. He facilitates the offense. He gets everyone involved.

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Draft Comparisons: Leonard, Marshall, Zeller and Rivers





HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – As Draft time rolls around and we learn about the next class of NBA rookies, there’s a desire to compare each to players we’re already familiar with.

No two players are exactly alike and some players are more unique than others. But you can find comparisons by watching video, crunching stats or matching measurements. For this exercise, we did the latter two.

Listed below are four of the top picks, along with the current NBA players they compare with most. For this exercise, we looked at 10 stats from each player’s last season in college, and eight measurements taken at the annual pre-draft combine.

Because we used college numbers and combine numbers, the only current players we could compare this year’s prospects to were the ones who played in college (so no LeBron James or Dwight Howard) and participated in the combine since 2000 (Rajon Rondo is one notable name missing in that respect).

The following comparisons aren’t gospel, of course, but they’re one way to get ready for the Draft on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). (more…)

Rosen’s Report: OKC at Orlando

The Oklahoma City Thunder believe that they are storming their way to a championship. Raining on the Magic’s parade in Orlando would be another indication that OKC is bound to devastate all comers on their righteous path to glory.

Meanwhile, Orlando has several issues that have conspired to drop them into the lower bracket of playoff-seeded teams in the Eastern Conference. Chief among these is the uncertainty surrounding the immediate and long-range future of Dwight Howard. Otis Smith and the rest of the front office are hoping that a win over the Thunder just might convince Howard that the Magic have a legitimate shot at the championship, and encourage him to finish his career in Disneyland South.

HOW THE THUNDER CAN WIN

Notwithstanding the warp speed of Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook is quicker with the ball than any point guard in the league. As such, there’s no way that Chris Duhon or Jameer Nelson (assuming his sore knees allow him to play) can keep Westbrook from zipping the ball into the paint whenever the spirit moves him. In so doing, the Magic’s defense will be forced to collapse en masse to prevent Westbrook from shooting multiple layups. By virtue of Westbrook’s timely kick-out passes, the Thunder’s sharp-shooters will have the time and space to launch uncontested treys. Moreover, Westbrook is a rhythm shooter, who rarely misses when he can pull-up right.

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Rosen’s Report: Thunder at Celtics

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Along with most NBA watchers, the Oklahoma City Thunder are convinced that their sprightly legs and extraordinary team-wide talent will enable them to trump the difficulties of the shortened season and eventually run their way to the championship.  As if the Thunder need any further motivation, beating the Celtics in Boston would provide immediate evidence that elderly tortoises are no match for young hares.

Conversely, the Celtics understand that this is the last go-round for their rapidly aging core of KG, PP and Ray-Ray.  Here is a golden-age opportunity to demonstrate that they’re not quite ready for the glue factory.

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