Phenomenal HD, slow-mo video of Kevin Durant versus LeBron James.
More people Tweet about the NBA Finals than anything else on TV.
John Hollinger (Insider), says the data is clear: it's time to sit Kendrick Perkins. "The Thunder are a fairly strong team when Perk plays with four smalls, outscoring opponents by five points per 48 minutes in both the regular season and the playoffs, but they're an absolutely dominant one with Ibaka and Collison. Plug each of those two into the mix and the Thunder threaten the plus-20 range; they're plus-18.5 to be exact once we combine regular season and playoffs, and that's in a fairly robust 645-minute sample size. That's an enormous shift of more than 13 points per 40 minutes and it raises the question of why the Thunder won't play that way more often. I've argued for them to start games against the Heat with the small lineup and abandon their big unit entirely, and regardless of the opponent I will keep arguing that Ibaka or Collison needs to be the lone big when the Thunder play small."
Oklahoma City is really trying to pack the paint defensively against Miami. Here's video of Kevin Durant, the culprit on a few wide open dunks from Chris Bosh in the first half of Game 3, and the rest of the Thunder picking up the help defense in the second half.
ESPN's Andy Katz has the lowdown on the Charlotte Bobcats new head coach, Mike Dunlap: "A revered basketball savant among his coaching peers, Dunlap has become the 'fix-it man.' One of Dunlap's disciples in the NBA said Monday night upon learning the Bobcats hired him: 'He has the most organized approach to player development ever. He makes players better. He's brutally honest and extremely loyal. He will not stop working. He gets through obstacles with unbelievable problem-solving lenses. He's very thorough.' He'll need to be with the Bobcats, who finished with the worst record (7-59) in the NBA's lockout-shortened season."
NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein is pulling for the Thunder, and more house music.
Phil Jackson riffs on Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and LeBron James in an upcoming HBO Real Sports interview (as reported by Ethan Skolnik of the Palm Beach Post): "Oh, they’re – they’re using LeBron every possible way they can. He’s such a great player. I still think his game is gonna grow. I still think it’s gonna grow. But he was like Scottie Pippen was to the Bulls. He’s maybe a pass first and shoot second player. Whereas, you know, Michael or Kobe are like, 'I’m gonna shoot this ball.' Every time they get the ball, they’re looking to score. LeBron’s not like that. And I love that about him. But he also, when he goes after scoring, he’s also terrific. You want a player that can do both. I tried to get Kobe to do both for numbers of years, and he could. But his first instinct is to beat the guy that’s in front of him."
As Miami learned against Carmelo Anthony, the best way to cover Kevin Durant is to not let him catch it in the first place.
A pretty compelling argument that if both Miami and OKC were shooting free throws at their usual rates, the Thunder would be a win away from sweeping the series.
Plenty of movement in Chad Ford's latest Mock Draft (Insider).
Battier is killing the Thunder from deep, but not from his preferred spot.
Ramon Sessions will become a free agent this summer. Darius Soriano of Forum Blue and Gold weighs in on how the Lakers might proceed: "If Sessions is to stay on, however, the Lakers will have to commit to him in more ways than just giving him the contract he seeks. In the same way Gasol will need to have his role better defined and his strengths played to, Sessions will need to be catered to a bit more on offense to get the most out of him. That means he’ll need the ball more, should have more P&R actions designed for him, and should be let loose more often in the open court. It was obvious that near the end of the year he’d lost his confidence but some of that was surely related to him being asked to slow the game down and the offense being shifted even more towards Kobe isolations and post ups for Bynum. When asked to play off the ball more than he ever had before, he didn’t play as well as he (or anyone else) would have liked. To maximize what Sessions can offer, he must be more of a featured player. That, of course, means a more balanced attack and a clearer offensive system than the one the team used last year."
Cleveland residents are awfully invested in the outcome of the Finals.
Grantland's Jay Caspain Kang reports on Seattle's efforts to bring a team back to the city: "When asked about the irony of taking a team away from another city — especially one that has no other professional sports options — an overwhelming majority of fans admitted that in an ideal world, the Seattle SuperSonics would be an expansion team. But with no plans from the NBA to expand in the near future and with the grim state of the arena deal in Sacramento, those fans hoped that Kings fans would understand that the bigger market of Seattle would be the ideal spot for relocation." That seems incredibly optimistic.
Wizards assistant Sam Cassell proves he's still a handful in the post at Washington's pre-draft workout.