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Thursday, February 24, 2011
Thunder go all-in with Kendrick Perkins

By Henry Abbott

My first thought was: Wow, the Thunder are gearing up to be Laker-killers, and they'll be one team that won't cede the paint to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison, Serge Ibaka and Nazr Mohammed will all make their presences felt in the playoffs. (And if somehow they all foul out, after the referee investigation, they can insert Cole Aldrich, too.) This on a team that has a 6-foot-10 small forward and a great perimeter defender in Thabo Sefolosha, who can put a body on Kobe Bryant.

Russell Westbrook is also, of course, one of those speedy scoring point guards who give the Lakers trouble.

I wouldn't pick the Thunder over the Lakers, but I salute picking a smart strategy and going all-in. It's going to be a hell of a thing to watch.

Royce Young of Daily Thunder is feeling it. "OKC is now a contender. Like a for real contender. Like a team that could potentially win now. No more of this wait until next year stuff. Wait until now."

Kevin Arnovitz is on Twitter, a little less excited: "I'm not going to crown the Thunder because they acquired a world-class screner and system-based defender with no range. ... Do I do the deal if I'm OKC? You bet. But there isn't a big on that team who can hit a shot consistently from 15 feet. Sag city."