Team USA down Argentina, faces Spain in final tune-up

Team USA

From the opening-tip it looked like we were in for a blow-out. Team USA got off to a hot start, opening the game on a 14-1 run thanks to Kevin Durant draining threes like they were free-throws. Of course, the scrappiness of the Argentines kept them in the game until the final buzzer.

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NBA Finals: Lack of execution late leaves Thunder in 3-1 hole vs. Heat

With the game once again knotted up late in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City choked.

Despite the league’s best player—the only guy who has shown the ability to slow down Kevin Durant, by the way—checking in and out of play with a leg cramp, the Thunder failed to execute on both ends of the floor, falling into a 3-1 hole in the NBA Finals with a third consecutive loss.

But unlike Games 2 and 3, where suspect refereeing helped the Heat slip away with two victories, OKC has only itself to blame for coughing up a crucial Game 4.

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Let the rivalry begin: Can Lebron-Durant compare to Bird-Magic?

LeBron James and Kevin Durant

Since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach and Kevin Durant proved himself as the NBA’s most dangerous offensive weapon, we’ve wanted nothing more than the inevitable NBA Finals matchup pitting these two against each other.  Now that it’s finally here, don’t expect this to be a one-time confrontation.  In reality, this LeBron v. Durant championship showdown—a preview of more Finals matchups to come, no doubt—should be the beginning of a storied NBA rivalry, one that could ultimately evoke memories of the Bird-Magic duels of the 80s. [Read more…]

Thunder pass Final test, erase 18-point deficit to oust Spurs

Could there have been a more perfect way for the darling Oklahoma City Thunder—an energetic bunch of youngsters who for years were described as “waiting their turn”—to make their first trip to the NBA Finals?

Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder have simply climbed the Western Conference ladder step by step.  After missing the playoffs in 2009, they lost to the eventual champion Lakers in Round 1 in 2010 before falling to eventual champion Dallas in the Western Conference Finals in 2011.  In 2012, they dominated the NBA’s last two champs in the Mavericks and Lakers, and have now dealt the league’s top-seeded Spurs, once winners of 20 straight, four consecutive losses en route to the NBA Finals. [Read more…]

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Dynamic Duo

oklahoma city thunder

Before the series, the question was whether the Denver Nuggets’ balance or the Oklahoma City Thunder’s star power would prevail.

Score one for the stars.

Durant scored a career-high 41 points, Russell Westbrook added 31, and the Oklahoma City Thunder had just enough to topple the stubborn Denver Nuggets 107-103 Sunday night at the Oklahoma City Arena. Durant scored 25 on 9-for-13 shooting in the second half, and at one point scored or assisted on 22 of 25 Thunder points.

“It feels good,” Durant said. “Last year in the playoffs, I didn’t shoot the way I wanted to, but this is a new season.”
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Kobe, Lebron, Durant Rocking Special New Shoes on Christmas

“This Christmas, will be a very very special Christmas” in terms of the nationally televised NBA schedule this year. The slate of games have more star power and interesting match-ups than in years past. Therefore, it will be much easier to avoid forced awkward conversation with extended family and in-laws that you can’t stand on this December 25th.

And Santa has brought the league’s biggest stars some special gifts this holiday season. Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Kevin Durant will all be wearing limited-edition Christmas Day colorways of their signature sneakers which will be available at retail the following day, December 26th.

The special footwear will be unveiled on-court as Lebron and the Miami Heat play Kobe and the LA Lakers in what’s sure to be a Christmas Day classic, while the Denver Nuggets will match up against Durant and the OKC Thunder on the 25th.

More pictures of all these shoes available at this link

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OKC Thunder’s Kevin Durant Mentors Indiana Hoosiers’ Maurice Creek

Durant USA

In my job, I do a ton of college basketball interviews. And one of my favorite questions to ask players at the collegiate level is “do you have any NBA role models?” Or “even if you don’t model your game on someone, is there anyone you look up to as a favorite player in the league?” Over the span of 2008-09, the most common answer I received was Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics.

However, during the past 6 months or so, that answer changed to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant.

A major reason is because the former is aging/declining. We’re also seeing his reputation deteriorate as we continue to learn more about his negative personality traits. But on the other side, the latter is nearing his prime and also looking like one of the game’s few good men.

And when you’re the NBA’s leading scorer, you’re bound to inspire legions of acolytes; including Indiana Hoosiers sophomore wing Maurice Creek.

By Paul M. Banks

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