SportsNation Blog Archives Oklahoma City Thunder
Does Durant deserve a pass?
With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at the helm, the Thunder were a strong favorite to win the Western Conference for the second consecutive season. But after Westbrook's season-ending injury, the workload fell all on Durant's shoulders. Unfortunately he couldn't bear the weight and Oklahoma City loss 4-1 to the Grizzlies. How would you grade his performance? Does the postseason's leading scorer deserve a pass for not getting his team to the next round?
After a thrilling first round, Memphis and Golden State are the lone lower seeds to find themselves in the conference semifinals. Does either team have a legitimate chance of getting to the Finals? Did San Antonio's sweep of the Lakers convince you they are a bigger threat to the Heat than the Thunder? Click on the logos below to set your conference semifinal power rankings!
Rank: NBA conference semifinalists
The Thunder soared into the playoffs with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and their sights set on a possible rematch with the Heat in the NBA Finals. However, just two games into their first-round series against the Rockets, Oklahoma City got the tough news that three-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook will require surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and will be out indefinitely. How will losing Westbrook affect the Thunder's playoff chances?
A bigger workload for Kevin Durant?
The Thunder still have their eyes on an NBA title, but first they need to get past Houston, so Kevin Durant will need to step up to finish this series.
Did Westbrook get injured on a dirty play?
As Westbrook was trying to call a timeout, Houston rookie guard Patrick Beverley tried for a steal and his hip bumped Westbrook's knee.
Who is the NBA's next best duo?
The duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is often considered the best in the league. Who takes over at the top of the list now?
The Knicks just keep on winning, and Carmelo Anthony just keeps on scoring. New York won its 12th straight Sunday in Oklahoma City, clinching its first 50-win season since 1999-2000 in the process. Meanwhile, Anthony was finally held under 40 points, finishing with "just" 36 in the win. The Knicks' star took over the scoring lead from the Thunder's Kevin Durant, but the two are separated by less than a tenth of a point per game with a little more than a week left in the season. Can the Knicks keep streaking? And can Melo hold off KD? Cast your votes!
Can't stand the Heat?
The Knicks have almost secured the 2-seed in the East, and took the season series from Miami, 3-1.
Empire state of mind
It may not be 27, but the Knicks' streak is getting longer, with few challenges left on the schedule.
Who would win a one-on-one tournament between the NBA's biggest superstars? This is what our friends at NBA Coast to Coast (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) will be debating every Tuesday this month, and we're asking SN to weigh in. Each week we'll give you the one-on-one matchups, and you vote for the winners until one superstar is declared the winner. We are now down to the final matchup between LeBron James and Kevin Durant! Cast your votes now!
For more check out @ESPNNBA #1-on-1
LeBron vs. KD
Kevin Durant is the NBA's top scorer this season. But LeBron James looks like the league's MVP.
Who would win a one-on-one tournament between the NBA's biggest superstars? This is what our friends at NBA Coast to Coast (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) will be debating every Tuesday this month, and we're asking SN to weigh in. Each week we'll give you the one-on-one matchups, and you vote for the winners until one superstar is declared the winner. We are now down to two huge semifinal matchups as LeBron James takes on Kobe and Kevin Durant squares off against Carmelo Anthony. Cast your votes now!
For more check out @ESPNNBA #1-on-1
LeBron vs. Kobe
It doesn't get much better when LeBron James and Kobe Bryant square off. LeBron may be playing at another level this season, but will that get him past the legend that is Kobe?
KD vs. Melo
The two most explosive scorers in the NBA go head-to-head in our second semifinal matchup. Will Kevin Durant's length prove too much to overcome for Carmelo Anthony? You decide!
Who would win a one-on-one tournament between the NBA's biggest superstars? This is what our friends at NBA Coast to Coast (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) will be debating every Tuesday this month, and we're asking SN to weigh in! Each week we'll give you the one-on-one matchups and you vote for the winners until one superstar is declared the winner! Last week, LeBron James bested Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant beat Chris Paul. We've got two more matchups for you this week!
Melo vs. Russ
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony leads the NBA in scoring at 29.0 PPG, but despite being in just his fifth year in the NBA, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (22.5 PPG) isn't far behind.
Harden vs. KD
They were teammates for the last three seasons in Oklahoma City, but Kevin Durant and James Harden are now opponents, both in this one-on-one tournament and in the Western Conference.
It appears the Sacramento Kings are headed north to Seattle, possibly as soon as next season. Supersonics fans, still bitter about the team's move from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008, can barely contain their excitement and steadfastly deny they would be "stealing" the Kings the same way Oklahoma City "stole" the SuperSonics. Quibbling aside, the move would mean restoring Seattle to a three-team town with the Seahawks and Mariners and leave just the hockey fans clamoring for a team. What are NBA fans saying about the potential move? And which crazy nickname suggestion do you like?
On Thursday, ESPN's "First Take" debated Kevin Durant's ejection on Wednesday night, the first of his young career. Durant's ejection came as a result of complaining about the officiating, a relatively mild way of getting yourself tossed out of a game. Skip Bayless sees it as a symptom of Durant's losing his cool because the Thunder are struggling and Durant's playing style conflicting with Russell Westbrook's, while Stephen A. Smith points to Durant's stellar numbers as a sign that this is no big deal. What's your take?
On Friday, "First Take" discussed the Oklahoma City Thunder's 86-84 buzzer-beating loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The season didn't start off great for the Spurs -- James Harden looked great in Houston, while Russell Westbrook's untimely turnover led directly to the Thunder's loss. Stephen A. Smith is depressed by the loss, but he still believes in the Thunder as title contenders. Skip Bayless think the Thunder will miss Harden an awful lot, and that Harden's absence may cost the Thunder a trip to the finals. What's your take?