Found October 25, 2013 on Fantasy Sports Locker Room:

So, you’ve landed the first overall pick in your NBA fantasy draft and you think you’ve got it made. LeBron…Durant…does it even matter? You’re laughing all the way to the bank regardless, right? LeBron or Durant? Well, this year the classic LeBron vs. Durant debate has a new twist, and it’s Russell Westbrook’s injury. Westbrook is expected to miss the first 4-6 weeks of the season, and while that isn’t a huge chunk of the NBA schedule it’s definitely significant in the shortened fantasy season. It’s significant because Kevin Durant is a different player without Russell Westbrook. The numbers show how, but there are a couple of different ways of looking at them. First let’s use some stats from Looking there you can see that Durant’s shooting percentage during the regular season last year actually jumps from .503% WITH Westbrook on the floor to .548% WITHOUT Westbrook on the floor. Russell Westbrook’s absence might not be such a bad thing. But, I think a more telling way to look into the impact Westbrook’s absence has on Durant’s game is KD’s numbers in the playoffs post-Westbrook’s season ending injury. It’s one thing to play a little better while your star teammate’s getting a breather on the bench, but it’s another to play better when your star teammate’s not in the lineup and the opposition is game-planning solely around you. Here are Durant’s numbers in the 9 playoff games after Westbrook’s injury (yes, it’s a small sample size): 31.8 PPG, .461 FG%, .810 FT%, 2.1 3PT, 9.8 RPG, 6.2 APG. Other than the percentages – and I don’t think free throw percentage has any relevance to playing without Westbrook – they’re all significantly increased from his regular season stats: 28.1 PPG, .510 FG%, .905 FT%, 1.7 3PT, 7.9 RPG, 4.6 APG The drop in field goal percentage is the only category that could be worrisome. Not only is Westbrook not there to run the pick and roll or draw double teams by taking the ball to the hoop and opening up Durant, but Kevin Martin was lost in free agency as well. His sharp shooting skills (42.6 3PT%) were useful for spreading the defence. But in fairness, when deciding between LeBron and Durant, KD never has a better field goal percentage so it doesn’t make a big difference.   As for LeBron, there’s no way to expect anything less than last season, if not a bit better as his efficiency numbers have been climbing every since leaving Cleveland. Durant is still ranked #1 in Yahoo leagues and rightfully so. While defences will be able to game plan around stopping him and only him, the Rockets and Grizzlies weren’t able to do it effectively in last year’s playoffs, so why should we expect anyone else to? Durant may lose a couple notches in FG%, but his raw numbers are going to be up everywhere as he tries to do everything for the Thunder without Westbrook. If you’ve landed the #1 pick in your draft, take Durant and just hope that he doesn’t tear his meniscus like Westbrook from carrying the weight of his team on his back. The post The Great Draft Debate: With the first overall pick do I take LeBron or Durant? appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.


Thunder release McGruder, Garrett

OKLAHOMA CITY The Oklahoma City Thunder released a pair of former Big 12 players Friday morning, waiving Rodney McGruder and Diante Garrett. Garett played at Iowa State and averaged 3.2 points per game in six preseason games. Like McGruder, who played at Kansas State, neither was expected to make the team. McGruder played in just two preseason games. Oklahoma City released center...

Thunder exercises options on 3 players

The Thunder have exercised their fourth-year contract option on guard Reggie Jackson. Oklahoma City also announced it had picked up its third-year options for guard Jeremy Lamb and forward Perry Jones Jackson is entering his third season with the Thunder. He has career averages of 4.5 points, 1.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 115 games. Lamb played in 23 games last season in his...

Thunder Exercise Options On Jackson, Lamb, Jones

The Oklahoma City Thunder exercised its fourth-year option on guard Reggie Jackson and third-year options on guard Jeremy Lamb and forward Perry Jones. In two seasons with the Thunder, Jackson has appeared in 115 games and averaged 4.5 points, 1.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game. Most recently, Jackson appeared in 11 games (nine starts) with Oklahoma City during...

Thunder Waive Diante Garrett, Rodney McGruder

The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guards Diante Garrett and Rodney McGruder. Garrett appeared in six preseason contests for the Thunder and recorded averages of 3.2 points and 1.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per game. McGruder saw action in two exhibition games and averaged 1.0 point and 0.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per contest.

Kevin Durant responds to ‘prediction’ he’ll leave Thunder in free agency

LeBron James Dwyane Wade Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony all have the ability to opt out of their current deals to become unrestricted free agents following the upcoming season. There have only been very minor rumblings surrounding these star players however because even the inquisitive media members hoping for a story know that there is way too much that can happen over the next...

The Assist: Serge Ibaka & Keri Hilson attend Red Shoe Gala

Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka stepped out with girlfriend Keri Hilson on Friday night for the “Red Shoe Gala.” The Charity event is in support of the “Ronald McDonald House” of Oklahoma City. The organization provides “hospitality, compassion and hope to families of seriously ill children.”   photos via @DreaminColor @mr_avecclasse

Kevin Durant Responds To Jalen Rose’s Prediction That He’ll Join Rockets In 2016

During his preview of the Rockets’ season on the Grantland YouTube channel Wednesday, ESPN analyst, Jalen Rose, said that he thinks Kevin Durant will join the Houston Rockets in 2016.  Durant was asked about his thoughts on the prediction following OKC’s preseason loss to the Bulls, telling the media that he’s here for the Thunder and he’s not thinking that far down the...

Kevin Durant responds to Jalen Rose’s claim he’ll end up with the Houston Rockets

Jalen Rose might have just been trying to spark conversation and shock value when he stated that Kevin Durant would leave the Thunder to join former teammate, James Harden and the Houston Rockets. But it caused enough of a stir that KD is already being asked about his 2016 plans – that’s when Durant can become a free agent. Q: Did you hear what Jalen Rose said about the Houston...

Derek Rose hits Reggie Jackson with nifty crossover

Derek Rose still has his crossover in his bag of tricks. Rose, who is knee surgery that cost him all of last season, destroyed the Oklahoma City Thunders’ Reggie Jackson with the double cross. Via @cjzero  

2011/12 NBA Preview Haiku: Oklahoma City Thunder

High flying slam dunks, gorgeous crossovers, a beautifully executed give and go - basketball is an art form.  So, with that in mind, The Hoops Manifesto is putting an artistic twist on your run of the mill NBA team previews: our previews for all 30 NBA teams will take the form of a haiku.  Next up: Oklahoma City Thunder  

OKC Thunder waive Diante Garrett and Rodney McGruder

The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guards Diante Garrett and Rodney McGruder it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Garrett appeared in six preseason contests for the Thunder and recorded averages of 3.2 points and 1.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per game. McGruder saw action in two exhibition games and averaged 1.0 point and 0.5 assists in...

Derrick Rose advises Russell Westbrook to take his time coming back

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook is trying to recover from a knee injury he suffered in last year’s playoffs.  Chicago Bulls’ star Derrick Rose, who missed all of last season trying to recover from ACL surgery, was asked if he any advice for Westbrook. Kurt Helin of reported that Aggrey Sam of said that Rose told Westbrook to be patient...

Derrick Rose Puts Reggie Jackson In A Blender (Video)

Watch Derrick Rose put OKC’s Reggie Jackson in a blender during Wednesday night’s preseason matchup between the Bulls and Thunder. The poor guy just looks lost after this play. The post Derrick Rose Puts Reggie Jackson In A Blender (Video) appeared first on Beyond The Buzzer.

Chicago Bulls vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Game Recap

Final Score – Chicago (7-0) 104, OKC (4-3) 95   Thunder Starting 5 – Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins Bulls Starting 5 – Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Nazr Mohammed   Recap Although the regular season has yet to start, the pace, intensity, and number of personal fouls (45 in ...The post Chicago Bulls vs. Oklahoma...
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