Thunder notebook: J.R. Smith, Nuggets looking for ‘a pulse'
Denver Nuggets reserve guard J.R. Smith said there's a “strong possibility” he won't sign with the team as a free agent, expressing frustration after the Nuggets' 106-89 loss in Game 2 of their opening-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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“There's a strong possibility as of right now,” Smith told The Denver Post on Thursday. “It's not going the way I planned it to go. It's a tough situation. I want to be here, I love the fans and everything about the city. It's just maybe not my fit.”
Denver trails the series 2-0, with Game 3 on Saturday at 9 p.m. The Nuggets had a team meeting Thursday, and Smith said the team didn't have “a pulse” as they met at Pepsi Center.
“Just frustration, just really didn't have any life in there,” Smith said. “No one was really into it.”
Several Thunder players have received consideration for various NBA awards this season.
Minnesota's Kevin Love was named the league most improved player on Thursday. OKC point guard Russell Westbrook finished seventh in the voting and received three first-place votes. Forward Serge Ibaka got one second-place vote and one third-place vote.
Orlando's Dwight Howard won his third straight defensive player of the year award. Ibaka got two second-place votes and six third-place votes while guard Thabo Sefolosha got four third-place votes.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom won the sixth man award. Thunder reserve guard James Harden finished seventh in the voting.
Thunder reserve power forward Nick Collison fondly recalled a playoff victory in Game 4 at Sacramento while with the Seattle SuperSonics his rookie season in 2004-05.
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