Mike Conley. Better. Much better. Conley was a young and raw point guard in 2011. Nothing raw about him now. He’s a much-better shooter and facilitator. Really solid. A budding star. That’s what Conley is.
Kendrick Perkins. Better. At least on defense, which is where Perk earns his keep. Perkins’ offense seems to have disgressed, but his defense is better than ever. Perk out on the perimeter still can hold his own.
Tony Allen: Better. Allen actually has his moments offensively, though he hasn’t displayed them in this series. Allen is a junkyard defender who can beat you up.
Nick Collison: Same. Like I wrote earlier, Nothing ever changes with Collison.
Darrell Arthur: Better. But not by much. And Arthuri isn’t playing much — just 61/2 minutes in Game 4.
So there are your veterans from the 2011 series. Most players have improved. Which only stands to reason. The 2010-11 Thunder won 55 games; the 2010-11 Grizzlies won 46. This season, the Thunder went 60-22; the Grizzlies were 56-26. These teams are better. That’s for sure.
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