Thunder notebook: James Harden vs. Manu Ginobili awaits

The pending showdown between Thunder guard James Harden and San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili has captivated many, including Harden himself. The players are mirror images in many ways
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: May 25, 2012
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"It's been a long time, but I still have a connection to those guys," Mohammed said. "I still talk to Tony. I talked to Tim a couple times this summer when he worked out with us (in Austin, Texas). When we see each other, it's always a reunion."

BRAGGIN' ON BORIS

Diaw was waived by the last-place Bobcats on March 21 and scooped up two days later by the always thrifty Spurs.

Diaw went from being a part-time starter for the worst team in NBA history (in terms of winning percentage) to being starter on the team with the best record that's unbeaten (8-0) in playoffs.

Mohammed said he is not surprised Diaw became a starter with the Spurs.

"Boris has heard his whole life that if he really wanted to, he could have been one of the top five power forwards in his era," Mohammed said. "It's his personality. Boris is a real laid-back, kind of funny, happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Just kind of like, 'Hey, whatever, whatever.' But skill-wise, he's off the charts. He's one of the best passers.

"I first played with Boris in Atlanta (2003-04) when he first came into the league. We played him at point guard. That says a lot. He was a (6-foot-8) point guard when he stepped in this league. Boris could fit in on any team. He just has those type of skills. Once his teammates see him, everyone is always kind of like, 'Dang, this guy can play, this guy can pass, this guy can knock down open shots.' I love Boris' game. I've got a lot of respect for it."

TIP-INS

Thunder forward Serge Ibaka did not practice Friday because of flu-like symptoms, but is expected back for Saturday morning's practice. … The Thunder will practice Saturday at 11 a.m. and fly to San Antonio in the afternoon. … The Thunder had roughly an hour of court time Friday after an extended film session. "Court time wasn't long, but the practice was good. It was high intensity, a lot of guys really committing to getting after each other," Brooks said. … A USA Today online poll question asked "Who wins the NBA title?" The results: Spurs (36 percent); Thunder (26 percent); Heat (26 percent); Celtics (8 percent); Sixers (4 percent).

QUOTABLE

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on the Thunder trying to contain Durant and the Thunder's offense: "They've got a lot of gifted guys. He (Durant) is not the only one who scores. So there are a lot of problems one has to deal with."


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