Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant hasn't heard from Kobe Bryant yet; Daequan Cook rediscovers his touch

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant chose to sit out of his team's regular-season final at Sacramento on Thursday night, which assured Thunder forward Kevin Durant of his third straight scoring title.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: April 27, 2012
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DOWN ON SERGE

ESPN.com's John Hollinger showed plenty of love toward the Thunder in his awards voting, naming Durant to the All-NBA first team, Russell Westbrook to the second team and James Harden to the third team. He also voted Harden as the league's top Sixth Man and had Durant third in MVP voting behind Miami forward LeBron James and Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

However, Serge Ibaka received no love for Defensive Player of the Year, despite him leading the league by 106 blocked shots with 241 total.

Wrote Hollinger: “A lot of people have him on their DPOY ballots, but in my mind he's nowhere close. He blocks a lot of shots, but it's difficult to make a case for him when the Thunder's defense shows no great variation whether he's in or out of the game. While he blocks a lot of shots, his fundamentals against pick-and-rolls and perimeter 4s remain raw. Please reference Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference finals, for instance.”

NBA TITLE ODDS

According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, odds are the NBA Finals will match the Thunder against the Miami Heat.

Here are Bell's odds:

Miami Heat – 2 to 1

Chicago Bulls – 4 to 1

OKC Thunder – 9 to 2

San Antonio Spurs – 5 to 1

LA Lakers – 15 to 1

Boston Celtics – 25 to 1

Memphis Grizzlies – 30 to 1

LA Clippers – 35 to 1

New York Knicks – 40 to 1

Dallas Mavericks – 45 to 1

Indiana Pacers – 50 to 1

Denver Nuggets – 90 to 1

Atlanta Hawks – 125 to 1

Philadelphia 76ers – 180 to 1

Orlando Magic – 180 to 1

Utah Jazz – 200 to 1

UP NEXT

Here is the best-of-7 series schedule: Game 1 – Saturday at 8:30 p.m., OKC; Game 2 – Monday at 8:30 p.m., OKC; Game 3 – Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Dallas; Game 4 – Next Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Dallas; Game 5, if necessary – May 7 at TBA, OKC; Game 6, if necessary – May 10 at TBA, Dallas; Game 7, if necessary – May 12 at TBA, OKC.

QUOTABLE

TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley on the Thunder-Mavericks series: “Oklahoma City is gonna beat these boys like they stole something.”



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