Thursday night TV will provide plenty of drama for Thunder fans

OKC will find out who it plays in the first round of the NBA playoffs — and if Kobe beats KD for the league scoring title.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 25, 2012
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Gervin scored 63 points, and while there’s no doubt that he did the heavy lifting, he got some help from his coach. San Antonio head man Doug Moe did everything he could to help his star win the title, including benching players who were shooting instead of passing it to Gervin.

There were no such shenanigans Wednesday night at The Peake.

Now, as for what might go down with the Lakers on Thursday night in Sacramento, that’s anyone’s guess.

If Kobe has 18 or 20 points heading into the fourth quarter, you suppose he might shoot, oh, every time he touches the ball?

Wouldn’t surprise me.

Apparently, it would surprise Brooks. He pointed out that this is a guy who has five NBA titles, one MVP and a pair of scoring titles.

“Does he really, really want it?” Brooks said of this year’s scoring title.

I’m gonna go with, “Heck, yeah.”

Kobe’s a competitor, and he’s not afraid to demand the ball.

Durant’s every bit the competitor that Kobe is, but he doesn’t have that “give-me-the-ball-or-else” mentality.

Tuesday night, for example, Durant scored 32 points but didn’t play the fourth quarter.

“Westbrook, he sometimes has these tendencies to walk by me and put his hand over his mouth — ‘Hey, Coach, I’m ready’ — or he’s cheering — ‘Hey, Coach, I’m ready,’” Brooks said.

He chuckled.

Durant never once asked Brooks to go back in the game, never once wanted to go back and pad his scoring-title lead.

“I want it more than him,” Brooks said.

It would be his third consecutive scoring title, and he’s only 23 years old.

“Has anybody done it at that age three times in a row?” Brooks said.

Nope. Durant would be the youngest player in NBA history to ever have three consecutive titles. That would be quite a feather in his cap.

Ditto for OKC’s headwear. “I probably won’t watch,” Durant said of keeping tabs on Kobe. “If I don’t win the scoring title or the MVP or whatever, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good year by my standards.”

Rarely do I advocate going against what Durant says, but in this case, Thunder fans, you don’t need to follow your leader. Go ahead and keep tabs on the Lakers. And the Nuggets. And the Mavs.

Your team won’t be on the floor Thursday night, but you have every reason to watch.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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