And not in any kind of actual order, but more just an “I put a number in front of something” kind of thing. It’s not complicated, really.
So here’s a set of random things I’m organizing as “Power Rankings” because they seriously have so much power.
1. What got me thinking about this was after a recent game watching Kevin Durant come out of the locker room after speaking with the media and how he shook the hands of every Thunder employee there. He called them by name, thanked them and shook their hand. Even as he walked through the tunnel back to the court to see friends and family, he addressed everyone. It was seriously impressive to me. It’s like he’s the president or something.
2. Durant’s 3-pointer. Remember when everyone was freaking about how KD was shooting the ball? Saying things like “I knew he’d be tired after Turkey” and “That international 3-point line messed him up good!” Well, in December Durant shot 41 percent from 3, getting his season percentage up around 35 percent.
When he gets rolling on his outside jumper like he did against Atlanta, he’s seriously unstoppable. He can catch and shoot like he’s Reggie Miller or Ray Allen, except he’s 6-11 and is so long, he scrapes his knuckles on the JumboTron when he elevates for a jumper. The Thunder’s not a strong 3-point shooting team by any means, but Durant makes OKC at least a threat. And now that he’s got that part of his game back, he’s all set to go off for 30 a night, just like old times.
3. James Harden’s beard. Yeah, I know this is cliché, but I didn’t realize how more much incredible his face fur had gotten until I saw a picture of him from his rookie year. He’s taken it to the next level and nobody has really even noticed. That’s some great beard hustle. It’s getting to the point with it that I think a Thunder Girl might be stuck inside there. Someday, Harden will decide to trim or even shave it all off. When that happens, I plan on punishing myself like Silas in “The Da Vinci Code.” Except I’ll probably just do some push-ups or something, not whip myself and stuff.
4. Serge Ibaka’s mid-range game.
If I were writing this three weeks ago, Ibaka’s jumper would probably be No. 1 or 2. But lately, it’s slipped. To me, it looks like he’s rushing it a bit, almost like he’s excited when he finds himself open for one. When he’s hitting that jump shot, OKC is seriously so much better. To be able to have Nenad Krstic’s pick-and-pop ability, but in Ibaka’s body, is an awesome thing.
5. Trade chatter. The deadline is coming, and you know what that means: rumors, speculation and hours spent messing with the Trade Machine. The latest is maybe about the availability of Carl Landry in Sacramento.
(How about Daequan Cook and D.J. White? Huh?!?) But as we get closer to the February deadline, the more we’ll get of random trades with the lead-in of, “Who says no?” People seem to fail to realize that the NBA isn’t quite the revolving door of roster moves that they want it to be. Most teams — especially one like the Thunder — aren’t going to change much, if anything, by or at the deadline.
Young is the founder of DailyThunder.com.