After one week of the 2012-13 season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 3-2. Kevin Durant is trying to be a playmaking forward in the essence of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook is doing a fine job of accurately hitting the rim on every single jumper and head coach Scott Brooks has done well in reminding everyone that his coaching expertise should absolutely be questioned.
Your 2012-13 Oklahoma City Thunder, everybody.
Oh, and that one guy that used to play on the Thunder...you know, that guy with the beard? Yeah, him. Yep, he's leading the league in scoring with 30.3 points/game thus far.
I think I'm going to pull a Bill Simmons here and not call out the league's leading scorer who plays for the Houston Rockets right now by his name. He seems to get people riled up. Not sure what I'll refer to him as yet, although I'm leaning towards "Beard Jenkins." Here is the Mailbag of Ed, with questions from Ed's twitter feed.
"Kevin Durant is 4th in the NBA in rebounds per game, (12.3/game) do we think he can keep this up?" -- Sherman E.
12.3? Nah, but 10 rebounds a game? I don't see why not. With Russell Westbrook possibly putting up even more shots, and at least early in the season Durant's been getting time at the power forward position, KD will at least have every opportunity to clean up the boards. With Ibaka playing the 5 and aggressively going to block shots, Durant will be the first one needed to box out. So yes, along with now trying to be a playmaker passing the ball, maybe Durant will be cleaning up the glass too.
"Who did you vote, Obama or Romney?" -- Michelle O.
Michelle, you know I have the best interest of my country at heart. I won't say who I voted for, but I will say that I mailed in my vote back in Ohio so that my vote could possibly swing the election. I'd say that my vote might've helped just a little.
"Why does Mike Brown still have a job with the Lakers?" -- B. Gomes
For a second, let us all just enjoy the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers are the worst team in the Western Conference. That the Lakers have as many wins as the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs. That Dwight Howard somehow looks worse at shooting free throws than he did while in Orlando. That Pau Gasol now looks like the best player in purple and gold. That Steve Nash is hurt right now with a broken bone in his leg and maybe he's considering not even coming back because he already can't stand Kobe Bryant.
How awesome is all of this? Very awesome.
To answer the actual question, Mike Brown ain't going anywhere. Yes, he rolled out that God-awful Princeton offense to a starting lineup that is old, slow and creaky. Yes, the frontline of Dwight-Pau-MWP are getting destroyed on both ends of the floor. Yes, Steve Nash or no Steve Nash, point guards are torching the Lake Show. The reality is, I'm not sure the Lakers would fire Mike Brown because I don't see anybody being out there to be a replacement. There are some faint rumors that Jerry Sloan could be asked to step in. Heck, I even suggested that maybe you call Stan Van Gundy to come in. I just can't see the Lakers making a move, but if they did....even more comedy would probably ensue.
"Thoughts about the alternate Thunder uniforms they'll be wearing on Friday night?" -- Thunder Kay
I saw a lot of people saying that they don't like them, but I really like them. The navy blue and the white trim look clean and contemporary, and the vertical "Thunder" with the number to the side is reminiscent of the 1961 Cincinnati Royals uniforms. The Big O would be proud. Is the jersey perfect? No. The piping looks off and I don't really like the "OKC" and the huge white waistband on the shorts, but overall I think these will pop on the court. Just wait.
"Are we going to be okay? Can we make it back to the finals" -- 238 different Thunder fans
Please people, pump your breaks.
New players on the roster in a short period of time, increased expectations after a stellar 2011-12 campaign and a few losses on the path to greatness can create a lot of insecurity. In reality, this is going to be a work in progress, with a ton of ups and downs.
Kevin Durant wants to be a playmaker and a better rebounder? More power to him. The next 77 games will be his learning ground. How to be more efficient with the ball, how to properly read the ball coming off the backboard, things like that. By the end of the season, Durant will be a changed man, and the Thunder will be better for it.
Russell Westbrook can't make a jumper consistently to save his life, the offense seems forced with No. 0. Yet, in a big game versus Chicago on Thursday, Westbrook had 12 big assists and just 2 turnovers. You read that right, just 2 turnovers. Outside of that defensive gaffe versus the Spurs, Russie's looked his usual aggressive self defensively. He's going to get better.
Kevin Martin's averaging 19 points a game, Serge Ibaka's offense looks better, Eric Maynor's facilitating and leading, and the Oklahoma City Thunder will be a better team by game 82.
But I guess I didn't answer your question...
We're going to be fine. Can we make it back to the finals? Absolutely. Will we? Well...come see me again at game 82.