having a couple of off days is always a good thing, and the thunder find themselves not playing again until wednesday. we debated on how to cover oklahoma city the next couple of days since there are no big injuries (thankfully) or firings to report. but in the spirit of the season, carbert and i are going to hand out our first quarter awards today and tomorrow. i am up first...
...and the first award is always the easiest.
m.o.p. (most outstanding player) -- kevin durant
this one goes without saying, and he is too important to be listed as valuable. as long as durant stays healthy, the thunder are legit every night.
6th man award -- coach scott brooks
only because the team is playing with a new intensity since p.j. was let go. the lineup has been changed regularly, and that is a good thing. okc was put on notice, and the wins will be coming.
least improved -- nick collison
unfortunately there does have to be some negatives given the thunder have only two wins. collison was given every opportunity to secure a role with the club but was only on the floor for seven minutes in the last game. sometimes i wonder if his heart is really in the game?
face/off award -- chris wilcox
i stole this one from my favorite movie and it stands for the player who i will hate to see go but will love to have the money left over. wilcox may or may not be traded this season, but he will almost definitely sign for lots of money somewhere else. he will be missed but can be replaced.
welcome back award -- desmond mason
no offense to jeff green or russell westbrook. to me the second most important player for okc right now is mason. moving durant to small forward has opened a starting spot for the veteran, and the thunder are much better off with mason than having damien wilkins throw up 10+ shots a game. mason also adds a new level of defense that can only benefit the rest of the squad.