The Shootaround

The Thunder supporting cast should assist on more shots. Phil Jackson has earned a lifetime achievement award. And Jahidi White is on Wizznutzz's short list for Best NBA Player in a Lead Role:

Phil JacksonKurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold: "The question of the day is not should Phil retire - he can and should do that on his own terms - but rather what follows for the Lakers? To me, that has to start with a basic team philosophy question: Do the Lakers stay a triangle team? Or do they go to another style? That really determines where you go for a coach. If you want to stay triangle, you hire one of the current assistants - Kurt Rambis, Brian Shaw or former NBA head coach Jim Cleamons. If you want to go another direction, you talk to Bryon Scott or another top-flight coach. It also determines roster moves. What Mitch and the Lakers have done well in recent years is build a team of players who have skills that fit well in the triangle (despite how painful that process been at times). Certainly some of the players on the Lakers roster now (and when the retirement happens) can succeed in multiple styles, but some may not. And there may be new players needed to fill specific roles in a new system. My two cents are that if Phil hangs it up after the end of the 09-10 season, with the team in the middle of a championship window, you don't rock the boat with a new system. You hire Rambis or Shaw, try to keep things largely the same, and go for more titles with the team as built. But, if it is a few years later, when the window is closing, maybe it's time for some changes. Buss has questioned the triangle in the past, but if you are going to get away from that, you have to do so when the timing is right. But before you hire any coach, you need to look at these big picture questions."

Kevin DurantJoe Newell of Daily Thunder: "To be sure, Kevin Durant will be an all star, and he is the unquestioned scoring leader on this team. It's not too much of a stretch to think that KD could one day lead the league in scoring if that were his goal and the coach gave him that much latitude. But what I am interested in focusing on here is whether or not letting your star dominate the ball so much is a good thing for the TEAM'S success. Will the Thunder as a team be better off if KD begins to so thoroughly dominate the offense on a regular basis?...One thing that jumps out at me about the Thunder and its 'star player' Kevin Durant as opposed to the star players on other teams is his assist %. Assist % is the percentage of teammate field goals a given player assists on while he was on the floor. Naturally the point guards dominate this stat because it is their job to distribute the rock to the shooters and scorers. But if you take our ball handlers out of the equation (Watson, Westbrook and Weaver) Kevin Durant leads the rest of the team with 12% assist rate. He assists on 12% of his teammates' shots while he is on the floor. That sounds great, right? Actually, it's not, and that might be part of the problem with games like last night against the Clippers and the 'star dominates' model we see so much in the NBA. Kevin Durant is the only player on the Thunder (outside of the point guards) who is in double digits on assist % at 12%. Every one else on the team is in single digits. What does that say about how the team shares the rock? To me, it says that the team needs to go back to the classroom. If one guy is going to so thoroughly dominate the ball, it becomes much easier to defend that team. You know who is going to take the abundance of shots, you know that he and his teammates don't really share the rock that much, defending that team becomes less complicated."

Jadhidi White Wizznutzz: "Nominees for Best NBA Player in Lead Role -- Actor. Jahidi White, Odds: 2-1, "Kronnan" -- Showdown at Area 51 (Alien v Alien) (2007) The consensus front-runner. Recognized widely for his best-selling advice book "Things I Learned From Jahidi", the versatile talent proves he can act as well. White stars in this straight-to-DVD release as a hulking, silent monster who terrorizes young recruits. A student of the Stanislavski school of method acting, White prepared for this role by drawing on his experiences with the Washington Wizards: 'In scenes that required I terrify the soldier boys with my plasma-shooting weapon, I tried to visualized the scene in my head. I imagined we were in the lockeroom, and they were all Steve Blake. That really helped me find my character.'"

THE FINAL WORD Roundball Mining Company: George Karl cares not for the zone defense...and that's okay! Raptors Republic: The Raps are still drawing at home, but it ain't the cooking. Queen City Hoops: Just try scoring on the 'Cats.