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Oklahoma City Thunder news gathered from around the net.

Thunder Continue Trend Of Poor Defensive Rebounding

The Thunder are the fourth worst defensive rebounding team in the NBA this season, grabbing just 71 percent of opponents’ missed shots.

“We have to keep getting better because that's the scouting report on us,” said coach Scott Brooks. “(Opponents) are going to attack the boards, and they're going to try to get extra shots because they know we defend the first shot.”

Oklahoma City ranks seventh in the league in defensive field-goal percentage and fifth in opponent three-point percentage.

“I think we're defending well this year,” said forward Nick Collison. “But we're not finishing the play. We're giving teams more possessions and that, combined with when we have high-turnover games, is like giving the team the ball 15 to 20 times, letting them score and then starting the game and going back and forth. It's really tough to beat teams like that. The good news is we know we can play much better.”

Via Oklahoman

Westbrook Signs $80M Extension With Thunder

Russell Westbrook has signed a five-year, $80 million-plus max extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to sources.

Westbrook would have become a restricted free agent this summer without an extension.

Sam Presti finalized the deal with Westbrook’s agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group, on Wednesday night.

Westbrook gets an extension that pays him 25 percent of the Thunder’s cap and preserves space for the team to sign James Harden and Serge Ibaka to new deals.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter)

Warriors, Bobcats, Raptors Most Frequently Use Zone Defense

The Warriors play zone 10.3% of the time, followed by the Bobcats (9.3%) and Raptors (7.5%), according to Synergy Sports, which tracks every NBA play and provides in-depth statistical analysis.

The Hawks face zone defenses the most, on 9.2% of their possessions, followed by the Heat (8.8%), Bobcats (8.3%) and Thunder (7.5%).

It's no coincidence the Heat and Thunder face zones.

"Those might be the two most athletic teams," TNT analyst Steve Kerr said.

Via Jeff Zillgitt/USA TODAY

Sources Expect Westbrook, Thunder To Split Difference Between $80M, $94M

The Thunder have until January 25th to sign Russell Westbrook to an extension and sources say that "both sides are dug in right now."

Oklahoma City is hoping to preserve cap space to also re-sign James Harden and Serge Ibaka next year, but Westbrook could be eligible for 30 percent of the team's cap next season.

If Westbrook is selected to another All-NBA team, he could get a five-year, $94 million extension. The Thunder hope to sign him to the smaller five-year, $80 million extension.

Several sources close to the talks believe the sides will find a deal somewhere between the two numbers.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

NBA GMs Prefer To Start Franchise With Durant, LeBron

Kevin Durant is the favorite to win the 2012 NBA MVP, according to a poll of NBA general managers. Durant received 55.6% of the vote, followed by LeBron James with 44.4%.

Durant and James tied at 37% when GMs were asked the question of what player they would start a franchise with. Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade also received votes.

Rose was named the best point guard, followed by Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

Kobe Bryant was voted the best shooting guard, with Wade and Ray Allen coming in second and third.

James was the overwhelming choice at small forward with 77.8% of the vote, followed by Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.

Dirk Nowitzki beat out Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge in the power forward category.

Howard received 96.3% of the vote at center, followed by Pau Gasol.

Via NBA.com

74.1 Percent Of GMs Expect Heat To Win 2012 NBA Finals

The Miami Heat are the overwhelming favorite to win the 2012 NBA Finals, according to a survey of general managers.

Miami scores 74.1% of the vote, followed by the Thunder at 14.8%, Lakers at 7.4% and Bulls at 3.7%.

Via NBA.com

Durant Dedicates Season To Jeff Green

Kevin Durant has said that he is dedicating his 11-12 season to former teammate Jeff Green, who is out for the year following heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

“I dedicate the season to him,” Durant said.

“Jeff is a positive person. I learned so much from him. No matter what, he stays positive through the toughest times. He's still smiling and laughing and enjoying himself. It's tough to go through what he went through, and I pray for him every single day. But he knows that he's going to get back better and stronger. I can't wait for that day. I know he can't wait.”

Via Darnell Mayberry/Oklahoman

Maynor Seeks Second Opinion On Torn ACL

Eric Maynor will receive a second opinion on his torn ACL on Tuesday in New York.

There is still no timetable on when Maynor will undergo surgery, but more details are expected to be known following Maynor's consultation Tuesday morning.

The second opinion, meanwhile, is said to be standard operating procedure. After the consultation, Maynor is expected to decide where he wants to have the surgery done and by which doctor.

Via Darnell Mayberry/Oklahoman

Rivers: Perkins Has Changed Culture Of Thunder

Celtics coach Doc Rivers believes Kendrick Perkins has changed the culture of the Thunder.

“You can see, he’s put work in his game,” Rivers said. “He has every year I’ve known him. His influence on that team is dramatic to me. You can see it, you can feel it. You can see it with the bigs, with [Serge Ibaka], they’re all defensive players now. Perk has completely changed the culture of that team, you can just see it on the floor. That’s terrific for him.”

Rivers said Perkins took defensive communication and leadership cues right out of Kevin Garnett's playbook.

“It’s very similar, and he used Kevin’s playbook,” Rivers said. “He did it by example. They say he’s hard on guys if they miss a rotation. There’s one on the floor today. He was screaming at [Kevin Durant], but Durant took it, though. Good for Perk, he deserves it.”

Via WEEI.com

Thunder Assign Ryan Reid To Tulsa

The Oklahoma City Thunder today assigned forward Ryan Reid to the Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder’s NBA D-League affiliate.  It is the first assignment for Reid this season. 

Reid (6-8, 235) has appeared in two games with the Thunder since earning a Call-Up from the 66ers on Dec. 13, 2011, scoring three points in five minutes of action. 

In eight games, all starts, with the 66ers before joining the Thunder, Reid averaged 11.8 points and 8.9 rebounds in 34.3 minutes. 

Via Press Release

Oklahoma City Thunder Archives

Spurs, Thunder Among Teams Scouting Iona's Scott Machado

Scott Machado averages a Division I-best 10.1 assists per game.

Colangelo: Team USA 'Loaded' At Guard, Small Forward Positions

Jerry Colangelo pointed to Team USAís abundance of star guards and forwards when discussing the talent level of a potential 19-man roster.

Report: Team USA Preliminary Roster Set

USA Basketball is set to name 19 players who make up the preliminary roster for the 2012 Olympics.

Thunder Lose Eric Maynor To Torn ACL

Eric Maynor is out for the season after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament.

Felton Believes Westbrook Focuses Too Much On Individual Battles

Oklahoman beat writer Darnell Mayberry writes that Russell Westbrook has frequently placed a high importance on individual battles against fellow point guards.

Team-By-Team All-Star Ballot List

The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA.

Ryan Reid Undergoes Surgery For Nasal Fracture

Ryan Reid is expected to make a full recovery in 2-4 weeks.

LeBron, Durant Named Players Of The Week

LeBron James and Kevin Durant were honored for games played Sunday, Dec. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 1.
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