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123 Apr 20
It was sometime after 10 p. Cheap Basketball Shoes Nz .m. local time on May 30, and Kevin Durant was still lingering on the floor of Oracle Arena. Confetti was splashed all over the floor, the Golden State Warriors were celebrating and Durant stood near the visitors tunnel, jersey untucked, just sort of ... lingering.Durant had scored 27 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 7, including seven straight to cut the Golden State Warriors lead to four with 1:40 left. He was spent, both physically and emotionally. A 3-1 series lead had slipped through his hands, and the Thunder had fallen short of the Finals. His team already back in the locker room, Durant stood alone for a few seconds, before ducking through the tunnel and off the floor.The Thunder make their return to Oracle for the first time since that fateful Game 7 on Thursday and not just without Durant, but to play against him. The floor Durant walked off crestfallen in May is now his home for the foreseeable future.For the Thunder, it will be a jarring experience. Some within the organization have said they arent sure how theyll react to seeing Durant on the other bench. Some have said theyve moved on and wont be fazed. Among the latter is Russell Westbrook, who is pragmatic -- Durant is an opponent, and Westbrook doesnt like opponents. In some ways, Westbrook is ambivalent, claiming his team has his only attention. He didnt watch Durants first game with the Warriors, instead playing poker with friends and finding out about the score only when his wife told him the next morning.Westbrook and Durant spent eight seasons together, but their supposedly unbreakable bond was severed when Durant announced he was joining the Warriors on July 4. When they meet on the floor Thursday, it will be the first time theyve spoken since (assuming they speak). All eyes will be on their handshake before tipoff, but Westbrook doesnt do that before games with opponents. He sprints under the opposing basket, stares into the crowd, pumps his arms and gets ready to play. The only people he daps up are the ones wearing the same jersey as him. He says he only has one friend during a game: the ball.The Thunder have started 4-0, the lone unbeaten left in the West, and have taken on a part of Westbrooks personality as their identity. They play hard, theyre not always pretty, they mess up plenty, but they dont let up. Theres so much attention on Westbrook and Durant, its been overlooked this will be an uncomfortable night for Nick Collison, for Steven Adams, for Anthony Morrow, for Enes Kanter and for Andre Roberson. They all believed Durant was coming back, too. Everyone is fascinated by how Westbrook might play -- will he try to dunk so hard a vortex is created in downtown Oakland and Durant is swallowed whole by it? -- but its going to be worth watching Westbrooks teammates.We all played with Kevin, we all were disappointed he left, Collison said. So its not like its just Russ. Its something that were all going to deal with, seeing one of our guys playing somewhere else. Itll be a big game and everyones going to play hard for sure but theres a lot of reasons thats going to happen.Durant, by nature, is a pretty non-confrontational person. Hes easy going, easy to get along with and adaptable to any group of people. He wants the idea that theres a beef with Westbrook to evaporate. Westbrook, though, is guarded, skeptical and values loyalty. He doesnt mind butting heads with anyone, whether its a teammate, a coach or a reporter. It sets a strange scenario on Thursday, one where theres genuine unknown of what may happen.Theyre gonna play basketball, Anthony Morrow said. Thats it.The Thunder return to Oracle six months later in a different world. When they left on May 30, they thought theyd be coming back better and stronger than ever, the likely favorite to win it all. Instead, theyre a franchise that was pushed to the brink of unraveling, and building a new identity behind Westbrook. While most expected them to fall back, Westbrook only pushes forward. Asked on Wednesday after their 85-83 win against the Clippers if hes surprised at the way the Thunder have begun the season, Westbrook flashed his trademark disdain.Who said that? Westbrook snapped. A lot of folks, a reporter responded. Westbrook cut his eyes over and defiantly grinned. Thats where they went wrong. Clearance Basketball Shoes . Mitch Holmberg added a goal and three assists. Connor Chartier also scored for the Chiefs (3-0-0). Luke Harrison spoiled Garrett Hughsons shutout bid with a power-play goal at 13:17 of the third period. The Spokane goaltender finished with 28 saves, including a Brandon Fushimi penalty shot in the second period that would have tied the game 1-1. Cheap Basketball Shoes Online . "Hes going to have hip surgery on Jan. 7, and hell be expected to rehabilitate for four to six months beyond that," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said Friday in an interview. . 31, the CFL club announced Monday. The team also has yet to decide on the future of Doug Berry, who began the season as a consultant to the head coach but took over the offensive co-ordinators duties in July. With the college football season officially here, the contact period for senior prospects is open and the sprint to signing day on Feb. 1 begins. Even though there are still 141 days left in this recruiting cycle, that hasnt stopped a handful of coaches from making a big impact on the recruiting trail. So which assistant coaches have done the best job of reeling in recruits so far? That answer can be found in the updated RecruitingNation power rankings. Dont forget the recruiter power rankings are formulated by noot only looking at how many four- or five-star recruits a coach lands but also taking into account the needs those recruits will fill at the next level. Basketball Shoes Online Nz. And it should come as no surprise that the top two classes in the country, Alabama and Ohio State, each have two coaches ranked in the top five of the rankings, but neither school has the nations top recruiter at this point. ' ' '