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The Starting 5: What we learned from Warriors-Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots over Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, right, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet

1. Oklahoma City Thunder vs Warriors – Lessons learned – Sean Reece, Thunderous Intentions

Saturday night’s game featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors was arguably the most anticipated game of the season. The Warriors won with relative ease, but there were a few key points that those watching learned, including the problem that is Oklahoma City’s depth, the reality of a beef between Thunder players and Kevin Durant, and despite how good Westbrook has been this season, he still needs help.

2. Breaking down the Plumlee-Nurkic trade by the numbers – Dave Deckard, Blazer’s Edge

The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers completed a trade on Sunday sending Mason Plumlee and a second-round pick for Jusuf Nurkic and a first-round draft pick in 2017. Deckard looks at a few numbers to compare the two centers, including the future contract implications for both teams.

3. Miami Heat interested in Serge Ibaka? – Albert Nahmad, Heat Hoops

The Miami Heat are never ones for a long rebuild, and despite their recent 13-game winning streak, their 24-31 record is still only good enough for 10th in the Eastern Conference. Nahmad makes a case for trading Justise Winslow for Serge Ibaka, with the hopes of enticing another major star to the Heat, such as Gordon Hayward or Danilo Gallinari. While Heat fans may cringe at the thought, Nahmad makes a very compelling case for Pat Riley to pull off the unthinkable.

4. The evolution of Captain Clutch – Emilio Moore, Three Shades of Blue

Mike Conley has never made an All-Star team, is rarely talked about among the best point guards in the league, and usually isn’t thought of as the first option for the Memphis Grizzlies. However, he’s currently in the midst of a career season (19.1 points, 6.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals), is one of the two leaders of one of the most consistent teams in the NBA, and has matured as much as anyone from the time he was drafted to now.

5. NBA Draft Big Board: Early February update – Trevor Magnotti, FanSided

For a few teams in the NBA, the 2016-17 season is effectively over and the time to focus on the draft is now. This draft is talked about as one of the deeper drafts in recent years, and the player at the top of most draft boards, Markelle Fultz, seems like a guy that can thrive in any situation. The rest of the top tier (Josh Jackson, Kansas; Lonzo Ball, UCLA; Dennis Smith, North Carolina State, and others depending on who is ranking them) are all guys that have impressed thus far in the college season, and are also players that teams are looking to target with the first few picks.

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