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News » Durant impressed with team's mentality

Durant impressed with team's mentality

Durant impressed with team's mentality
Dressed daily in gym shorts, a T-shirt, socks and sandals, Kevin Durant watched the Thunder's final three summer league games from the team's bench, often displaying a contemplative expression.

Between cheering on his younger teammates this week, the face of the franchise was analyzing them as they competed. And Durant liked what he saw, both in games and behind the scenes in practices.

"They play hard and they're willing to learn. That's what we need," Durant said.

When asked whether No. 3 overall pick James Harden could help the Thunder immediately next season, Durant responded with an emphatic, "Definitely." Harden averaged 14.5 points, 3.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in four games.

"He's a versatile guy that can play any position from (point guard to small forward)," Durant said. "He can pass the ball very well and adds another scoring touch to us as well. So we're excited to have him."

The Thunder finished 0-5 in Las Vegas, but Harden said the group was able to bond and build chemistry on the court after spending more than a week together on the heels of a week in Orlando.

"It didn't look like it because we were losing, but I think we did a lot of great things out there on the court," Harden said. "Just to get to know each other and get a feel for one another was big. When the other guys like Kevin and Jeff (Green) and Russell (Westbrook) get back it'll be that much easier.


With the departure of backup point guard Earl Watson, Shaun Livingston said Saturday that he expects to play a bigger role for the Thunder next season behind Westbrook.

"It's going to impact me," Livingston said of Watson being waived. "My responsibility is greater now to come in and do what they need me to do. That's going to be, I'm not going to say simple or easy, but it's more of what I do. I think if I go out there and play the ball that I know I can play, it's going to be simple."

After playing in eight of 10 games in Orlando and Las Vegas, Livingston said he's almost completely over his left knee injury and will be more confident going into the season

"I don't think it's any question I'm going to come into the season strong," Livingston said. "I was able to go out here and defend and make certain plays. So it's there. It's only going to get enhanced when I get into the season and get around our guys."


Last year's 50th overall pick DeVon Hardin could be headed overseas for the 2009-10 season. Hardin still hasn't signed a contract with the Thunder , and the team might want him to continue his development abroad rather than add the raw 6-foot-11 post player to the roster.

"I'm not sure, but I would imagine I'm probably going to have to do another year overseas and then come back and be ready to go next year," Hardin said. "Of course it's not exactly what I want to do, but if it happens it's just another step on my journey."

Hardin averaged 5.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 18.4 minutes over five games in Las Vegas. He said he was pleased with his performance and is encouraged by his growth.

"I feel like I'm just doing everything the coaches ask me to do," Hardin said. "Defensively, that's where I most impact the game, so when I'm in the game, I definitely want to focus on that. But offensively, if I can get rebounds or putbacks or post up occasionally, then I'll do that to help out the team as well."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 22, 2009


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