3 min read

Friday Bolts – 12.16.16

Friday Bolts – 12.16.16

Please read J.A. Adande on Craig Sager: “One of my enduring memories of Sager comes from


after the 2008 All-Star Game in New Orleans. Sunday night had turned into Monday morning, and I had an early flight looming. We crossed paths on Canal Street, chatted a bit, and then I called it a night, while Sager, 19 years my elder, marched off into the French Quarter to see what awaited. That’s the way I prefer to think of him now. Not departed, but moving on, in search of another adventure, in search of another story.”

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com: “They all gasped. Some leaned back in their chairs, either in astonishment, or perhaps out of some primal instinct to run away from the carnage. Others perched forward and bent their knees, as if they were about to rise in acknowledgement. And then, bam: They remembered. They had to be civilized. They resumed their normal seated positions and stifled grins. A few even briefly held onto each other, to keep balanced. I’m pretty sure Trevor Booker grabbed Randy Foye, so that Foye would not stand up. Seriously: Whenever someone gets dunked on hard, watch the reaction of the victim’s bench. It is often the best part.”

Andrew Lynch of FoxSports.com: “Of course, if players really want to join forces to conquer the NBA, there’s nothing owners can do to stop them — assuming said players are willing to take less money to play together, anyway, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did with the Miami Heat. The new CBA merely forces players to take steeper pay cuts in those instances. Otherwise, NBA players the world over can now line their pockets, thanks largely to KD and his quest for a ring. Who knew one earth-shaking offseason transaction was the most effective negotiating tactic either side had at its disposal?”

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com on MVP: “The argument starts and largely ends with his averaging a triple-double. It’s just a ridiculous thing to even suggest a player doing, but there he is, even after a couple of “down” games. The bigger concern for Westbrook, beyond the turnovers and efficiency (43 percent from the field, 24 percent from deep) is the Thunder record. For him to win it, he’s going to have to probably carry the Thunder to 50 wins. Every loss turns the conversation from “Can you believe what Westbrook is doing?” to “Would the Thunder be better if Westbrook wasn’t hunting triple-doubles every night?” I broke down the problems with that line of thought, but it’s going to wind up impacting the vote if they finish just over .500. The Thunder have to get to 50 wins for Westbrook to make it past the old guard that will value wins over all else.”

Erik Horne: “Russell Westbrook may be tired of getting asked about triple-doubles, but he’s never tired of assisting in the community. On Thursday, the Thunder guard hosted more than 60 homeless children at his fifth annual Why Not? Foundation Holiday Party at the City Rescue Mission in downtown Oklahoma City. Westbrook gave away Jordan Brand T-shirts, shoes and backpacks to the kids, who also were treated to food, crafts, cookie decorating and a bounce house.”

Brett Dawson: “Through 26 games, Westbrook leads the NBA in usage at 41 percent. That means 41 percent of the Thunder’s possessions when he’s on the floor end with Westbrook taking a shot, getting to the free-throw line or committing a turnover. That number has jumped to 45.7 percent the past two games with Oladipo out, but even Westbrook’s season-long percentage would be an NBA record if it holds. Kobe Bryant had a record usage rate of 38.7 percent in 2005-06. Enes Kanter ranks second on the Thunder in usage at 26.3 percent, but he plays 19 minutes per game. Oladipo is using 20.7 percent of possessions when he’s on the floor, third-most on the team. By the nature of his position and playing style, Westbrook always has been a high-usage player. But Kevin Durant was similarly involved. Last season, Westbrook used 31.6 percent of the Thunder’s possessions when he was on the court, Durant 30.6.”