2 min read

Friday Bolts – 12.2.16

Friday Bolts – 12.2.16

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com: “If a defender is chasing behind him, Westbrook might arch his back


and jump sideways into him — even if doing so kills the odds of his shot going in (which is supposed to be the goal of basketball). Only Draymond Green outranks him among the NBA’s leg-splayers. Sometimes, he’ll whip one of his arms sideways upon the release of a jumper, just in case he might smack an opposing player and trick the officials into thinking the victim hit him. This is the Landry/Lance-might-have-murdered-someone subplot of the Westbrook epic. You kind of just have to ignore it.”

Jon Hamm of Bleacher Report: “In a sense, Westbrook is playing like a competitive runner who wants to beat his previous best time. The challenge of topping his feats serves as motivational fuel. Westbrook has been known to force the issue on occasion when he needs another assist or two to complete his stat line. He’s also been criticized for attempting to rack up dimes early in the game, but that doesn’t hold water. If he doesn’t do that, then he’s scoring points early and getting criticized for not involving his teammates. He’s in a no-win scenario, not that it bothers him.”

Podcasting with Fred Katz, talking very important things.

Erik Horne: “With a seven-point lead, Washington went small. Rather than the Thunder keep in its center that can guard anyone, it went to a shooting guard who’s a defensive question mark. It worked. In the last 41/2 minutes of the Thunder’s 126-115 overtime win on Wednesday, OKC outscored the Wizards 13-8 to tie the game. Some of it was sheer Russell Westbrook heroism, the Thunder’s do-everything guard scoring on a tip, a drive and a game-tying 3-pointer. Some was key Victor Oladipo offense — five points in 26 seconds. But Anthony Morrow was on the court for 21/2 rare late-game minutes. In the past five games, coach Billy Donovan has given Morrow the opportunity to play more than he has all season. Will it continue?”

Russ is the West player of the month.

Dan Devine of Yahoo: “It would be overly simplistic and reductive to say that Westbrook won this game by himself. The defense that his Thunder teammates played down the stretch to hold Washington to 18 points on 6-for-20 shooting over the final 10 minutes played a huge role, and his screeners got him open, and Oladipo scored eight of his 25 points (to go with six rebounds and six assists) in that same span. All that mattered plenty, too, and if OKC hadn’t come back from the seven-point deficit they faced with five minutes remaining in regulation, it certainly would’ve seemed fair to suggest that Westbrook, with 19 misses and five turnovers, had done as much as anyone to lose the game for the Thunder.”

Ananth Pandian of CBSSports.com: “Sabonis is beginning to look like a possible answer to the Thunder’s 3-point shooting problem. Oklahoma City lets it fly freely from long distance but they just don’t have reliable 3-point shooters. However, Sabonis is slowly finding his stroke from long distance. He is shooting 44.9 percent from three (third among rookies) and knocked down three in a 132-129 win over the Pacers on Nov. 25.”