2 min read

Friday Bolts – 3.24.17

Friday Bolts – 3.24.17

Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders: “Anyone with a serious objection to Westbrook winning,

though, either hates fun or roots for the Cavs, Spurs or Rockets. There isn’t enough separation between the top four guys, especially not when parsing out who deserves an award the NBA intentionally defines ambiguously to stoke the fire on debates like these. If he does win, though, here’s hoping it’s due to more than a deep-seated obsession with round numbers. Ask any smart statistician, and they’ll tell you: You can prove virtually anything if you manipulate the data the right way. Using the right statistical thresholds, anyone with internet access can find several examples of how LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden are posting historically unique seasons this year.”

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Westbrook is doing things no one has ever done. That accomplishment doesn’t need a trophy to validate what he has done. If another player wins the award, it’s that player whose terrific season will slip backward into “the guy who won MVP the year that Westbrook averaged a triple-double [while leading the league in scoring].” James is in no risk of fading into obscurity, nor are Harden or Leonard. They’re all having legendary seasons. But what Westbrook is doing will be referenced over and over again for years to come, in a meaningful way — no matter who takes the trophy when it’s announced this spring.”

Berry Tramel: “Everyone always wants to know how the Thunder can keep playing Roberson. A better question is, what will the Thunder do next season if Roberson skips in free agency? How will OKC replicate the defense that Roberson provides? Jerami Grant is a quality, athletic defender, but at 6-foot-9, he generally moves from small forward to power forward on the spectrum. Roberson guards players of all sizes, from point guards (not all of them well) to power forwards (not all of them well). On the wing, Roberson is an excellent defender, and the Thunder will be hard-pressed to replace that defense.”

Fred v. Huestis.

Erik Horne: “Russell Westbrook was as open as he’s been all season … and he passed up the shot. Against Philadelphia, he received the pass in the corner, took a dribble, and backed up behind the 3-point line to a spot he’s made 50 percent of his shots this season. He even looked down to make sure his feet were behind the line. No defender was within 10 feet, but when one finally ran out to close him down, he passed swiftly to his right, not feeling quite balanced. It was a continuation of an awakening of sorts for Westbrook. Since a 39-shot game against Portland on March 7, he’s been keenly aware of getting his teammates shots. The next test comes on the national stage against Houston and James Harden on Sunday.”

OKC’s back to tied with the Clippers in the loss column.