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Monday Bolts – 11.21.16

Monday Bolts – 11.21.16

Remember on Friday when Royce left some tabs open for me to use in the Bolts? Here are the rest of them.

Kawhi and Steph and strobe lights: “With 20 seconds left in the third quarter of the young season’s biggest game, Gregg Popovich screams. He wants everyone out of the way so that Kawhi Leonard can go to work against Andre Iguodala. Leonard waits near half court as his teammates shuffle to the corners. Popovich walks two steps to his left, assuring himself a great view, then happily crosses his arms. Then he gives the go sign. Leonard begins, slowly walking toward one of the NBA’s most feared defenders with a loopy, hypnotic dribble through his legs. Once, twice — a third time. Leonard, a borderline MVP candidate a year ago, is known to excel at just about everything on the court except this. Regardless, this feels like taunting.”

Something about the Raptors: “THE RAPTORS WEREN’T even playing in Toronto — they were on the road, in Brooklyn, preparing for Game 6 of the opening round of the 2014 playoffs. But that didn’t stop great mobs of fans, like pilgrims, from trekking to Maple Leaf Square outside the Air Canada Centre. Leading up to Game 1, the mood had been so fevered that the team’s normally staid general manager, Masai Ujiri, had made an appearance and dropped a few F-bombs, for which he would later be fined. With the Raptors leading the series 3-2, and Game 6 presenting an opportunity to advance to the second round for the first time since 2001, the tension built. An all-out proxy war broke out between newspapers in Toronto and New York. During Game 5, the Nets Twitter account implored their fans to meet Toronto’s intensity. Maple Leaf Square, “Jurassic Park” to the Raptors faithful, was total pandemonium.”

The Thunder lost last night in OT: “There was the moment when Russell Westbrook, barreling toward the basket and on the verge of losing his footing, found Enes Kanter for a difficult layup. There was the Victor Oladipo 3-pointer that closed Indiana’s lead to a point and electrified the crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena. And there was the Westbrook 3-pointer to cap a comeback and send the Thunder and Pacers to overtime. So many times on Sunday, the Thunder seemed on the verge of stealing a game on which they’d struggled to find a grip. In the end, the Pacers wouldn’t let it go.”

I want Steven Adams to be better: “Since reinjuring his right hand Nov. 7 against Miami, Steven Adams hasn’t displayed the offensive force he did in preseason and the start of the regular season. In Sunday’s 115-111 overtime loss to Indiana, he showed glimpses of getting back. In the first quarter, Adams went for a reverse layup and was stripped, but recovered the ball and dunked hard with his bandaged right hand. In the second quarter, he caught a bounce pass from Russell Westbrook on the fast break and finished in stride with a right-handed finger roll for the go-ahead points at 38-37, then added a two-handed dunk. He had just one dunk in his previous three games before Sunday.”

But hey! Russ!: “The one man wrecking crew named Russell Westbrook had yet another all-around impressive performance on Sunday. Recording a league-leading fifth triple-double of the season, Westbrook nearly led the Thunder to a victory but Oklahoma City lost 115-111 in overtime to the Pacers. Westbrook though had a sensational game, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 15 assists. He even hit a clutch three-pointer near the end of regulation that sent the game into overtime.”