Larry Coon for ESPN Insider: “Another way to reduce superstar movement is to reduce
teams’ cap room (without necessarily lowering the cap itself). It appears the new agreement will increase cap holds for players coming off their rookie contracts. It probably will also raise minimum salaries (and also the cap holds for empty roster spots), and maybe maximum salaries as well. In addition to the direct financial effect on players, these rule changes also will have the indirect effect of reducing teams’ cap room. It appears superteams will be harder to assemble under the new agreement. That said, as long as we have a cap on individual player salaries, it will encourage players to join forces.”
LeBron shouted out Russell Westbrook for his triple-doubles, and then went and took back sixth all time to himself.
Brett Dawson: “Russell Westbrook had a point to make, and during a dead ball, he’d pulled a pair of teammates aside to make it. The Thunder point guard had spotted something, and he’d made his way to midcourt to make a point. And before play resumed, Westbrook returned to the Oklahoma City bench, where he’d come from to do his instructing. Even when he’s out of the game, the Thunder’s leader still is into it.”
Melo on Russ: “Yeah, to be honest with you, that soon [I was surprised],’’ Anthony said. “But that’s Russ. Russ don’t give a damn about nothing. It’s all about what he want to do, when he want to do it, how he want to do it. I think he wanted to show he was loyal to OKC.”
Marc Berman of the NY Post: “Anthony mentioned nothing about Westbrook’s desire to win big. But he’s the leading MVP candidate, averaging nearly a triple-double and has OKC at a competent 9-8. Westbrook has notched seven triple-doubles this season, including on both ends of the weekend’s back-to-back versus Denver and Detroit. He has 44 career triple-doubles, one behind LeBron James. Westbrook is averaging 31.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 11.2 assists. If he gets double-digit rebounds against the Knicks, he’ll be averaging a triple-double for the season. His attack on the MVP award is no shocker to Anthony.”