3 min read

Monday Bolts – 12.12.16

Monday Bolts – 12.12.16

Erik Horne: “Rather than try to grab the rebound, he slapped the ball forward into space.


Anthony Morrow passed back to Westbrook, who knifed through the Celtics’ defense for the game-tying layup, two of his 13 points in the quarter. Then, face-to-face with Bradley with the Thunder ahead 96-94, Westbrook outjumped him and tipped the ball out toward Semaj Christon. A few neat passes later, Jerami Grant polished off the game with a power dunk. More important than an eighth consecutive triple-double, which would have been the second-most in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s nine, Westbrook got his hands to two critical 50/50 balls in the final 1:40.”

Berry Tramel: “Christon scored six straight points spanning the third and fourth quarters to turn a six-point deficit into a 71-71 tie. Christon’s steal with 31/2 minutes left set up Adams’ three-point play to get the Thunder within 90-89. And when Westbrook and Avery Bradley dueled on a jump ball with 21 seconds left, Christon grabbed the tip, passed out of a double team to Adams and suddenly Jerami Grant had a dunk that gave OKC a four-point lead with 14 seconds left. Westbrook was the star. His triple-double streak ended at seven — only in his world could a 37-point, 12-rebound, six-assist night be a disappointment — but the Thunder won to get to 15-9. And Westbrook had help from the most unlikely of places.”

My story on last night.

Sam Amick of USA Today: “The notion of Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook upping his game after Durant skipped town was bound to happen. But this sort of hell-on-wheels history is something else entirely. He’s still on a maniacal triple-double pace, having tallied seven consecutive entering Sunday (first since Michael Jordan in 1989 to do so and within two of Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time mark) and averaging 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.8 rebounds per game. The unthinkable – joining Oscar Robertson (1961-62) as the only players to have averaged a triple-double for an entire season – is suddenly thinkable. The fact that the Thunder are winning makes it all matter that much more, as they’re just one game off of their pace from last season (when they finished 55-27).”

Mark Cuban has a hard time admitting when he’s wrong.

James Holas of Press Basketball on Russ: “The flaws don’t hide from plain sight. He’ll routinely take quick jumpers early in the shot clock, or wild forays in the paint that don’t have a prayer, and you’ll wonder what kind of synaptic misfire could lead to such decisions. And some of his turnovers are similarly terribly; while the depth of turnovers isn’t necessarily egregious in light of his enormous usage. But for every bad shot, there’s a handful of uproarious slams or jaw-dropping how did he even finishes through contact. For every pass to the third row, there are laser accurate dimes to his roll man or cross court masterpieces to his shooters. If Steph Curry is a surgeon and Chris Paul is a technician, then Russell Westbrook is a performing artist whose medium is hand grenades and sledgehammers; he’s a contradiction of moving imagery that you either feel in your soul or you just don’t get.”

Micah Adams of ESPN.com on if CP3 is playing the best point guard: “With the combination of challenging the offensive greatness of players like Curry, Westbrook and Harden and defending way better than any of them, Paul is making a good case to be the best PG in the league a quarter of the way into the season. And pulling that off at age 31 is a very impressive sign of his longevity and consistency.”