Monday Bolts – 12.19.16
Marc Stein of ESPN.com has Russ first in MVP: “As recently as Wednesday, Oklahoma City
was being outscored by 12.9 points per 100 possessions with Westbrook off the floor, which would have ranked last in the NBA by some distance. The Thunder, by contrast, were outscoring opponents by 5.2 points per 100 possessions leading into their Wednesday loss in Utah, which would have placed them eighth in the league. Perhaps as impressive as anything on the Westbrook résumé is his minutesper game. He’s averaging only 35.2 minutes, which is nearly 10 fewer per game than Robertson did in 1961-62 — in an era, remember, that featured nearly 30 extra possessions per outing — and shows some real restraint from the Thunder.”
From ESPN Stats: “The only player with more triple-doubles in a calendar year than Russell Westbrook in 2016 (28) is Oscar Robertson in 1961 (34), according to Elias Sports Bureau research. The Oklahoma City Thunder still have seven games left in December.”
Chris Haynes reported Cameron Payne could be back Dec. 29.
Billy Donovan on that: “I’ve not heard that or anything else like that, and I know that our medical staff wouldn’t do that, because there’s steps that he has to go through in order ever to be cleared to play,” Donovan said after Sunday’s practice. “He’s at a point where he’s doing more. Certainly he’s feeling fine. I think that the recovery and rehabilitation is going well. There’s been no setbacks to where we want him to be.”
I wrote about Russ’s Shammgod.
Jared Dudley: “Obviously before him, no. With Kevin Durant leaving, this being his show, 24/7 all the time, it’s impressive overall, getting his teammates involved. Even with a team that’s not a great shooting team from outside, he’s still finding a way to get these drop-off passes to these big fellows … he’s willing his team to the playoffs, which a lot of people probably didn’t think before the year.”
Blake Griffin is set to have minor knee surgery.
Erik Horne: “At any moment of Westbrook’s league-high 13 triple-doubles this season, the players around him have helped deliver what’s turning into routine history. It’s finishing Westbrook’s pinpoint passes. It’s Roberson defending the other team’s point guard to preserve Westbrook’s energy for the offensive end. It’s Adams boxing out so Westbrook can crash the boards and start the fast break. Westbrook gets the stat — potentially two in one play — just as he did on his 10th rebound and layoff to Semaj Christon on the break Saturday to complete the triple-double.”